ePub 版

But when its way the’ impetuons passion found,
I rend my tresses, and my breast I wond;
I rave, then weep; I curse, and then complain ;
Now swell to rage, now melt in tears again.
Not fiercer pangs distract the mournful dame,
Whose first-born infant feeds the funeral flame.
My scornful brother with a smile appears,
Insults my woes, and triumphs in my tears,
His hated image ever haunts my eyes ;
And why this grief? thy danghter lives,' he cries.
Stong with my love, and furious with despair,
All torn my garments, and my bosom bare,
My woes, thy crimes, I to the world proclaim,
Such inconsistent things are love and shame!
'Tis thou art all my care and my delight,
My daily longiøg, and my dream by night:
O night more pleasing than the brightest day,
When fancy gives what absence takes away,
And, dress'd in all its visionary charms,
Restores my fair deserter to my arms !
Then round your neck in wanton wreaths I twine,
Then you, methinks, as fondly circle mine :
A thousand tender words I hear and speak;
A thousand melting kisses give and take:
Then fiercer joys, I blush to mention these,
Yet, while I blush, confess how mach they please.
But when, with day, the sweet delusions tly,
And all things wake to life and joy but I,
As if once more forsaken, I complain,
And close my eyes to dream of you again :
Then frantic ribe, and like some fury rove
Through lonely plains, and through the silent grove;
As if the silent grove, and lonely plains,
That knew my pleasures, could relieve my paips..

I view the grotto, once the scene of love,
The rocks around, the hanging roofs above,
That charm'd me more, with native moss o’ergrown,
Than Phrygian marble, or the Parian stone:
I find the shades that veil'd our joys before;
But, Phaon gone, these shades delight no more.
Here the press'd berbs with bending tops betray
Where oft entwin'd in amorous folds we lay;
I kiss that earth which once was press’d by you,
And all with tears the withering herbs bedew.
For thee the fading trees appear to mourn,
And birds defer their songs till thy retarn :
Niglit shades the groves, and all in silence lie;
All but the mournful Philomel and I :
With mournful Philomel I join my strain,
Of Tereus slie, of Phaon I complain.

A spring there is, whose silver waters show,
Clear as a glass, the shining sands below:
A flowery lotos spreads its arms above,
Shades all the banks, and seems itself a grove;
Eternal greeps the mossy margin grace,
Watch'd by the silvan genius of the place.
Here as I lay, and swell'd with tears the flood,
Before my sight a watery virgin stood:
She stood and cried, you that love in vain !
Fly hence, and seek the fair Leucadian main ;
There, stands a rock, from whose impending steep
Apollo's fane surveys the rolling deep ;
There injur'd lovers, leaping from above,
Their flames extinguish, and forget to love.
Deucalion once with hopeless fury barn’d,
In vain he lov'd, relentless Pyrrha scorn'd:
But when from hence he plung'd into the main,
Deucalion scorn'd, and Pyrrha lord in vain.

[ocr errors]

Haste, Sappho, haste, from high Leucadia throw
Thy wretched weight, nor dread the deeps below!"
She spoke, and vanish'd with the voice-I rise,
And silent tears fall trickling from my eyes.
I go, ye nymphs! those rocks and seas to prove ;
How much I fear, but ah, how much I love !
I go, ye nymphs! where furious love inspires;
Let female fears submit to female fires,
To rocks and seas I fly from Phaon's hate,
And hope from seas and rocks a milder fate.
Ye gentle gales, beneath my body blow,
And softly lay me on the waves below!
And thou, kind Love, my sinking limbs sustain,
Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main,
Nor let a lover's death the gniltless flood profane!
On Phæbus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow,
And this inscription shall be plac'd below :
"Here she who sung, to him that did inspire,
Sappho to Phæbus consecrates her lyre ;
What suits with Sappho, Phæbus, suits with thee;
The gift, the giver, and the god agree.'

But why, alas ! relentless youth, ah wby
To distant seas must tender Sappho fly?
Thy charms than those may far more powerful be,
And Phæbus self is less a god to me.
Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
O far more faithless and more hard than they?
Ab! cap'st thou rather see this tender breast
Dash'd on these rocks than to thy bosom press'd ?
This breast which once, in vain! you lik'd so well;
Where the Loves play'd, and where the Muses dwell,
Alas! the Myses now no more inspire;
Untun'd my lute, and silent is my lyre ;
My languid numbers have forgot to flow,
Apd fancy sinks beneath a weight of woe,

Ye Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
Themes of my verse, and objects of my flames,
No more your groves with my glad songs shall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling

string :
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts resign ;
(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!)
Return, fair youth, return, and bring along
Joy to my sonl, and vigour to nry song:
Absent from thee, the poet's flame expires;
But ah! how fiercely burn the lover's tires ?
Gods! can bo prayers, no sighs, no numbers move
One savage heart, or teach it how to love ?
The winds my prayers, my sighs, my numbers bear,
The flying winds have lost them all in air !
Oh when, alas ! shall niore auspicious gales
To these fond eyes restore thy welcome sails?
If you return-ah, why these long delays?
Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays.
O launch tliy bark, nor fear the watery ptain ;
Venus for thee shall smooth her native main.
O launch thy bark, secure of prosperous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the sweling sails.
If you will fly--(yet ah! what canse can be,
Too crnel youth, that you should fly from mer)
If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,
Ah, let me seek it from the raging seas :
To raging seas tippitied I'll remove,
And either cease to live or cease to love!




[ocr errors]

NINTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. She said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs ; When the fair consort of her son replies :

Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan, And kindly sighi for sorrows' not your own, Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate A nearer wóe, a sister's stranger fate. No nymph of Echalia could compare For beauteous form with Dryope the fair, Her' tender mother's only hope and pride! (Myself the offspring of a second bride.) This nymph compress’d by him who rules the day, Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey, Andrämon lov'd ; and, blessed in all those charms That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms.

• A lake there was with shelving banks around, Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd. These shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought, And to the paiads flowery garlands brought: Her smiling babe (á pleasing charge) she press'd Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. Not distant fara' watery lotos grows'; The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs, Adoro'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vie In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye: of these she cropp'd, to please her infant son, And I myself the same rashľact had done! But, lo! I saw (as near her 'side I stood) The violated blossoms drop with blood;

[blocks in formation]
« 上一頁繼續 »