« AnteriorContinuar »
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing hour,
Or figh'd, and look'd unutterable things.
So pafs'd their life, a clear united ftream,
By care unruffled: till, in evil hour,
The tempeft caught them on the tender walk,
Heedlefs how far, and where its mazes ftray'd,
While, with each other bleft, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden fmile around.
Heavy with inftant fate her bofom heav'd
Unwonted fighs; and ftealing oft a look
Tow'rds the big gloom, on CELADON her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disordered cheek.
In vain affuring love, and confidence
In HEAVEN, reprefs'd her fear; it grew and shook
Her frame near diffolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying faints, his eyes compaffion fhed,
With love illumin'd high. "Fear not," he said,
"Sweet innocence! thou ftranger to offence,
"And inward ftorm! HE, who yon fkies involves
"In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
"With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
"That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
"Of noon, flies harmless; and that very voice,
"Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart,
"With tongues of feraphs whispers peace to thine.
""Tis fafety to be near thee fure, and thus
"To clasp perfection!" From his void embrace,
(Myfterious Heaven !) that moment, to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was ftruck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover as he stood,
Pierc'd by fevere amazement, hating life,
Speechlefs, and fix'd in all the death of wo!
So, faint refemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-diffembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever filent, and for ever fad.
OON as young reason dawn'd in Junio's breaft,
His father fent him from thefe genial ifles,
To where old Thames with confcious pride furveys
Green Eton, foft abode of every Mufe.
Each claffic beauty he foon made his own;
And foon fam'd Ifis faw him woo the Nine,
On her infpiring banks. Love tun'd his fong;
For fair Theana was his only theme,
Acafto's daughter, whom in early youth,
He oft diftinguifh'd; and for whom he oft
Had climb'd the bending cocoa's airy height,
To rob it of its nectar; which the maid,
When he prefented, more nectareous deem'd.
The sweetest fappadillas oft he brought;
From him more sweet ripe fappadillas feem'd.
Nor had long abfence yet effac'd her form;
Her charms ftill triumph'd o'er Britannia's fair.
One morn he met her in Sheen's royal walks ;
Nor knew, till then, fweet Sheen contain'd his all.
His tafte mature approv'd his infant choice.
In colour, form, expreffion, and in grace,
She fhone all-perfect; while each pleafing art,
And each foft virtue that the fex adorns,
Adorn'd the woman. My imperfect ftrain
Can ill defcribe the tranfports Junio felt
At this difcovery: he declar'd his love;
She own'd his merit, nor refus'd his hand.
And shall not Hymen light his brightest torch,
For this delighted pair? Ah, Junio knew,
His fire detefted his Theana's house!-
Thus duty, reverence, gratitude, conspir'd
To check their happy union. He resolv❜d
(And many a figh that refolution coft)
To pass the time, till death his fire remov'd,
In vifiting old Europe's letter'd climes :
While she (and many a tear that parting drew)
Embark'd, reluctant, for her native ifle.
Tho' learned, curious, and tho' nobly bent
With each rare talent to adorn his mind,
His native land to ferve; no joys he found,
Yet sprightly Gaul; yet Belgium, Saturn's reign;
Yet Greece, of old the feat of every Muse,
Of freedom, courage; yet Aufonia's clime,
His fteps explor'd; where painting, mufic's ftrains;
Where arts, where laws, (philofophy's best child)
With rival beauties his attention claim'd.
To his juft-judging, his inftructed eye,
The all-perfect Medicean Venus feem'd
A perfect femblance of his Indian fair:
But when the fpoke of love, her voice furpafs'd
The harmonious warblings of Italian fong.
Twice one long year elaps'd, when letters came,
Which briefly told him of his father's death.
Afflicted, filial, yet to Heaven refign'd,
Soon he reach'd Albion, and as foon embark'd,
Eager to clafp the object of his love.
Blow, profperous breezes; fwiftly fail, thou Po:
Swift fail'd the Po, and happy breezes blew.
In Bifcay's ftormy feas an armed fhip,
Of force fuperior, from loud Charente's wave
Clapt them on board. The frighted flying crew
Their colours ftrike; when dauntless Junio fir'd
With noble indignation, kill'd the chief,
Who on the bloody deck dealt flaughter round.
The Gauls retreat; the Britons loud huzza;
And touch'd with fhame, with emulation ftung,
So plied their cannon, plied their miffile fires,
That foon in air the hapless Thunderer blew.
Blow, profperous breezes; swiftly fail, thou Po:
May no more dangerous fights retard thy way!
Soon Porto Santo's rocky heights they 'fpy,
Like clouds dim rifing in the distant sky.
Glad Eurus whiftles, laugh the fportive crew;
Each fail is fet to catch the favouring gale,
While on the yard-arm the harpooner fits,
Strikes the boneta, or the fhark infnares :
The little nautilus, with purple pride
Expands his fails, and dances o'er the waves:
Small winged fishes on the shrouds alight;
And beauteous dolphins gently play'd around.
Tho' fafter than the Tropic-bird they flew,
Oft Junio cried, Ah! when shall we see land?
Soon land they made: and now in thought he clafp'd
His Indian bride, and deem'd his toils o'erpaid.
She, no less anxious, every evening walk'd
On the cool margin of the purple main,
Intent her Junio's veffel to defcry.
One eve (faint calms for many a day had rag'd)
The winged Dæmons of the tempest rose;
Thunder, and rain, and lightning's awful power.
She fled could innocence, could beauty claim
Exemption from the grave; the ethereal bolt,
That stretch'd her speechlefs, o'er her lovely head
Had innocently roll'd.
Mean while, impatient Junio leap'd afhore,
Regardless of the Dæmons of the ftorm.
Ah, youth! what woes, too great for man to bear,
Are ready to burft on thee? Urge not fo
Thy flying courfer. Soon Theana's porch
Receiv'd him; at his fight, the antient slaves
Affrighted shriek, and to the chamber point :-
Confounded, yet unknowing what they meant.
He entered hafty-
Ah! what a fight for one who lov'd fo well!
All pale and cold, in every feature death,
Theana lay; and yet a glimpse of joy
Play'd on her face, while with faint faultering voice,
She thus addrefs'd the youth, whom yet she knew:
"Welcome, my Junio, to thy native shore!
"Thy fight repays this fummons of my fate:
“ Live, and live happy; fometimes think of me :
"By night, by day, you ftill engag'd my care;
"And next to God, you now my thoughts employ:
Accept of this-My little all I give ;
"Would it were larger"- -Nature could no more ; She look'd, embrac'd him, with a groan expir'd.
But fay, what Arains, what language can express