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Yon chrystal lake inverted shews
Each shrub that on its border grows;
Th' horizon's azure concave there we trace,
And all the various beauties of the place.
The fruits of autumn with them bring
All the fragrance of the spring;
The vine her fruitage spreads around
In gay festoons, with clusters crown'd.
Charm'd with these isles, thro' whose fair meads
Each winding branch Dordona leads
The ling'ring stream, now stagnant creeps,
Now down its rapid current sweeps
In many a maze, the rushy margin laves,
And bathes the verdant carpet with its waves.
Dancing on the enamell'd green
To the sounding tambourine,
The mellow hautboy, voice, and flute,
The shepherd trips with sprightly foot.
Ye winged songsters of the air,
Your warblings sooth each anxious care;
Your tuneful notes can lull to rest
pang that wrings the lover's breast. No sighs are heard within this blissful grove, But the soft cooings of the plaintive dove.
When on a tender flow'ry bed
Of fragrant turf I lay my head,
Wrapt in a pleasing reverie,
The gods themselves might envy me,
In a sweet delusion lost :
Let them the luscious nectar boast,
Whilst in th' ebriety of sleep
I gladly thus my senses steep.
In courts our ears such soothing flatteries meet, As empty as my dreams-but not so sweet.
SWEET maid, if thou would'st charm my sight,
And bid these arms thy neck infold;
That rosy cheek, that lily hand,
Would give thy poet more delight
Than all Bocara's vaunted gold,
Than all the gems of Samarcand.
Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow,
And bid thy pensive heart be glad,
Whate'er the frowning zealots say;
Tell them their Eden cannot show
A stream so clear as Rocnabad,
A bow'r so sweet as Mosellay.
Oh! when these fair, perfidious maids,
Whose eyes our secret haunts infest,
Their dear destrustive charms display,
Each glance my tender breast invades,
And robs my wonted soul of rest,
As Tartars seize their destin'd prey.
In vain with love our bosoms glow;
Can all our tears, can all our sighs
New lustre to those charms impart ?
Can cheeks, where living roses blow,
Where nature spreads her richest dyes,
Require the borrow'd gloss of art?
Speak not of fate-ah! change the theme, And talk of colours, talk of wine,
.Talk of the flow'rs that round us bloom;
Tis all a cloud, 'tis all a dream;
To love and joy thy thoughts confine,
Nor hope to pierce the sacred gloom.
Beauty has such resistless pow'r,
That e'en the chaste Egyptian dame
Sigh'd for the blooming Hebrew boy;
For her how fatal was the hour,
When to the banks of Nilus came
A youth so lovely and so coy!
But ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear;
(Youth should attend when those advise
Who long experience renders sage)
While music charms the ravish'd ear,
While sparkling cups delight our eyes,
Be gay; and scorn the frowns of age.
What cruel answer have I heard!
And, yet, by heaven, I love thee still;
Can ought be cruel from thy lip?
Yet say, how fell that bitter word
From lips which streams of sweetness fill,
Which nought but drops of honey sip?
Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
Whose accents flow with artless ease,
Like orient pearls at random strung;
Thy notes are sweet, the damsels say,
But oh! far sweeter if they please
The nymph for whom the notes are sung!
On! ever skill'd to wear the form we love!
To bid the shapes of fear and grief depart ;
Come gentle Hope! with one gay smile remove
The lasting sadness of an aching heart.
Thy voice, benign enchantress! let me hear;
Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom!
That fancy's radiance, friendship's precious tear,
Shall soften, or shall chase misfortune's gloom.
But come not glowing in the dazzling ray,
Which once with dear illusions charm'd my eye! Oh! strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way, The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die.
Visions less fair will sooth my pensive breast,
That asks not happiness, but longs for rest.
Helen Maria Williams.
WERE Philander's charms confin'd
To features, winning grace!
Absence might drive him from my mind,
Or fairer forms efface.