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Let this suffice: nor thou, great saint, refuse This humble tribute of no vulgar muse : Who, not by careš, or wants, or age deprest, Stems a wild deluge with a dauntless breast; And dares to sing thy praises in a clime... Where vice triumphs, and virtue is a crime; Where e'en to draw the picture of thy mind, Is fütire on the moft of human kind : Take it, while
'tis praise ;
Unsafely juft; break loose on this þad age ;
So bad, that thou thyself hadīt no defence
From vice, but barely by departing hence.
Be what, and where thou art: to wish thy place,
Were, in the best, presumption more than grace.
Thy relics, (such thy works of niercy are)! T:
Have, in this poem, been my holy care..
As earth thy body keeps, thy soul the sky,
So shall this verse preserve thy memory;
For thou shalt make it live, because it sings of
WAS on a joyless and a gloomy morn,
Wet was the grass, and hung with pearls
the thorn ;
When Damon, who design’d to pass the day
With hounds and horns, and chace the flying prey,
Rose early from his bed; but soon he found
The welkin pitch'd with fullen clouds around,
An eastern wind, and dew
the ground. Thus while he stood, and lighing did survey The fields, and curft th’ill onens of the day, He saw Menalcas come with heavy pace; Wet were his eyes, and chearless was his face: He wrung his hands, distracted with his care, And sent his voice before him from afar. Return, he cry'd, return, unhappy swain, The spungy clouds are fill'd with gathering rain: The promise of the day not only cross’d, But e'en the spring, the spring itself is lost. Amyntas---oh !---he could not speak the rest,
Nor needed, for presaging Damon guess’d.
Equal with heaven young Damon lov’d the boy,
The boast of nature, both his parents joy.
His graceful form revolving in his mind;
So great a genius, and a foul so kind,
Gave fad assurance that his fears were true;
Too well the envy of the gods he knew :
For when their gifts too lavishly are plac’d,
Soon they repent, and will not make them last.
For sure it was too bountiful a dole,
The mother's features, and the father's soul.
Then thus he cry'd : the morn bespoke the news :
The morning did her chcarful light diffuse:
But see how suddenly she chang’d her face,
And brought on clouds and rain, the day's dir-
grace ; Just such, Amyntas, was thy promis'd race. What charms adorn'd thy youth, where nature
And more than man was giv'n us in a child !
His infancy was ripe : a foul sublime
years so tender that prevented time :
Heaven gave him all atonce; then snatch'daway,
Ere mortals all his beauties could survey:
Just like the flowerthat buds and withers in a day.
M E N A L CA S.
The mother, lovely, tho with grief opprest,
Reclin’d his dying head upon her breast. .
The mournful family stood all around;
One groan was heard, one universal found :
All were in floods of tears and endless forrow
So dire a fadness fat on ev'ry look,
E'en death repented he had giv'n the stroke.
He griev'd his fatal work had been ordain'd,
But promis'd length of life to those who yet
remain'd. The mother's and her eldest daughter's grace, It seems, had brib'd him to prolong their space. The father bore it with undaunted foul, Like one who durft his destiny controul : Yet with becoming grief he bore his part, Resign'd his son, but not resign'd his heart: Patient as Job; and may he live to see, Like him, a new increafing family!
DAM ON. Such is my wish, and such my prophesy. For yet, my friend, the beauteous mould remains; Long may she exercise her fruitful pains ! But, ah! with better hap, and bring a race More lasting, and endu'd with equal grace !
Equal she may, but farther none can go :
For he was all that was exact below.
M E N A L CA S.
Damon, behold yon breaking purple cloud;
Hear’st thou not hymns and songs divinely loud ?
There mounts Amyntas; the young cherubs play
About their godlike mate, and fing him on his way.
He cleaves the liquid air, behold he fies,
And every moment gains upon the skies.
The new come guest admires th’ætherial state,
The saphir portal, and the golden gate ;
And now admitted in the shining throng,
He shows the passport which he brought along.
His passport is his innocence and
grace, Well known to all the natives of the place. Now sing, ye joyful angels, and admire Your brother's voice that comes to mend your
quire : Sing you, while endless tears our eyes bestow; For like Amyntas none is left below.