Sidor som bilder
[ocr errors]

All things concur to profper our defign;

All things to profper any love but mine.

And yet I never can enjoy the fair;

'Tis paft the power of heaven to grant my prayer.
Heaven has been kind, as far as heaven can be ;
Our parents with our own defires agree;
But Nature, ftronger than the Gods above,
Refufes her affiftance to my love;

She fets the bar that caufes all my pain:
One gift refus'd makes all their bounty vain.
And now the happy day is just at hand,
To bind our hearts in Hymen's holy band:
Our hearts, but not our bodies: Thus accurs'd,
In midst of water I complain of thirst.

Why comeft thou, Juno, to these barren rites,
To blefs a bed defrauded or delights?

And why should Hymen lift his torch on high,
To fee two brides in cold embraces lie?

Thus love-fick Iphis her vain paffion mourns ;
With equal ardor fair Ianthe burns,
Invoking Hymen's name, and Juno's power,
To speed the work, and hafte the happy hour,
She hopes, while Telethufa fears the day,
And strives to interpofe fome new delay :
Now feigns a fickness, now is in a fright
For this bad omen, or that boding fight.
But having done whate'er fhe could devife,
And empty'd all her magazine of lies,
The time approach'd; the next enfuing day
The fatal fecret muft to light betray.
Then Telethufa had recourse to prayer,
She and her daughter with difhevell'd hair;
Trembling with fear, great Ifis they ador'd,
Embrac'd her altar, and her aid implor'd,

[blocks in formation]


Fair queen, who doft on fruitful Egypt fmile,
Who fway'ft the fceptre of the Pharian isle,
And feven-fold falls of difemboguing Nile;
Relieve, in this our laft diftress, she said,
A fuppliant mother, and a mournful maid.
Thou, Goddess, thou wert prefent to my fight;
Reveal'd I faw thee by thy own fair light:
I faw thee in my dream, as now I fee,
With all thy marks of awful majefty:

The glorious train that compass'd thee around;
And heard the hollow timbrel's holy found.
Thy words I noted; which I ftill retain 931
Let not thy facred oracles be vain.
That Iphis lives, that I myself am free
From fhame, and punishment, I owe to thee.
On thy protection all our hopes depend:
Thy counfel fav'd us, let thy pow'r defend.
Her tears purfu'd her words, and while fhe spoke
The Goddess nodded, and her altar fhook :
The temple doors, as with a blast of wind,
Were heard to clap; the lunar horns that bind
The brows of Ifis caft a blaze around;
The trembling timbrel made a murm'ring found.
Some hopes these happy omens did impart;
Forth went the mother with a beating heart,
Not much in fear, nor fully fatisfy'd;
But Iphis follow'd with a larger ftride:
The whitenefs of her fkin forfook her face;
Her looks embolden'd with an awful grace;
Her features and her ftrength together grew,
And her long hair to curling locks withdrew.
Her fparkling eyes with manly vigour fhone;
Big was her voice, audacious was her tone.
The latent parts, at length reveal'd, began
To fhoot, and fspread, and burnish into man.


The maid becomes a youth; no more delay
Your vows, but look, and confidently pay.
Their gifts the parents to the temple bear:
The votive tables this infcription wear;
Iphis, the man, has to the Goddefs paid
The vows, that Iphis offer'd when a maid.
Now when the star of day had fhewn his face,
Venus and Juno with their prefence grace
The nuptial rites, and Hymen from above
Defcended to complete their happy love;
The Gods of marriage lend their mutual aid;
And the warm youth enjoys the lovely maid.

[blocks in formation]

From the Tenth Book of


The Propetides, for their impudent behaviour, being turned into flone by Venus, Pygmalion, prince of Cyprus, detefied all women for their fake, and refolved never to marry, He falls in love with a statue of his own making, which is changed into a maid, whom he marries. One of his defcendants is Cinyras, the father of Myrrha: the daughter incestuously loves her own father; for which she is changed into a tree which bears her name. Thefe two ftories immediately follow each other, and are admirably well con'nected.

Pygmalion all womankind, but moft a wife;

Ygmalion loathing their lafcivious life,

So fingle chofe to live, and fhunn'd to wed,
Well pleafed to want a confort of his bed;
Yet fearing idleness, the nurse of ill,
In fculpture exercis'd his happy fkill;
And carv'd in iv'ry fuch a maid, so fair,
As nature could not with his art compare,
Were he to work; but in her own defence,
Muft take her pattern here, and copy hence.
Pleas'd with his idol, he commends, admires,
Adores; and last, the thing ador'd defires.
A very virgin in her face was feen,

And, had the mov'd, a living maid had been

One wou'd have thought the cou'd have ftirr'd; but ftrove With modefty, and was asham'd to move.

Art, hid with art, fo well perform'd the cheat,

It caught the carver with his own deceit;


He knows 'tis madness, yet he must adore,
And ftill the more he knows it, loves the more:
The flesh, or what fo feems, he touches oft,
Which feels fo fmooth, that he believes it foft.
Fir'd with this thought, at once he ftrain'd the breast,
And on the lips a burning kifs impress'd.
'Tis true, the harden'd breast refifts the gripe,
And the cold lips return a kifs unripe:
But when retiring back, he look'd again,
To think it iv'ry was a thought too mean;
So wou'd believe fhe kifs'd, and courting more,
Again embrac'd her naked body o'er;
And training hard the ftatue, was afraid
His hands had made a dint, and hurt the maid:
Explor'd her, limb by limb, and fear'd to find
So rude a gripe had left a livid mark behind:
With flatt'ry now he feeks her mind to move,
And now with gifts, the pow'rful bribes of love :
He furnishes her clofet firft; and fills

The crowded fhelves with rarities of fhells;
Adds orient pearls, which from the conchs he drew,
And all the sparkling stones of various hue:
And parrots, imitating human tongue,
And finging-birds in filver cages hung;

And ev'ry fragrant flower, and od❜rous green,

Were forted well, with lumps of amber laid between :
Rich, fashionable robes her perfon deck,

Pendents her ears, and pearls adorn her neck:
Her taper'd fingers too with rings are grac'd,

And an embroider'd zone furrounds her flender wafte.
Thus like a queen array'd, fo richly dress'd,
Beauteous fhe fhew'd, but naked fhew'd the best.
Then from the floor, he rais'd a royal bed,
With coverings of Sidonian purple spread :
The folemn rites perform'd he calls her bride,
With blandifhments invites her to his fide,



« FöregåendeFortsätt »