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All things concur to prosper our design;
All things to prosper any love but mine.
And yet I never can enjoy the fair;
'Tis past the power
of heaven to grant my prayer.
Heaven has been kind, as far as heaven can be ;
Our parents with our own desires agree;
But Nature, stronger than the Gods above,
Refuses her assistance to my love;
She sets the bar that causes 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 comelt thou, Juno, to these barren rites,
To bless a bed defrauded or delights ?
And why should Hymen lift his torch on high,
To see two brides in cold embraces lie?
Thus love-fick Iphis her vain passion mourns ;
With equal ardor fair Ianthe burns,
Invoking Hymen's name, and Juno's power,
To speed the work, and haste the happy hour,
She hopes, while Telethusa 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 the could devise,
And empty'd all her magazine of lies,
The time approach'd ; the next ensuing day
The fatal secret muft to light betray.
Then Telethusa had recourse to prayer,
She and her daughter with dishevell'd hair;
Trembling with fear, great Isis they ador'd,
Embrac'd her altar, and her aid implor's,
Fair queen, who dost on fruitful Egypt smile,
Who sway'st the sceptre of the Pharian isle,
And feven-fold falls of disemboguing Nile ;
Relieve, in this our lait distress, she said,
A supliant mother, and a mournful maid.
Thou, Goddess, thou wert present to my fight;
Reveal'd I saw thee by thy own fair light:
I saw thee in my dream, as now I see,
With all thy marks of awful majesty :
The glorious train that compass'd thee around;
And heard the hollow timbrel's holy found.
Thy words I noted; which I still retain
Let not thy sacred oracles be vain.
That Iphis lives, that I myself am free
From shame, and punishment, I owe to thee.
On thy protection all our hopes depend :
Thy counsel fay'd us, let thy pow'r defend.
Her tears pursu'd her words, and while she spoke
The Goddess nodded, and her altar fhook ;
The temple doors, as with a blait of wind,
Were heard to clap; the lunar horns that bind
The brows of Ifis cast 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 satisfy'd ;
But Iphis follow'd with a larger ftride:
The whiteness of her skin forsook 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 sparkling eyes with manly vigour phone;
Big was her voice, audacious was her tone.
The latent parts, at length reveal'd, began
To shoot, and spread, 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 inscription wear;
man, has to the Goddess paid The vows, that Iphis offer'd when a maid.
Now when the star of day had shewn his face,
Venus and Juno with their presence grace
The nuptial rites, and Hymen from above
Descended to complete their happy love;
The Gods of marriage lend their mutual aid;
And the warm youth enjoys the lovely maid.
The Propætides, for their impudent behaviour, being turned
into stone by Venus, Pygmalion, prince of Cyprus, detefied all women for their sake, and resolved 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 descendants 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, These two stories immediately follow each other, and are admirably well con= neEled.
Ygmalion loathing their lascivious life,
Abhorr'd all omankind, but most a wife ; So single chose to live, and shunn'd to wed, Well pleased to want a consort of his bed : Yet fearing idleness, the nurse of ill, In sculpture exercis’d his happy skill ; And carv'd in iv'ry such a maid, fo fair, As nature could not with his art compare, Were llie to work; but in her own defence, Must take her pattern here, and copy hence. Pleas’d with his idol, he commends, admires, Adores; and last, the thing ador'd desires, A very virgin in her face was seen, And, had she mov’d, a living maid had been; One wou'd have thought she cou'd have stirr’d; butstrove With modesty, and was alham’d to move. Art, hid with art, so well perform'd the cheat, It caught the carver with his own deceit;
He knows 'tis madness, yet he must adore,
And still the more he knows it, loves the more :
The flesh, or what so seems, he touches oft,
Which feels so smooth, that he believes it soft.
Fir'd with this thought, at once he strain'd the breast,
And on the lips a burning kiss impress’d.
'T'is true, the harden'd breast resists the gripe,
And the cold lips return a kiss unripe :
But when retiring back, he look'd again,
To think it iv'ry was a thought too mean ;
So 'wou'd believe she kiss’d, and courting more,
Again embrac'd her naked body o'er ;
And straining hard the statue, 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 fatt'ry now he seeks her mind to move,
And now with gifts, the pow'rful bribes of love :
He furnishes her closet first; and fills
The crowded shelves with rarities of shells;
Adds orient pearls, which from the conchs he drew,
And all the sparkling stones of various hue:
And parrots, imitating human tongue,
And singing-birds in silver cages hung;
And ev'ry fragrant flower, and od'rous green,
Were forted well, with lumps of amber laid between :
Rich, fashionable robes her person deck,
Pendents her ears, and pearls adorn her neck:
Her taper'd fingers too with rings are grac'd,
And an embroider'd zone surrounds her slender waste,
Thus like a queen array'd, so richly dress’d,
Beauteous she shew'd, but naked shew'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 blandishments invites her to his fide,