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Swath'd in her lap, the bold nurse bore him out,
With olive branches cover'd round about;
And, mutt'ring pray’rs, as holy rites she meant,
Thro the divided croud unquestion'd went.
Just at the door, th’unhappy infant cry'd:
The grandfire heard him, and the theft he spy'd.
Swift as a whirlwind to the nurse he flies,
And deafs his stormy subjects with his cries.
With one fierce puff he blows the leaves away:
Expos’d the self-discover'd infant lay.
The noise reach'd me, and my presaging mind
Too soon its own approaching woes divin'd.
Not ships at sea with winds are shaken more,
Nor seas themselves, when angry tempests roar,
Than I, when my loud father's voice I hear:
The bed beneath me trembled with
fear. He rulh'd upon me, and divulg'd my stain; Scarce from my murder could his bands refrain. I only answer'd him with silent tears; They flow'd: my tongue was frozen up with
fears. His little grand-child he commands away, To mountain wolves and ev'ry bird of prey. The babe cry'd out, as if he understood, And begg'd his pardon with what voice he could.
By what expreffions can my grief be shown?
(Yet you may guess my anguish by your own)
To see my bowels, and, what yet was worse,
Your bowels too, condemn'd to such a curse!
Out went the king; my voice its freedom found,
By breasts I beat, my blubber'd cheeks I wound.
And now appear'd the messenger of death ;
Sad were his looks, and scarce he drew his breath,
To say, “ Your father sends you"--(with that word
His trembling hands presented me a sword:)
« Your father sends
you this; and lets
you know, " That
your own crimes the use of it will show." Too well I know the sense those words impart: His present thall be treasur'd in
heart. Are these the nuptial gifts a bride receives? And this the fatal dow'r a father gives ? Thou God of Marriage, shun thy own disgrace, And take thy torch from this detested place: Instead of that, let furies light their brands, And fire my pile with their infernal hands. With happier fortune may my sisters wed; Warn’d by the dire example of the dead. For thee, poor babe, what crime could they pretend? How could thy infant innocence offend? A guilt there was; but, oh, that guilt was mine! Thou suffer'st for a fin that was not thine.
Thy mother's grief and crime! but just enjoy’d,
Shewn to my fight, and born to be destroy'd !
Unhappy offspring of my teeming womb!
Drag'd headlong from thy.cradle to thy tomb!
Thy un-offending life I could not save,
Nor weeping could I follow to thy grave:
Nor on thy tomb could offer my shorn hair ;
Nor shew the grief which tender mothers bear.
Yet long thou shalt not from my arms be lost;
For soon I will o’ertake thy infant ghost.
But thou, my love, and now my love's despair,
Perform his fun'rals with paternal care.
His scatter'd limbs with my dead body burn;
And once more join us in the pious urn.
If on my wounded breast thou dropp'ít a tear,
Think for whose fake my breast that wound did
And faithfully my last desires fulfil,
As I perform my cruel father's will.
Helen, having received an epiftle from Paris, re
turns the following answer : wherein she seems at first to chide him for bis presumption in writing as he had done, which could only proceed from bis low opinion of ber virtue ; then owns berself to be sensible of the passion, which he had expressed for ber, tho she much suspected bis constancy; and at last discovers her inclination to be favourable to bim: the whole letter focwing the extreme artifice of womankind.
HEN loose epistles violate chaste eyes,
She half consents, who silently denies. How dares a stranger, with designs so vain, Marriage and hospitable rights prophane? Was it for this, your fleet did shelter find From swelling seas, and ev'ry faithless wind? (For tho a distant country brought you forth, Your usage here was equal to your worth.)
'S Does this deserve to be rewarded so?
Did you come here a stranger or a foe?
Your partial judgment may perhaps complain,
And think me barb'rous for my just disdain.
Ill-bred then let me be, but not unchaste,
Nor my clear fame with any spot defac’d.
face there's no affected frown,
Nor in my carriage a feign'd niceness shown,
I keep my honor still without a stain,
Nor has my love made any coxcomb vain.
Your boldness I with admiration see;
What hope had you to gain a queen like me?
Because a hero forc'd me once away,
Am I thought fit to be a second prey ?
Had I been won, I had deserv'd your blame,
But sure my part was nothing but the shame.
Yet the base theft to him no fruit did bear,
I 'scap'd unhurt by any thing but fear.
Rude force might some unwilling kisses gain;
But that was all he ever could obtain.
You on such terms would ne'er have let me go ;
Were he like you, we had not parted so.
Untouch'd the youth restor'd me to my friends,
And modest usage made me some amends.
'Tis virtue to repent a vicious deed.
Did he repent, that Paris might succeed?