« FöregåendeFortsätt »
She pass'd ferenely with a single breath;
This moment perfect health, the next was death:
One figh did her eternal bliss affure ;
So little penance needs, when souls are almost pure.
As gentle dreams our waking thoughts parfue ;
Or, one dream pass’d, we slide into a new;
So close they follow, such wild order keep,
We think ourselves awake, and are asleep:
So softly death fucceeded life in her :
She did but dream of heaven, and she was there.
No pains she suffer'd, nor expir'd with noise ;
Her soul was whisper'd out with God's still voice ;
As an old friend is beckon'd to a feast,
And treated like a long-familiar guest.
He took her as he found, but found her fo,
As one in hourly readiness to go:
E'en on that day, in all her trim prepar'd;
As early notice fhe from heaven had heard,
And some descending courtier from above
Had given her timely warning to remove ;
Or counsellid her to dress the nuptial room,
For on that night the bridegroom was to come.
He kept his hour, and found her where she lay
Cloth'd all in white, the liv'ry of the day :
Scarce had she finn'd in thought, or word, or act ;
Unless omissions were to pass for fact:
That hardly death a consequence could draw,
To make her liable to nature's law.
And, that she dy'd, we only have to show
The mortal part of her she left below :
The rest, so smooth, so suddenly she went,
Look'd like translation thro' the firmament,
Or, like the fiery car on the third errand sent.
O happy foul ! if thou canst view from high,
Where thou art all intelligence, all eye,
If looking up to God, or down to us,
Thou find't, that any way be pervious,
Survey the ruins of thy house, and see
Thy widow'd, and thy orphan family :
Look on thy tender pledges left behind ;
And, if thou canst a vacant minute find
From heavenly joys, that interval afford
To thy fad children, and thy mourning lord.
See how they grieve, mistaken in their love,
And shed a beam of comfort from above ;
Give them, as much as mortal eyes can bear,
A transient view of thy full glories there;
That they with mod’rate forrow
And mollify their losses in thy gain.
Or else divide the grief; for such thou wert,
That should not all relations bear a part,
It were enough to break a single heart.
Let this suffice: nor thou, great faint, refuse
This humble tribute of no vulgar muse:
Who, not by cares, 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 satire on the moft of human kind:
Take it, while yet 'tis praise ; before my rage,
Unsafely just, break loose on this bad age;
So bad, that thou thyself hadît no defence
From vice, but barely by departing hence.
Be what, and where thou art: to wish thy place,
Were, in the beft, prefumption more than grace.
Thy relics, (fuch thy works of mercy are)
Have, in this
been my holy care. As earth thy body keeps, thy soul the ky, So shall this verse preserve thy memory; For thou shalt make it live, because it fings of thee.
WAS on a joyless and a gloomy morn,
Wetwas the grass, and hung with pearls the thorn;
When Damon, who defign'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 upon the ground.
Thus while he stood, and fighing did survey
The fields, and curft th’ill omens of the day,
He saw Menalcas come with heavy pace ;
Wet were his eyes, and chearless was his face :
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 crossid,
But e'en the spring, the spring itself is loft.
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 soul 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 laft.
For sure it was too bountiful a dole,
The mother's features, and the father's foul.
Then thus he cry’d; the more bespoke the news :
The morning did her cheerful light diffuse :
But see how luddenly the chang'd her face,
And brought on clouds and rain, the day's disgrace:
Just such, Amyntas, was thy promis'd race.
What charms adorn'd thy youth, where nature smil'd,
And more than man was giv’n us in a child !
His infancy was ripe: a soul sablime
years fo tender that prevented time': Heaven gave
him all at once; then snatch'd away, Ere mortals all his beauties could survey : Just like the flower that buds and withers in a day.
M E N A L CA S. The mother, lovely, thoʻ with grief oppress’d, Reclin'd his dying head upon her break. The mournful family stood all around; One groan was heard, one universal sound : All were in floods of tears and endless forrow drown'd. So dire a sadness 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'.
The mother's and her eldest daughter's grace,
It seems, had brib’d him to prolong their space.
The father hore it with undaunted foul,
Like one who durst his destiny controul :
Yet with becoming grief he bore his part,
Refign'd his son, but not resign'd his heart :
Patient as Job; and may he live to see,
Like him, a new increasing family!
DAM O N.
Such is my wish, and such my phrophesy.
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!
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 lies, And every moment gains upon the kies. 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 fing, 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.
E who could view the book of destiny,
And read whatever there was writ of thee,
O charming youth, in the first op'ning page,
So many graces in fo green an age,
Such wit, such modefty, such strength of mind,
A foul at once so manly, and so kind;