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The babe cry'd out, as if he understood,
And begg’d his pardon with what voice he

could.

110

To say,

By what expressions can my grief be shown ?
(Yet you may guess my anguish by your own)
To see my bowels, and, what yet was worse, 105
Your bowels too, condemn’d to such a curse !
Out went the king; my voice its freedom found,
My 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,

“ Your father sends you”-(with that

word His trembling hands presented me a sword :) " Your father fends

you

this ; and lets you know, “That your own crimes the use of it will show." Too well I know the sense those words im

part: His present shall be treasur’d in

my

heart. 116 Are these the nuptial gifts a bride receives ? And this the fatal dow'r a father gives ? Thou god of Marriage, fhun thy own disgrace, And take thy torch from this detested place : 120 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?

125

131

How could thy infant innocence offend ?
A guilt there was ; but, oh, that guilt was mine!
Thou suffer'st for a sin that was not thine.
Thy mother's grief and crime! but just enjoy’d,
Shewn to my sight, and born to be destroy'd !
Unhappy offspring of my teeming womb!
Drag'd headlong from thy cradle to thy tomb!
Thy unoffending life I could not save,
Nor weeping could I follow to thy grave:
Nor on thy tomb could offer my fhorn hair ; 135
Nor shew the grief which tender mothers bear.
Yet long thou shalt not from my arms be loft ;
For soon I will o’ertake thy infant ghost.
But thou, my love, and now my love's despair,
Perform his funerals 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'st a tear,
Think for whose fake my breast that wound did

140

bear;

And faithfully my last desires fulfil,

145 As I perform my cruel father's will. .

Ver. 146. As I perform] The subject of this epistle is so very disgusting an:: offensive, that I could not bring my mind to make any observation upon it, and suppose Dryden translated it only to complete the volume.

Dr. J. WARTON.

HELEN TO PARIS.

EPIST. XVII.

THE ARGUMENT.

Helen, having received an epiftle from Paris, returns

the following answer : wherein she seems at firA to chide him for his presumption in writing as he had done, which could only proceed from his low opinion of her virtue : then owns herself to be senhble of the passion, which he had expressed for her, though she much suspected his constancy; and at last discovers her inclination to be favourable to him: the whole letter shewing the extreme artifice of womankind.

WHEN loose epistles violate chaste eyes,
She half confents, who silently denies.
How dares a stranger, with designs fo vain,
Marriage and hospitable rights prophane !
Was it for this, your fleet did shelter find
From swelling seas, and ev'ry faithless wind ?
(For though a distant country brought you forth,
Your usage here was equal to your worth.)

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Does this deserve to be rewarded fo ?
Did you come here a stranger or a foe?
Your partial judgment may perhaps complain,
And think me barbarous for my just disdain.
Ill-bred then let me be, but not unchaste,
Nor my clear fame with any spot defac’d.
Though in

my

face there's no affected frown, 15 Nor in my carriage a feign’d niceness shown, I keep my honour still without a stain, Nor has

my

love made any coxcomb vain. Your boldness I with admiration fee; What hope had you to gain a queen like me? 20 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 'fcap'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 fucceed? Sure'tis fome fate that sets me above wrongs, 55 Yet still exposes me to busy tongues.

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