Sidor som bilder

I knew not from my love these griefs did grow,
Yet was, alas, the thing I did not know.
My wily nurfe by long experience found,
And firft difcover'd to my foul its wound.
'Tis love, faid fhe; and then my down-caft eyes,
And guilty dumbnefs, witness'd my furprize.
Forc'd at the laft, my fhameful pain I tell:
And, oh, what follow'd we both know too well!
"When half denying, more than half content,
"Embraces warm'd me to a full confent.
"Then with tumultuous joys my heart did beat,
"And guilt that made them anxious made them

But now my fwelling womb heav'd up my breast,
And rifing weight my finking limbs opprest.
What herbs, what plants, did not my nurse produce,
To make abortion by their pow'rful juice?
What med'cines try'd we not, to thee unknown?
Our first crime common; this was mine alone.
But the strong child, fecure in his dark cell,
With nature's vigor did our arts repel.

And now the pale-fac'd emprefs of the night
Nine times had fill'd her orb with borrow'd light:
Not knowing 'twas my labor, I complain
Of sudden shootings, and of grinding pain:


My throes came thicker, and cries increas'd, Which with her hand the confcious nurse fup


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To that unhappy fortune was I come,

Pain urg'd my clamors, but fear kept me dumb.
With inward struggling I reftrain'd my
And drunk the tears that trickled from my eyes.
Death was in fight, Lucina gave no aid;
And even my dying had my guilt betray'd.
Thou cam'ft, and in thy count'nance fate despair;
Rent were thy garments all, and torn thy hair:
Yet feigning comfort, which thou couldst not give,
(Preft in thy arms, and whisp'ring me to live :)
For both our fakes, (faidft thou) preferve thy life;
Live, my dear fifter, and my dearer wife.
Rais'd by that name, with my laft pangs I ftrove:
Such pow'r have words, when spoke by those we


The babe, as if he heard what thou hadst fworn,
With hafty joy sprung forward to be born.
What helps it to have weather'd out one storm?
Fear of our father does another form.
High in his hall, rock'd in a chair of state,
The king with his tempeftuous council fate.
Thro this large room our only paffage lay,
By which we could the new-born babe convey.

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Swath'd in her lap, the bold nurfe bore him out,
With olive branches cover'd round about;
And, mutt'ring pray'rs, as holy rites fhe meant,
Thro the divided croud unqueftion'd went.
Juft 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 ftormy fubjects 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 prefaging mind
Too foon its own approaching woes divin'd.
Not ships at fea with winds are fhaken more,
Nor feas themselves, when angry tempests roar,
Than I, when my loud father's voice I hear:
The bed beneath me trembled with my fear.
He rush'd upon me, and divulg'd my stain;
Scarce from my murder could his hands refrain.
I only answer'd him with filent 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 fee my bowels, and, what yet was worse,
Your bowels too, condemn'd to fuch a curfe!
Out went the king; my voice its freedom found,
By breafts I beat, my blubber'd cheeks I wound.
And now appear'd the meffenger of death;
Sad were his looks, and fcarce he drew his breath,
To fay, "Your father fends you"-- (with that word
His trembling hands prefented me a sword :)
"Your father fends you this; and lets you
"That your own crimes the ufe of it will fhow."
Too well I know the fenfe thofe words impart :
His prefent fhall be treafur'd in my heart.
Are these the nuptial gifts a bride receives?
And this the fatal dow'r a father gives?
Thou God of Marriage, thun thy own disgrace,
And take thy torch from this detefted place:
Inftead of that, let furies light their brands,
And fire my pile with their infernal hands.
With happier fortune may my fifters 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 fuffer'ft 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 fave,
Nor weeping could I follow to thy grave:
Nor on thy tomb could offer my fhorn hair;
Nor fhew the grief which tender mothers bear.
Yet long thou shalt not from my arms be loft;
For foon 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 fcatter'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 whofe fake my breast that wound did

And faithfully my last defires fulfil,
As I perform my cruel father's will.

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