« FöregåendeFortsätt »
To act the tenderness he never felt,
In forrow soften, and in anguish melt.
The figh elaborate, the fraudful tear,
The joy diffembled, and the well-feign'd fear,
All thefe were his; and his the treacherous art
That steals the guileless and unpractis'd heart.
Too, soon be heard of Lindamira's fame, "Twas each enamourd Shepherd's fav’rite theme : Return'd the rising, and the setting fun, The Shepherd's fav’rite theme was never done. They prais'd her wit, her worth, her shape, her air ! And even inferior beauties thought her fair.
Such sweet perfection all his wonder mov'd;
He saw, admir’d, nay fancied that he lov d:
But Polydore no real passion knew,
Loft to all truth in feigning to be true.
No sense of tenderness could warm a heart,
Too proud to feel, too felfish to impart.
Cold as the snows of Rhodope defcend,
And with the chilling waves of Hebrús blend ;
So cold the breaft where Vanity presides,
And mean self-love the bosom-feelings guides,
Too well he knew to make his conqueft sure, Win her soft heart, yet keep his own secure. So oft he told the well imagin'd tale, So oft he sworem-how should he not prevail ? Too unsuspecting not to be deceiv'd, The well-imagined tale the nymph believ'd ; She lov'd the youth, she thought herself belov'd Nor blush'd to praise whom every maid approv'd.
Alas! that youth from Lindamira far
For newer conquefts wages cruel war;
With other nymphs on other plains he roams,
Where injur'd Lindamira never comes ;
Laughs at her easy faith, insults her woe,
Nor pities tears himself had taught to flow.
And now her eye's soft radiance seem'd to fail, And now the crimson of her cheek grew pale ; The lilly there, in faded beauty, shews Its fickly empire o'er the vanquish'd rose. Devouring forrow marks ber for his prey, And flow and certain mines his filent way. Yet, as apace her ebbing life declin'd, Increasing strength sustain'd her firmér mind. “ O had my heart been, hard as his," she cried, " Ao hapless vi&tim thus I had not died : • If there be gods, and gods there surely are, " Infulted virtue doubtless is their care. “ Then hasten righteous Heaven! my tedious fate, “ Shorten my woes, and end my mortal date : " Quick let your power transform this failing frame, « Let me be any thing but what I am ! • And since the cruel woes I'm doom'd to feel, « Proceed, alas ! from having lov'd too well; 86 Grant me some form where love can have no part, • Nor human weakness reach my guarded heart. “ If pity has not left your blest abodes, “ Change me to flinty adamant, ye Gods; " To hardest rock, or monumental stone, 66 Rather than let me know the
I've known, " So thall I thus no farther torments prove, “ Nor taunting rivals say, • fhe died for love.' • For sure if aught can aggravate our fate, “ 'T'is scorn, or pity from the breast we hate." She said, the Gods accord the fad request; For when were pious pray’rs in vain addreft?
Now, strange to tell ! if rural folks say true,
To harden'd Rock the stiffening damsel
No more her shapeless features can be known,
Stone is her body, and her limbs are ftone ;
The growing rock invades her beauteous face,
And quickly petrifies each living grace ;
The ftone her ftature nor her shape retains,
The nymph is vanish’d, but the rock remains.
Yet wou'à ber lieart its vital spirits keep,
And scora to mingle with the marble heap.
When babbling Fame the fatal tidings bore,
Grief seiz'd the soul of perjur'd Polydore ;
Despair and horror rob'd his soul of rest,
And deep compunction wrung his tortur'd breast,
Then to the fatal spot in hatte lie hied,
And plung'd a deadly poinard in his fide :
He bent his dying eyes upon the stone,
And, " Take sweet maid" he cried, “ my parting
Fainting, the steel he grasp'd, and as he fell,
The weapon pierc'd the Rock he lov'd so well;
The guiltless Iteel assail'd the mortal part,
And Itab'd the vital, vulnerable heart.
The life-blood issuing from the wounded stone,
Blends with the crimson current of his own,
And tho'revolving ages fince have past,
The meeting torrents undiminishid laft;
Still gushes out the fanguine stream amain,
The ftanding wonder of the stranger swain.
Now once a year, fo ruftic records tell,
When o'er the heath resounds the midnight bell;
On eve of Midsummer that foe to sleep,
What time young maids their annual vigils keep.
The * tell-tale fhrub freh gather'd to declare
The swains who false, from those who constant are ;
When ghofts in clanking chains the church-yard walk,
And to the wondering ear of fancy talk:
When the scar'd maid steals trembling thro' the grove,
To kiss the tomb of him who died for love.
When with long watchings, Care, at length oppreft,
Steals broken pauses of uncertain rest ;
Nay Grief short snatches of repose can take,
And nothing but Despair is quite awake,
Then, at that hour, fo ftill, so full of fear,
When all things horrible to thought appear,
Is perjur'd Polydore observ'd to rore.
A ghaitly spectre thro' the gloomy grove ;
Then to the Rock, the Bleeding Rock repair,
Where sadly fighing, it dissolves to air.
Still when the hour of folemn rites return,
The village train in fad procession mourn ;
Pluck every weed which might the spot disgrace,
And plant the faireft field flow'rs in their place.
Around no noxious plant, or floweret grows,
But the first daffodil, aod earlieft rose :
The snow-drop spreads its whitelt borom here,
And golden cowslips grace the vernal year ;
Here the pale primrose takes a fairer hue,
And every violet boasts a brighter blue.
Here builds the woodlark, here the faithful dove
Laments her loft, or wooes her living love.
Secure from harm is every hallowed neft,
The spot is sacred where true losers reft,
* Midsummer-men, consulted as oracles by village maids.
To guard the Rock from each malignant sprite
A troop of guardian spirits watch by night,
Aloft in air cach takes his little stand,
The neighb'ring hill is hence call’d Fairy Land. *
* By contra&tion Failand, a hill well known in Someisetshire ; not far from this is The Bleeding Rock, from which constantly issues a crimson current.