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Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper train
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh, · Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field;
" What pity! that so delicate a form, “ By beauty kindled, where enliv’ning sense “ And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, “ Should be devoted to the rude embrace “ Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks; “ Of old Acasto's line; and to mind “ Recalls that patron of my happy life, “ From whom my lib'ral fortune took its rise; “ Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, “ And once fair-spreading family dissolvd. “ 'Tis said, that in some lone obscure retreat, “ Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride, “ Far from those scenes which knew their better
" His aged widow and his daughter live, “ Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. “ Romantic wish! would this his daughter were!"
When, strict enquiring, from herself he found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak The mingled passions that surpriz'd his heart, And through his nerves in shiv'ring transports ran? Then blaz'd his smother'd flame, avow'd, and bold; And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confus’d, and frighted at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flushi'd a bigher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.
“ And art thou then Acasto's dear remains? “ She, whom my restless gratitude has sought “ So long in vain : 0 heavens! the very same, « The soften’d image of my noble friend, “« Alive his ev'ry look, his ev'ry feature, “ More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring, “ Thou sole surviving blossoin from the root “ That nourish'd up my fortune! Say, ah! where, “ In what sequester'd desert hast thou drawn 6. The kindest aspect of delighted heaven?
“ Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair ; “ Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, “ Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years? “ O let me now, into a richer soil (show'rs “ Transplant thee safe, where vernal suns and “ Diffuse their warmest, largest influence; “ And of my garden be the pride and joy! “ Ill it befits thee, O it ill befits • Acasto's daughter, his, whose open stores, “ Tho' vast, were little to his ampler heart, “ The father of a country, thus to pick “ The very refuse of those harvest fields, « Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. “ Then throw that shameful pittance from thy hạnd, “ But ill apply'd to such a rugged task; “ The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine ; “ If to the various blessings which thy house " Has on me lavislı'd, thou wilt add that bliss, “ That dearest bliss, the pow'r of blessing thee!"
Here ceas’d the youth: yet still his speaking eye Express’d the sacred triumph of his soul, With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love, Above the vulgar joy divinely rais d. Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm Of goodness irresistible, and all In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
THE ROYAL PENITENT.
DANIEL. Great God! with conscious blushes, lo, I come To cry for pardon, or receive my doom: But 0, I die when I thy anger meet, Prostrate I lay my body at thy feet. How can I dare to sue for a reprieve? Must I still sin, and must my God forgive? Thy justice will not let thy mercy flow, Strike then, O strike, and give the deadly blow. Do I still live? and do I live to prove The inexhausted tokens of thy love? This unexampled goodness wounds me more Than ev’n the wrath I merited before.
0, I am all a blot, the foulest shame
Rais'd and exalted to the first degree, Thy heav'nly will had made the monarch free: Indulg’d in ease, I ruld without controul, And to its utmost wish enjoy'd my soul: Vain boast of pow'r which vanish'd into air, Since I forgot the Lord who fix'd me there. Was it for this thou gav'st the glorious land, And thy own flock committed to my hand? Was I the shepherd to go first astray, Till ignocence itself became my prey?