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Here should Augustus great in arms appear,
And thou, Mæcenas, be my second care;
Here Mutina from flames and famine free,
And there the ensanguined wave of Sicily,
And scepter'd Alexandria's captive shore,
And sad Philippi, red with Roman gore:
Then, while the vaulted skies loud ïos rend,
In golden chains should loaded monarchs bend,
And hoary Nile with pensive aspect seem
To mourn the glories of his sevenfold stream, 20
While prows, that late in fierce encounter met,
Move through the sacred way and vainly threat,
Thee too the Muse should consecrate to fame,
And with her garlands weave thy ever-faithful
But nor Callimachus' enervate strain
May tell of Jove, and Phlegra's blasted plain;
Nor I with unaccustomed vigour trace
Back to its source divine the Julian race.
Sailors to tell of winds and seas delight,
The shepherd of his flocks, the soldier of the fight,
A milder warfare I in verse display;
Each in his proper art should waste the day:
Nor thou my gentle calling disapprove,
To die is glorious in the bed of Love.
Happy the youth, and not unknown to fame,
Whose heart has never felt a second flame.
Oh, might that envied happiness be mine!
To Cynthia all my wishes I confine;
Or if, alas ! it be my fate to try
Another love, the quicker let me die:
But she, the mistress of my faithful breast,
Has oft the charms of constancy confest,
Condemns her fickle sex's fond mistake,
And hates the tale of Troy for Helen's sake.
Me from myself the soft enchantress stole;
Ah! let her ever my desires control,
Or if I fall the victim of her scorn,
From her loved door may my pale corse be borne.
of herbs can other harms remove,
And find a cure for every ill, but love.
The Lemnian's hurt Machaon could repair,
Heal the slow chief, and send again to war;
To Chiron Phenix owed his long-lost sight,
And Phoebus' son recall’d Androgeon to the light.
Here arts are vain, e’en magic here must fail, 55
The powerful mixture and the midnight spell;
The hand that can my captive heart release,
And to this bosom give its wonted peace,
May the long thirst of Tantalus allay,
Or drive the infernal vulture from his
prey. For ills unseen what remedy is found ? Or who can probe the undiscover'd wound? The bed avails not, nor the leech's care, Nor changing skies can hurt, nor sultry air. 'Tis hard th' elusive symptoms to explore: To-day the lover walks, to-morrow is no more; A train of mourning friends attend his pall, And wonder at the sudden funeral. When then the fates that breath they gave shall
claim, And the short marble but preserve a name,
A little verse my all that shall remain ;
Thy passing courser's slacken'd speed restrain ;
(Thou envied honour of thy poet's days,
Of all our youth the ambition and the praise!)
Then to my quiet urn awhile draw near,
And say, while o'er that place you drop the tear,
Love and the fair were of his youth the pride ;
He lived, while she was kind; and when she
frown'd, he died.
April, 1742. Æt. 26.
TASSO GERUS. LIB. CANT. IV. ST. 32.
“ Preser commiato, e sì 'l desio gli sprona,” &c. Dismiss'D at length, they break through all delay To tempt the dangers of the doubtful way; And first to Ascalon their steps they bend, Whose walls along the neighbouring sea extend, Nor yet in prospect rose the distant shore; Scarce the hoarse waves from far were heard to
roar, When thwart the road a river roll'd its flood Tempestuous, and all further course withstood; The torrent stream his ancient bounds disdains, Swoll'n with new force, and late-descending rains. Irresolute they stand; when lo, appears The wondrous Sage: vigorous he seem'd in years, Awful his mien, low as his feet there flows A vestment unadorn'd, though white as new-fallin
Against the stream the waves secure he trod, 15 His head a chaplet bore, his hand a rod.
As on the Rhine, when Boreas' fury reigns, And winter binds the floods in icy chains, Swift shoots the village-maid in rustic play Smooth, without step, adown the shining way, 20 Fearless in long excursion loves to glide, And sports and wantons o'er the frozen tide.
So mov'd the Seer, but on no harden'd plain ; The river boild beneath, and rush'd toward the
main. Where fix'd in wonder stood the warlike pair, 25 His course he turn'd, and thus relieved their care: Vast, oh
my friends, and difficult the toil To seek your hero in a distant soil ! No common helps, no common guide ye need, Art it requires, and more than winged speed. 30 What length of sea remains, what various lands, Oceans unknown, inhospitable sands! For adverse fate the captive chief has hurld Beyond the confines of our narrow world: Great things and full of wonder in your ears I shall unfold; but first dismiss your fears; Nor doubt with me to tread the downward road That to the grotto leads, my dark abode.”
Scarce had he said, before the warriors' eyes When mountain-high the waves disparted rise; 40 The flood on either hand its billows rears, And in the midst a spacious arch appears. Their hands he seized, and down the steep he led Beneath the obedient river's inmost bed ;
The watery glimmerings of a fainter day
Discover'd half, and half conceal’d their way;
As when athwart the dusky woods by night
The uncertain crescent gleams a sickly light.
Through subterraneous passages they went,
Earth’s inmost cells, and caves of deep descent; 50
Of many a flood they view'd the secret source,
The birth of rivers rising to their course,
Whate'er with copious train its channel fills,
Floats into lakes, and bubbles into rills;
The Po was there to see, Danubius' bed,
Euphrates' fount, and Nile's mysterious head.
Further they pass, where ripening minerals flow,
And embryon metals undigested glow,
Sulphureous veins and living silver shine,
Which soon the parent sun's warm powers refine,
In one rich mass unite the precious store,
The parts combine and harden into ore:
Here gems break through the night with glitter-
And paint the margin of the costly stream,
All stones of lustre shoot their vivid ray,
And mix attemper'd in a various day;
Here the soft emerald smiles of verdant hue,
And rubies flame, with sapphire's heavenly blue,
The diamond there attracts the wondrous sight,
Proud of its thousand dyes and luxury of light.
1738. Æt. 22.