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He draws him gentle, tender, and forgiving,
that Cato dearly loved his wife :
If, after all, you think it a disgrace, That Edward's miss thus perks it in your face; To see a piece of failing flesh and blood, In all the rest so impudently good; Faith, let the modest matrons of the town Come here in crowds, and stare the strumpet down
SAPPHO TO PHAON.
moured of Sappho, a lady of Lesbos, from whom he met with the tenderest returns of passion : but his affection afterwards decaying, he left her and sailed for Sicily. She, unable to bear the loss of her lover, hearkened to all the mad suggestions of despair; and seeing no other remedy for her present miseries, rc solved to throw herself into the sea, from Leucate, a proinontory of Epirus, which was thought a cure in
cases of obstinate love, and therefore had obtained the
Say, lovely youth, that dost my heart command,
l'he muses teach me all their softest lays, And the wide world resounds with Sappho's praise Though great Alcrus more sublimely sings, And strikes with bolder rage the sounding strings, No less renown attends the moving lyre, Which Venus tunes, and all her loves inspire; To me what nature has in charms denied, Is well by wit's more lasting flames supplied. Though short my stature, yet my name extends To heaven itself, and earth's remotest ends. Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame Inspired young Perseus with a generous flame; Turtles and doves of different hues unite, And glossy jet is pair'd with shining white. If to no charms thou wilt thy heart resign, But such as merit, such as equal thine, By none, alas! by none thou canst be moved : Phaon alone by Phaon must be loved ! Yet once thy Sappho could thy cares employ; Once in her arms you centred all your joy: No time the dear remembrance can remove, For, oh ! how vast a memory has love! My music, then you could for ever hear, And all my words were music to your ear You stopp'd with kisses my enchanting tongue, And found my kisses sweeter than my song. In all I pleased, but most in what was best ; And the last joy was dearer than the rest. Then with each word, each glance, each motion fired You still enjoy’d, and yet you still desired, Till all dissolving in the trance we lay, And in tumultuous raptures died away. The fair Sicilians now thy soul inflame: Why was I born, ye gods! a Lesbian dame ? But ah, beware, Sicilian nymphs! nor boast That wandering heart which I so lately lost; Nor be with all those tempting words abused, Those tempting words were all to Sappho used
you that rule Sicilia's happy plains,
years, My parent's ashes drank my early tears : My brother next, neglecting wealth and fame, Ignobly burn'd in a destructive flame; An infant daughter late my griefs increased, And all a mother's cares distract my breast. Alas! what more could fate itself impose, But thee, the last and greatest of my woes ? No more my robes in waving purple flow, Nor on my hand the sparkling diamonds glow; No more my locks, in ringlets curl d, diffuse The costly sweetness of Arabian dews; Nor braids of gold the varied tresses bind, That fly disorder'd with the wanton wind : For whom should Sappho use such arts as these 1 He's gone,
whom only she desired to please ! Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move, Still is there cause for Sappho still to love: So from my birth the Sisters fix'd my doom, And gave to Venus all my life to come ; Or, while my muse in melting notes complains, My yielding heart keeps measure to my strains. By charms like thine, which all my soul have won Who might not-ah! who would not be undone ? For those Aurora Cephalus might scorn, And with fresh blushes paint the conscious morn : For those might Cynthia lengthen Phaon's sleep, And bid Endymion nightly tend his sheep : Venus for those had rapt thee to the skies, But Mars on thee might look with Venus' eyes. O scarce a youth, yet scarce a tender boy! O useful time for lovers to employ! Pride of thy age and glory of thy race, Come to these arms, and melt in this embrace !
The vows you never will return, receive;
Farewell, my Lesbian love, you might have said ;
and then complain ;