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One day the god of fond desire,
On mischief bent, to Damon said, " Why not disclose your tender fire,
Not own it to the lovely maid ?”
The shepherd mark'd his treacherous art,
And, softly sighing, thus replied : “ 'Tis true, you have subdu'd my heart,
But shall not triumph o'er my pride.
“ The slave in private only bears
Your bondage, who his love conceals ; But when his passion he declares,
You drag him at your chariot-wheels.”
UNLESS with my Amanda blest,
In vain I twine the woodbine bower ; Unless to deck her sweeter breast,
In vain I rear the breathing flower :
Awaken'd by the genial year,
In vain the birds around me sing; In vain the freshening fields appear :
Without my love there is no Spring.
Hard is the fate of him who loves,
Yet dares not tell his trembling pain But to the sympathetic groves,
But to the lonely listening plain.
Oh, when she blesses next your shade;
Oh, when her footsteps next are seen In flowery tracks along the mead,
In fresher mazes o'er the green ;
Ye gentle spirits of the vale,
To whom the tears of love are dear, From dying lilies waft a gale,
And sigh my sorrows in her ear.
Oh, tell her what she cannot blame,
Though fear my tongue must ever bind ; Oh, tell her that my virtuous flame
Is as her spotless soul refin’d.
Not her own guardian-angel eyes
With chaster tenderness his care ; Not purer her own wishes rise,
Not holier her own sighs in prayer.
But if, at first, her virgin fear
Should start at Love's suspected name, With that of Friendship soothe her ear
True Love and Friendship are the same. SONG.
COME, gentle god of soft desire,
Come and possess my happy breast ! Not, Fury-like, in flames and fire,
Or frantic Folly's wildness dress’d.
But come in Friendship’s angel-guise :
Yet dearer thou than Friendship art ; More tender spirit in thy eyes,
More sweet emotions at thy heart.
Oh, come ! with Goodness in thy train ;
With peace and pleasure, void of storm; And, wouldst thou me for ever gain,
Put on Amanda's winning form.
For ever, Fortune, wilt thou prove
Bid us sigh on from day to day,
But busy, busy still art thou,
For once, O Fortune, hear my prayer,
ODE TO SERAPHINA.
'THE wanton's charms, however bright,
A vicious love depraves the mind,
'Tis from low passions to escape, And woo bright Virtue's fairest shape; 'Tis ecstasy with wisdom join'd, And heav'n infus'd into the mind.
Tell me, thou soul of her I love,
Ah! tell me, whither art thou fled ? To what delightful world above,
Appointed for the happy dead ?
Or dost thou, free, at pleasure roam,
And sometimes share thy lover's woe, Where, void of thee, his cheerless home
Can now, alas ! no comfort know?
Oh! if thou hoverest round my walk,
While, under every well-known tree, I to thy fancied shadow talk,
And every tear is full of thee ;
Should then the weary eye of grief,
Beside some sympathetic stream, In slumber find a short relief,
Oh, visit thou my soothing dream !