« السابقةمتابعة »
No more the ravag'd garden blow
With spring's fucceeding blossom?
-No. Pity may mourn, but not restore, 'And woman falls, to rise no more.
WITHIN this sublunary sphere,
A country lies no matter where ;
The clime may readily be found
By all, who tread poetic ground.
A stream, "call'd Life, across it glides,
And equally the land divides;
And here, of vice the province lies,
And there, the hills of virtue rise.
Upon a mountain's airy stand,
Whose summit look'd to either land,
An ancient pair their dwelling chose,
As well for prospect, as repose ;
For mutual faith they long were fam’d,
And Temp'rance, and Religion, nam’d.
A num'rous progeny divine
Confess'd the honours of their line;
But in a little daughter fair,
Was center'd more than half their care ;
For heav'noto gratulate her birth,
Gave signs of future joy to earth;
White was the robe this infant wort,
And Chastity the name fhe bore.
As now the maid in ftature grew,
(A flow'r just op'ning to the view)
Oft through her native lawns the stray'd,
And wrestling with the lambkins play'd;
Her looks diffusive sweets bequeath'd,
The breeze grew purer as the breath'd,
The morn her radiant blush assum'd,
The spring with earlier fragrance bloom'd,
And nature, yearly, took delight,
Like her, to dress the world in white.
But when her rising form was seen To reach the crisis of fifteen, Her parents up the mountain's head, With anxious step their darling led; By turns they snatch'd her to their breast, And thus the fears of age express'd.
O joyful cause of many a care!
O daughter, too divinely fair!
Yon world, on this important day,
Demands thee to a dangerous way;
A painful journey, all must go,
Whose doubtful period none can know,
Whose due direction who can find,
Where Reason's mute, and Sense is blind?
Ah, what unequal leaders these,
Through such a wide, perplexing maze!
Then mark the warnings of the wise,
And learn what love, and years advise.
Far to the right thy prospect bend,
Where yonder tow'ring hills ascend;
Lo, there the arduous path’s in view,
Which Virtue, and her sons pursue !
With toil o'er less’ning earth they rise,
And gain, and gain upon the skies.
Narrow's the way her children tread,
No walk, for pleasure smoothly spread,
But rough, and difficult, and steep,
Painful to climb, and hard to keep.
Fruits immature those lands dispense,
A food indelicate to serise,
Of taste unpleasant; yet from thofe
Pure health, with cheerful vigour flows,
And strength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long, laborious way.
Hence, as they scale that heav'nly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;
From earth refining still they go,
And leave the mortal weight below;
Then spreads the strait, the doubtful clears,
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease,
And, taught by virtue, pain can please.
At length, the toilsome journey o'er,
And near the bright, celestial shore,
A gulph, black, fearful, and profound,
Appears, of either world the bound,
Through darkness, leading up to light:
Sense backwards shrinks, and thus the kghti
For there the transitory train,
Of time, and form, and care, and pain,
And matter's gross, incumb'ring mass,
Man's late associates, cannot pass,
But sinking, quit th’immortal charge,
And leave the wand'ring soul at large;
Lightly the wings her obvious way,
And mingles with eternal day.
Thither, O! thither wing thy speed,
Though pleasure charm, or pain impede!
To such th' all-bounteous pow'r has giv’n,
For present earth, a future heav'n;
For trivial loss, unmeasur'd gain,
And endless bliss, for transient pain.
Then fear, ah! fear to turn thy fight,
Where yonder flow'ry fields invite;
Wide on the left the path-way bends,
And with pernicious case descends;
There sweet to sense, and fair to show,
New-planted Edens seeni to blow,
Trees, that delicious poison bear,
For death is vegetable there,
Hence is the frame of health unbrac'd,
Each sinew Nack’ning at the taste;
The foul to pafion yields her throne,
And sees with organs not her own;
While, like the slumb’rer in the night,
Pleas'd with the shadowy dream of light,
Before her alienated eyes
The scenes af fairy-land arise;
The puppet world's amusing thow,
Dipt in the gayly-colour'd bow;
Scepters, and wreaths, and glitt'ring things.
The toys of infants, and of kings,
That tempt, along the baneful plain,
The idly wise, and lightly vain,
'Till verging on the gulphy Thore,
Sudden they sink, and rise no more.
But lift to what thy fates declare;
Though thou art woman, frail as fair,
If once thy sliding foot Mould stray,
Once quit yon heav'n-appointed way,
For thee, lost maid, for thee alone,
Nor pray’rs shall plead, nor tears atonę ;
Reproach, scorn, infamy, and hate,
On thy returning steps shall wait,
Thy form be loath'd by every eye,
And every foot thy presence fly.
Thus arm’d with words of potent found,
Like guardian angels plac'd around,
A charm, by truth divinely cast,
Forward our young advent'rer pafs’d.
Forth from her sacred eye-lids fent,
Like morn, fore-running radiance went,
While honour, hand-maid, late affign’d,
Upheld her lucid train behind.
Awe-struck, the much admiring crowd
Before the virgin vision how'd,
Gaz'd with an ever-new delight,
And caught freih virtues at the fight :
For not of earth's unequal frame
They deem'd the heav'n-compounded Dame,
If matter, sure the most refin'd,
High wrought, and temper'd into mind,
Some darling daughter of the day,
And body'd by her native ray.
Where-e'er the passes, thousands bend, And thousands, where the moves, attend ; Her ways observant eyes confess, Her steps pursuing praises bless ; While to the elevated Maid Oblations, as to heav'n, are paid.
'Twas on an ever-blithsome day,
The jovial birth of rosy May,
When genial warmth, no more suppress'd,
New-melts the frost in every breaft,
The cheek with secret flushing dyes,
And looks kind things from chaftest eyes ;
The fun with healthier visage glows,
Afide his clouded kerchief throws,
And dances up th' etherial plain,
Where late he us'd to climb with pain,
While Nature, as from bonds set free,
Springs out, and gives a loose to glee.
And now, for momentary rest,
The Nymph her travel'd step repressid,
Just turn'd to view the stage attain'd,
And glory'd in the height the gain'd.
Oui-itretch'd before her wide survey,
The realms of sweet perdition lay,
And pity touch'd her soul with woe,
To see a world so loft below;
When strait the breeze began to breathe
Airs, gently wafted from beneath,
That bore commission'd witchcraft thence,
And reach'd her sympathy of sense ;
No sounds of discord, that disclose
A people funk, and lost in woes,
But as of present good pofless’d,
The very triumph of the bless'd.
The Maid in wrapt attention hung,
While thus approaching Sirens sung.
Hither, fairelt, hither hafte,
Brighteft beauty, come and taste
What the pow'rs of bliss unfold,
Joys, too mighty to be told;
Taste what extafies they give,
Dying raptures taste, and live.
In thy lap, disdaining measure,
Nature empties all her treasure,
Soft desires, that sweetly languish,
Fierce delights that rise to anguilh ;
Fairest, dont thou yet delay?
Brightest beauty, come away.
Lift not, when the froward chide,
Sons of pedantry, and pride,
Snarlers, to whose feeble fense
April sunshine is offence ;
Age and envy will advise
Ev'n against the joy they prize.
Come, in pleasure's balmy bowl
Slake the thirstings of thy soul,
"Till thy raptur'd pow'rs are fainting
With enjoyment, past the painting i
Fairest, dost thou yet delay?
Brightest beauty, come away.
So sung the Sirens, as of yore,
Upon the false Ausonian More ;
And, O! for that preventing chain,
That bound Ulysses on the main,
That so our Fair-One might withstand
The covert ruin, now at hand.
The song her charm'd attention drew,
When now the tempters stood in view ;
Curiosity with prying eyes,
And hands of busy, bold emprise ;
Like Hermes, ftather'd were her feet,
And, like fore-running fancy, feet.
By search untaught, by toil untir'd,
To novelty The Nill aspir'd,
Tasteless of every good poffess’d,
And but in expectation bless'd.
With her, associate, Pleasure came,
Gay Pleasure, frolic-loving dame,
Her mien, all swimming in delight,
Her beauties half reveal'd to light ;
Loose flow'd her garments from the ground,
And caught the kiffing winds around.
As erst Medusa's looks were known
To turn beholders into stone,
A dire reversion here they felt,
And in the eye of Pleasure melt.
Her glance with sweet persuafion charm'd,
Unnerv’d the Itrong, the steel'd disarm’d;
No safety ev'n the flying find,
Who vent'rous, look but once behind.
Thus was the much-admiring Maid, While distant, more than half betray'd : With smiles, and adulation bland, They join'd her fide, and seiz'd her hand : Their touch envenom'd sweets inftillid, Her frame with new pulsations thrillid, While half consenting, half denying, Reluctant now, and now complying, Amidst a war of hopes, and fears, Of trembling wishes, smiling tears, Still down, and down, the winning Pair Compellid the struggling, yielding Fair.
As when some stately vefsel, bound
To blest Arabia's distant ground,
Borne from her courses, haply lights
Where Barca's flow'ry clime invites,
Conceal'd around whose treach'rous land,
Lurk the dire rock, and dangerous sand;
The pilot warns with sail and var,
To Mun the much-suspected shore,
In vain; the tide, too subtly strong,
Still bears the wrestling bark along,
'Till found'ring, me refigns to fate,
And finks o'erwhelm'd, with all her freight,
So baffling every bar to fin,
And heaven's own pilot, plac'd within,
Along the devious, smooth descent,
With pow'rs increasing as they went,
The Dames,, accustom'd to subdue,
As with a rapid current drew,
And o'er the fatal bounds convey'd
The lost, the long-reluctant Maid.
Here ftop; ye fair-ones, and bewares
Nor send your fond affections there ;
Yet, yet your darling, now deplor'd,
May turn, to you, and heav'n, restor'd;
'Till then, with weeping honour wait,
The servant of her better fate ;
With honour, left upon the shore,
Her friend, and handmaid now no more ;
Nor, with the guilty world, upbraid
The fortunes of a wretch, betray'd;
But o'er her failing cast the veil;
Rememb‘ring; you yourselves are frail.
And now, from all-enquiring light
Faft fled the conscious shades of night ;
The Damsel; from a short repose;
Confounded at her plight, arose.
As when, with numb'rous weight oppress’d
Some wealthy miser sinks to rest;
Where felons eye the glitt'ring prey,
And steal his hoard of joys away ;
He, borne where golden Indus streams,
Of pearl, and quarry'd di'mond dreams,
Like Midas, turns the glebe to ore,
And stands all wrapt amidst his store,
But wakens, naked, and despoil'd
Of thatý for which his years had toil'd.
So far'd the Nymph, her treasure flown,
And turn’d, like Niobe, to stone ;
Within; without, obscure, and void,
She felt all ravag'd, all destroy'd.
And, O thou curs'd, insidious coast !
Are these the blessings thou canst boast ?
These, virtue! these the joys they find,
Who leave thy heav'natopt hills behind ?
Shade me, ye pines, ye caverns, hide,
Ye mountains, cover me, she cry'd!
Her trumpet Nander rais'd on high,
And told the tidings to the sky;
Contempt discharg'd a living darte
A side-long viper to her heart;
Reproach breath'd poisons o'er her face,
And foil'd, and blasted every grace ;
Officious shame, her handmaid new,
Still turn'd the mirror to her view;
While those', in crimes the deepest dy'd,
Approach'd, to whiten at her side,
And every lewd, insulting dame
Upon her fully rose to fame.
What should the do? Attempt once more
To gain the late-deserted Thore?
So trusting, back the Mourner flew,
As fast the train of fiends pursue.
Again the farther shore's attain'd,
Again the land of virtue gain'd;
But echo gathers in the wind,
And shows her instant foes behind.
Amaz’d, with headlong speed she tends,
Where late the left a host of friends :
Alas! those shrinking friends decline,
Nor longer own that form divine;
With fear they mark the following cry,
And from the lonely Trembler fly,
Or backward drive her on the coast;
Where peace was wreck'd; and honour lost.
From earth thus hoping aid in vain,
To heav'n not daring to complain,
No truce by hostile clamour giv'n,
And from the face of friendship driving
The Nymph sunk prostrate on the ground,
With all her weight of woes around.
Enthron'd within a circling lky,
Upon a mount o'er mountains high
All radiant sate, as in a shrine,
Virtue, first effluence divine ;
Far; far above the scenes of woe,
That shut this cloud-wrapt world below
Superior goddess, essence bright,
Beauty of uncreated light,
Whom Mould mortality survey,
As doom'd upon a certain day,
The breath of frailty must expirez
The world dissolve in living fire,
The gems of heav'n, and folar Aame
Be quench'd by her eternal beam,
And nature, quick’ning in her eye,
To rise a new-born phenix; die.
Hence, unrevealed to mortal view,
A veil around her form she threw,
Which three sad Gsters of the shade;
Pain, care; and melancholy; made.
Through this her all-enquiring eye;
Attentive from her station high,
Beheld, abandon’d to despair,
The ruins of her fav'rite Fair ;
And with a voice, whose awful sound
Appal'd the guilty world around;
Bid the tumultuous winds be still ;
To numbers bow'd each lift’ning hill,
Uncurl'd the surging of the main,
And smooth'd the thorny bed of pain
The golden harp of heav'n fhe strung,
And thus the tuneful goddess fung.
Lovely Penitent; arise;
Come, and claim thy kindred skies ;
Come, thy fister-angels say,
Thou hast wept thy stains away.
Let experience now decide;
"Twixt the good and evil try'd ;
In the smooth, enchanted ground,
Say, unfold the treasures found.
Structures, rais'd by mourning dreams,
Sands, that trip the Aitting streams,
Down, that anchors on the air,
Clouds, that paint their changes there.
Seas, that smoothly dimpling lie;
While the storm impends on highs
Showing, in an obvious glass;
Joys, that in possession pass ;
Transient, fickie, light, and gay,
Flatt'ring, only to betray;
What, alas, can life contain !
Life, like all its circles, vain !
Will the stork, intending rest,
On the billow build her neft ?
Will the bee demand his store
From the bleak, and bladeless Thore?
Man alone, intent to stray,
Ever turns from wisdom's way,
1 Lays up wealth in foreign land, Sows the fea, and plows the land.
Soon this elemental mass, Soon th' incumb’ring world shall pass, Form be wrapt in wasting fire, Time be spent, and life expire.
Then, ye boasted works of men, Where is your asylum then? Sons of pleasure, sons of care; Tell me, mortals, tell me where? Gone, like traces on the deep, Like a scepter, gralp'd in deep, Dews, exhal'd from morning glades, Melting snows, and gliding shades.
Pass the world, and what's behind ?
Virtue's gold, by fire refin'd;
From an universe depravid,
From the wreck of nature sav'd.
Like the life-supporting grain,
Fruit of patience, and of pain,
On the swain's autumnal day,
Winnow'd from the chaff away.
Little trembler, fear no more,
Thou hast plenteous crops in store,
Seed, by genial sorrows Town,
More than all thy scorners own.
What though hostile earth despise, Heav'n beholds with gentler eyes; Heav'n thy friendless steps shall guide, Chear thy hours, and guard thy side.
When the fatal trump shall sound,
When th' immortals pour around;
Heav'n fhall tliy return attest.
Hail'd by myriads of the bless’d.
Little native of the skies,
Lovely penitent, arisę,
Calm thy bosom, clear thy brow,
Virtue is thy sister now.
More delightful are my woes,
Than the rapture, pleasure knows;
Richer far the weeds I bring,
Than the robes, that grace a king.
On my wars, of Thortest date,
Crowns of endless triumphs wait;
On my cares, a period bless'd;
On my toils, eternal rest.
Come, with virtue at thy side,
Come, be every bar defy'd,
'Till we gain our native Thore;
Sifter, come, and turn no more.
Forth from his thatch'd-roof cottage stray'd,
And stroll'd along the dewy glade.
A Nymph, who lightly tript it by,
To quick attention turn'd his eye;
He mark'd the gesture of the Fair,
Her self-sufficient grace, and air,
Her steps, that mincing meant to please,
Her study'd negligence, and ease;
And, curious to enquire what meant
This thing of prettiness, and paint,
Approaching fpoke, and bow'd observant ;
The Lady, slightly,-Sir, your servant.
Such beauty in so rude a place !
Fair-one, you do the country grace :
At court, no doubt, the public care,
But Love has small acquaintance there.
Yes, Sir, reply'd the Autt'ring Dame,
This form confesses whence it came ;
But dear variety, you know,
Can make us pride, and pomp forego.
My name is Vanity. I sway
The utmost islands of the rea;
Within my court all honour centers,
I raise the meanest foul that enters,
Endow with latent gifts, and graces,
And model fools for posts and places.,
As Vanity appoints at pleasure,
The world receives its weight, and measure ;
Hence all the grand concerns of life,
Joys, cares, plagues, passions, peace and strife.
Reflect how far my pow'r prevails,
When I step in, where nature fails,
And every breach of sense repairing,
Am bounteous still, where heav'n is sparing.
But chief in all their arts, and airs,
Their playing, painting, pouts, and pray’rs,
Their various habits, and complexions,
Fits, frolics, foibles, and perfections,
Their robeing, curling, and adorning,
From noon to night, from night to morning,
From six to fixty, fick, or sound,
I rule the female world around.
Hold there a moment, Cupid cry'd,
Nor boast dominion quite so wide ;
Was there no province to invade,
But that by love, and meekness sway'd ?
All other empire I resign,
But be the sphere of beauty mine.
For in the downy lawn of reit,
That opens on a woman's breast,
Attended by my peaceful train,
I chuse to live, and chufe to reign.
Far-sighted faith I bring along.
And truth, above an army strong,
And chastity, of icy mould,
Within the burning tropics cold,
And lowliness, to whose mild brow
The pow'r and pride of nations bow,
And modefty, with downcait eye,
That lends the morn her virgin dye,
And innocence, array'd in light,
And honour, as a tow'r upright ;
With sweetly winning graces, more
Than poets ever dreamt of yore,
In unaffected conduct free,
All smiling lifters, three times thred,
And rosy peace, the cherub bless’d,
That nightiy fings us all to reit.
Hence, from the bud of nature's prime,
From the first ftep of infant time,
Woman, the world's appointed light,
Has skirted every shade with white;
Has stood for imitation high,
To every heart, and every eye;
From ancient deeds of fair renown,
Has brought her bright memorials down ;
To time affix'd perpetual youth,
And form'd each tale of love and truth.
Upon a new. Promethean plan,
She moulds the eilence of a man,
Tempers his mass, his genius fires,
And, as a better foul, infpires.
The nude the softens, warms the cold,
Fxalts the meek, and checks the bold,
Calls Noth from his supine repose,
Within the coward's bosom glows,
Or pride unplumes the lofty crest,
Bids bashful merie stand confefsid,
And like coarfe metal from the mines,
Collects, irradiates, and refines.
The gentle science, the imparts,
All manners fmooths, informs all hearts' ;
From her sweet influence are felt
Passions that please, and thoughts that melt ;
To stormy rage the bids controul,
And finks ferenely on the soul;
Softens Deucalion's flinty race,
And tunes the warring world to peace.
Thus arm'd to all that's light, and vain,
And freed from thy fantastic chain,
She fills the sphere, by heav'n assign’d,
And ruld by me, o'er-rules mankind.
He spoke. The nymph impatient stood, And laughing, thús her speech renew'd.
And pray, Sir, may I be so bold To hope your pretty tale is told ? And next demand, without a cavil, What new Utopia do you travel ? Upon my word, thefe high-flown fancies Shew depth of learning-in romances. Why, what unfashion'd stuff you tell us, Of buckram dames, and tiptoe fellows ! Go, child ; and when you're grown maturer, You'll shoot your next opinion surer.
O such a pretty knack at painting! And all for soft'ning, and for sainting! Guess now, who can, a single feature, Through the whole piece of female nature ! Then mark! my looser hand may fit The lines, too coarse for Love to hit.
'Tis said that woman, prone to changing, Through all the rounds of folly ranging, On life's uncertain ocean riding, No reason, rule, or rudder guiding, Is like the comet's wand'ring light, Eccentric, ominous, and bright, Trackless, and shifting as the wind, A sea, whofe fathom none can find, A moon, still changing, and revolving, A riddle, past all human folving, A bliss, a plague, a heav'n, a hell, A--something, which no man can tell.
Now learn a secret from a friend, But keep your counsel, and attend.
Though in their tempers thought fo distant, Nor with their sex, nor felves consistent,
'Tis but the difference of a names
And every woman is the fame.
For as the world, however vary'd,
And through unnumber'd changes carry'd,
Of elemental modes, and forms,
Clouds, meteors, colours, calms, and storms,
Though in a thousand suits array’d,
Is of one subject matter made';
So, Sir, a woman's constitution,
The world's enigma, finds solution,
And let her form be what you will,
I am the subject effence ftill.
With the first spark of female fenfe,
The speck of being, I commence,
Within the womb make fresh advances,
And dictate future qualms, and fancies ;
Thence in the growing form expand,
With childhood travel hand in hand,
And give a taste to all their joys,
In gewgaws, rattles, pomp, and noise.
And now, familiar, and unaw'd,
I send the flutt'ring foul abroad;
Prais’d for her shape, her face, her mien,
The little goddess, and the queen
Takes at her infant shrine oblation,
And drinks sweet draughts of adulation.
Now blooming, tall, erect, and fair,
To dress, becomes her darling care ;
The realms of beauty then I bound,
I swell the hoop's enchanted round,
Shrink in the waist's defcending fize,
Heav'd in the snowy bosom, rise,
High on the floating lappet fail,
Or curl'd in treffes, kiss the gale.
Then to her glass I lead the fair,
And show the lovely idol there,
Where, struck as by divine emotion,
She bows with most sincere devotion,
And numb'ring every beauty o'er,
In secret bids the world adore.
Then all for parking, and parading,
Coquetting, dancing, masquerading,
For balls, plays, courts, and crowds what pallion!
And churches, sometimes--if the fashion ;
For woman's sense of right, and wrong,
Is ruld by the almighty throng ;
Still turns to each meander tame,
And swims the straw of every stream.
Her soul intrinsic worth rejects,
Accomplish'd only in defects,
Such excellence is her ambition,
Folly, her wiseft acquisition,
And ev'n from pity, and disdain,
She'll cull some reason to be vain.
Thus, Sir, from every form and feature,
The wealth, and wants of female nature,
And ev'n from vice, which you'd admire,
I gather fewel to my fire,
And on the very base of shame
Erect my monument of fame.
Let me another truth attempt,
Of which your godship has not dreamt.
Thofe shining virtues, which you muster,
Whence think you they derive their lustre ?
From native honour, and devotion ?
O yes, a mighty likely notion !
Trust me, from titled dames to spinners,
"Tis I make faints, whoe'er makes finners ;