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Like Hermes, feather'd were her feet,
With her, associate, Pleasure came,
Thus was the much-adniring Maid, While distant, more than half betray’d. With smiles, and adulation bland, They join d her side, and seiz'd her hand; Their touch envenon'd sweets instillid, Her frame with new pulsations thrillid; While half consenting, half denying, Repugnant now, and now complying
Amidst a war of hopes and fears,
As when some stately vessel bound
So, baffling ev'ry bar to sin,
Here stop, ye fair ones, and beware,
Till then, with weeping Honour wait,
And now from all-enquiring light
As when, with slumb’rous weight oppressid, Some wealthy miser sinks to rest, Where felons eye the glitt'ring prey, And steal bis hord of joys away; He, borne where golden Indus streams, Of pearl and quarry'd diamond dreams, Like Midas turns the glebe to ore, And stands all wrapt amidst his store, But wakens, naked, and despoil'd Of that, 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,“ thou curs'd, insidious coast! Are these the blessings thou canst boast?
These, Virtue! these the joys they find, Who leave thy heav'n-topt hills behind? Shade me, ye pines, ye caverns, hide, Ye mountains, cover me!" she cry'd.
Her trumpet slander rais’d on high, And told the tidings to the sky; Contempt discharg'd a living dart, A side-long viper to her heart; Reproach breath'd poisons o'er her face, And soild and blasted ev'ry grace; Officious Shame, her handmaid new, Suill turn’d the mirror to her view; While those, in crimes the deepest dy'd, Approach'd, to wbiten at her side, And ev'ry lewd insulting dame Upon her folly rose to fame.
What should she do? Attempt once more
Again the farther shore's attain'd,
With fear they mark the following cry,
From earth thus hoping aid in vain,
Enthron'd within a circling sky, Upon a mount, o'er mountains high, All radiant sat, 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 should mortality survey, As doom'd upon a certain day, The breath of frailty must expire, The world dissolve in living fire, The gems
of heav'n and solar flame Be quench'd by her eternal beam, And nature, quick’ning in her eye, To rise a new-born phænix, die.
Hence, unreveal'd to mortal view, A veil around ber form she threw,