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Our life is carried with too strong a tide;
A doubtful cloud our substance bears,
And is the horse of all our years.
We and our glass run out, and must
Both render up our dust.
Who never thinks his end too near,
But says to Fame, “ Thou art mine heir;'
This is, this is the only way
THE SEVEN FOUNTAINS.
gale Fann'd with his gentle plumes the silken sail. High on the burnish'd deck a gilded throne With orient pearls and beaming diamonds shone ; On which reclined a youth of graceful mien, His sandals purple, and his mantle green'; His locks in ringlets o'er his shoulders rollid, And on his cheek appear’d the downy gold. Around him stood a train of smiling boys, Sporting with idle cheer and mirthful toys:
Ten comely striplings *, girt with spangled wings, Blew piercing flutes, or touch'd the quivering
strings ; Ten more, in cadence to the sprightly strain, Waked with their golden oars the slumbering main : The waters yielded to their guiltless blows, And the green billows sparkled as they rose.
Long time the barge had danced along the deep, And on its glassy bosom seem'd to sleep; But now a glittering isle arose in view t, Bounded with hillocks of a verdant hue: Fresh groves and roseate bowers appear'd above (Fit haunts, be sure, of pleasure and of love); And, higher still, a thousand blazing spires Seem'd with gilt tops to threat the heavenly fires. Now each fair stripling plied his labouring oar, And straight the pinnace struck the sandy shore. The youth arose, and, leaping on the strand, Took his lone way along the silver sand; While the light bark, and all the airy crew, Sunk like a mist beneath the briny dew.
With eager steps the young adventurer stray'd Through many a grove and many a winding glade: At length he heard the chime of tuneful strings, That sweetly floated on the Zephyr's wings ; And soon a band of damsels blithe and fair t, With flowing mantles and disheveld hair, Rush’d, with quick pace, along the solemn wood, Where rapt in wonder and delight he stood: In loose transparent robes they were array’d, Which half their beauties hid, and half display'd. • The follies of youth.
+ The world. The follies and vanities of the world.
A lovely nymph approach'd him with a smile,
This said, a diadem, inlaid with pearls, She placed respectful on his golden curls; Another o'er his graceful shoulder threw A silken mantle of the rose's hue, [flow'd, Which, clasp'd with studs of gold, behind him And through the folds his glowing bosom show'd. Then in a car, by snow-white coursers drawn, They led him o'er the dew-besprinkled lawn, Through groves of joy and arbours of delight, With all that could allure his ravish'd sight; Green hillocks, meads, and rosy grots he view'd, And verdurous plains with winding streams beOn every bank, and under every shade, [dew’d.
thousand youths, a thousand damsels play'd ;
Some wantonly were tripping in a ring
At last they reach'd the bosom of a wood,
Say, gentle damsel, may I ask, unb amed, How this gay isle and splendid seats are named? And you, fair queen of beauty and of grace, Are you of earthly or celestial race? To me the world's bright treasures were unknown, Where late I wander'd, pensive and alone;
* The pleasures of the Senses.
And, slowly winding on my native shore,
[flowers' ' These are the groves for ever deck'd with The maid replied, and these the fragrant bow
ers, Where Love and Pleasure hold their airy court, The seat of bliss, of sprightliness and sport; And we, dear youth! are nymphs of heavenly line; Our souls immortal, as our forms divine: For Maia, fill’d with Zephyr's warm embrace, In caves and forests cover'd her disgrace; At last she rested on this peaceful shore, Where, in yon grot, a lovely boy she bore, Whom, fresh and wild and frolic from his birth, She nursed in myrtle bowers, and call’d him Mirth. He on a summer's morning chanced to rove Through the green labyrinth of some shady grove, Where, by a dimpled rivulets verdant side, A rising bank, with woodbine edged, he spied : There, veil'd with flowerets of a thousand hues, A nymph lay bathed in slumber's balmy dews, (This ma by some, for some our race defame, Was Folly call’d, but Pleasure was her name):.