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You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts
To your sequester'd dales
And flower-embroider'd vales
The silent paths of wisdom trod,
But those, the gentlest and the best,
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns, Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns
By your delighted mother's side,
Who now your infant steps shall guide ? Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care To every virtue would have form’d your youth, And strew'd with flowers the thorny ways of
truth? O loss beyond repair ! O wretched father ! left alone, To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken’d mind, oppress'd with woe,
And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave Perform the duties that you doubly owe!
Now she, alas! is gone, From folly and from vice their helpless age to save ?
Where were ye, Muses, when relentless Fate
From these fond arms, that vainly strove
With hapless ineffectual love To guard her bosom from the mortal blow? Could not your favouring power, Aonian
maids, Could not, alas! your power prolong her date,
For whom so oft in these inspiring shades, Or under Camden's moss-clad mountains hoar,
You open'd all your sacred store,
Your ancient bards sublimely thought,
Nor then did Pindus or Castalia's plain,
Nor then on Mincio's bank *
Beset with osiers dank,
* The Mincio runs by Mantua, the birth-place of Virgil.
+ The Clitumnus is a river of Umbria, the residence of Propertius.
| The Anio runs through Tibur or Tivoli, where Horace had a yilla.
Nor yet where Meles * or Ilissus f stra
Ill does it now beseem,
That, of your guardian care bereft, To dire disease and death your darling should be left.
Now what avails it that in early bloom,
When light fantastic toys
[Rome; With you she search'd the wit of Greece and
And all that in her latter days
To emulate her ancient praise
Or what the Gallic fire
Bright sparkling could inspire,
Or what in Britain's isle,
Most favour'd with your smile,
Ah! what is now the use
At least, ye Nine, her spotless name
'T is yours from death to save, And in the temple of immortal Fame
With golden characters her worth engrave.
* The Meles is a river of Ionia, from whence Homer, supposed to be born on its banks, is called Melisigenes.
+ The Ilissus is a river at Athens.
Come then, ye virgin-sisters, come, And strew with choicest flowers her hallow'd tomb: But foremost thou, in sable vestment clad,
With accents sweet and sad,
Unhappy Petrarch call’d to mourn;
Tell how each beauty of her mind and face
How eloquent in every look
Tell how her manners, by the world refin'd,
Of more than female tenderness :
Her kindly-melting heart,
The balm of pity would impart,
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall, Tears from sweet Virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
A spirit that with noble pride
On Fortune's smile or frown;
With inoffensive light
All pleasing shone ; nor ever past
And bashful Modesty, before it cast.
In life's and glory's freshest bloom, (tomb Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the
So, where the silent streams of Liris glide,