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Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er :
Which Edwin loft afore.
This tale a Sybil-nurse ared ;
And when the tale was done, “ Thus some are born, my son (she cries) “ With base impediments to rise, 185
« And some are born with none.
« But virtue can itself advance
“ By fortune seem'd defign'd;
“ Upon th' unworthy mind.”
RONALD AND DORNA;
BY A HIGHLANDER, TO HIS MISTRESS.
FROM A LITERAL TRANSLATION
OF THE ORIGINAL.
BY AARON HILL, ESQ.*
Cold, as it seems, it is less cold than you:
Your snow, more hoftile, starves, and freezes, too.
II. What, tho' I lov’d, of late, in Skey's fair isle, 5 And blush'd--- and bow'd --- and shrunk from
Kenza's eye! All, she had pow'r to hurt with, was her smile;
But 'tis a frown of yours, for which I die.
III. Ak, why these herds, beneath us, rush, so fast,
On the brown fea-ware’s stranded heaps, to feed? Winter, like you, with-holds their wish'd repast,
And, robb’d of genial grass, they brouze onweed.
* Born 1684 ; dyed 1749.
To mix its wid'ning stream in Donnan's lake! Yet should fome dam the current's course oppose,
It must, per-force, a less-lov’d passage take. 16
Born, like your body, for a spirit's claim,
Trembling, I wait, unfould, till you inspire: God has prepar'd the lamp, and bids it flame,
But you, fair Dorna, have with-held the fire.
My light'ning heart leaps, hopeful, at the found, But, fainting at the sense, falls, void, and weak,
And finks, and faddens, like yon mossy ground.
VII. All that I taste, or touch, or fee, or hear, 25
Nature's whole breadth reminds me but of Ev'n heav'n itself would your sweet likeness wear,
If, with its pow'r, you had its mercy too.
BY THE SAME.
Go, happy paper! gently steal,
And, soft, beneath her pillow, lie: There, in a dream, my love reveal, A love, that awe must, else, conceal, In silent doubt, to die.
Should she, to flames, thy hope consign,
Thy suff’ring moment soon expires; A longer pain, alas! is mine, Condemn’d, in endless woe, to pine,
And feel unslack’ning fires.
But, if inclin'd to hear, and bless,
While, in her heart, soft pity ftirs; Tell her-her beauties might compel A hermit to forsake his cell, And change his heav'n for hers.
Oh! tell her—were her treasures mine,
Nature and art would court my aid; The painter's colours want her shine ; The rainbow's brow not half so fine
As her sweet eye-lids fhade! 20