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Belard and Eloisa flourish'd in the twelfth Cen

tury; they were two of the most distinguish'd persons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate paffion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this separation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend which contain'd the history of his misfortunes, fell into the hands of Eloisa. This awakening all her tenderness, occafion'd those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which givé so lively a picture of the struggles of grace and nature, virtue and paffion,

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A B E L A R D.
IN

N these deep folitudes and awful cells,

Where heav'nly-pensive contemplation dwells,

And ever-musing melancholy reigns ;
What means this tumult in a vestals veins ?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat ?
Yet, yet I love !

-From Abelard it came,
And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.

Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Nor pass these lips in holy silence feald.

Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where, mix'd with Gods, his lov'd idea lies.
Oh write it not, my hand—The name appears
Already written wash it out, my tears!
In vain loft Eloisa weeps and prays,
Her heart ftill dictates, and her hand obeys.

Relentless walls ! whose darksom round contains
Repentant fighs, and voluntary pains:
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn!
Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep,
And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep!
Tho' cold like you, unmov'd, and filent grown,
I have not yet forgot my self to ftone.
Heav'n claims me all in vain while he has part,
Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray’rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears, for ages, taught to flow in vain.

Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose, .
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Oh name for ever fad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in fighs, still usher'd with a tear.
I tremble too, where-e'er my own I find,
Some dire misfortune follows close behind.

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