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So, plung'd in pleasure of the purest kind,
So speaking, her attentive guest she led
“ In yonder groups," the leading spirit cried, “ My fav’rite females see, my faireit pride. “ The first in rank is that distinguish'd train, “ Whofe ftrength of foul was tried by Hymen's chain.
* Tho' beauty bleft their form, and love their guide, “ Their nuptial band with happier omens tied, “ Beauty and love, they felt, may lose the art 6. To fix inconstant man's eccentric heart ; “ Yet conscious of their Lord's neglected vow, “ No virtue frown'd outrageous on their brow, “ To keep returning tenderness aloof, “ By coarse upbraiding, and despis'd reproof: " With sorrow smother'd in-attraction's smile, “ They strove the sense of misery to beguile ; " And, from wild paffion's perilous abyss, “ Lure the loft wanderer back to faithful bliss. " See mild Ottavia o'er this band preside, “ Voluptuous Anthony's neglected bride,
Whose feeling heart, with all a mother's care, 6 Rear'd the young offspring of a rival fair.
66 Far other trials rais'd yon lovely crew, « Tho' in connubial scenes their merit
grew : " It was their chance, ere judgment was mature, “ When glittering toys the infant mind allure, “ Following their parents' avaricious rule, “ To wed, with hopes of bliss, a wealthy fool. " When time remov'd delusion's veil by stealth, " And Thew'd the drear vacuity of wealth ; " When fad experience prov'd the bitter fate “ Of beauty coupled to a senseless mate; “ These gentle wives still gloried to submit ; « Thefe, tho' invited by alluring wit, “ Refus'd in paths of lawless joy to range, “ Nor murmur'd at the lot they could not change: “ But, with a lively sweetness, unopprest · By a dull husband's lamentable jeft,
" Their conftant rays of gay good-humour spread " A guardian glory round their idiot's head.
“ The next in order are those lovely forms, “ Whofe patience weather'd all paternal storms; “ By filial cares, the mind's unfailing test, “ Well have they earn’d these feats of blissful rest : “They, unrepining at severe restraint, “ Peevish commands, and undeser v'd complaint ; “ Bent with unwearied kindness to appease “ Each fancied want of querulous disease ; “ Gave up those joys which youthful hearts engage, 6. To watch the weakness of paternal age.
“ Turn to this cheerful band; and mark in this, “ Spirits who juftly claim my realms of bliss ! “ Most lovely these ! when judg’d by generous truth, “ Tho' beauty is not their's, nor blooming youth : “ For these are they, who, in life's thorny shade,
Repin’d not at the name of ancient maid. “ No proud disdain, no narrowness of heart “ Held them from Hymen's tempting rites apart; “ But fair discretion led them to withdraw “ From the priz'd honour of his proffer'd law, “ To quit the object of no hasty choice, “ In mild submission to a parent's voice; “ The valued lover with a ligh resign, “ And sacrifice delight at duty's shrine. “ With smiles they bore, from angry spleen exempt, “ Injurious mockery, and coarse contempt : “ 'Twas their's to clasp, each selfish care above, “ A sister's orphans with paternal love, “ And all her tender offices supply, “ Tho' bound not by the strong maternal tie :
“ 'Twas their's to bid intestine quarrels cease, “ And form the cement of domestic peace. “ No throbbing joy their spotless bosom fir'd, “ Save what Benevolence herself inspir’d; “ No praise they fought, except that praise refin'd, “ Which the heart whispers to the worthy mind.
“ Such are these gentle tribes, the happy few, “ Who share the triumph to their victory due : “ Angelic aims their spotless minds employ, « And fill their measure of unchequer'd joy.
“ Behold! where some with generous ardour wait “ Around yon Seer, who holds the book of Fate; « Those awful leaves with eager glance they turn, • Thence with celestial zeal they fondly learn * What dangers threaten, thro' the vale of earth, “ Their kindred pilgrims, ere they rise to birth : “ To earth they still invisibly descend, “ In that dark scene congenial minds defend," - From Pleasure's bud drive Spleen's corroding worm, 66 And in
votaries' hearts “ Delights more calm yon listening band employ, “ Who deeply drink of intellectual joy. “ See them around that speaking nymph rejoice, “ Their pleasures varying with her varied voice ! “ What graces in the sweet enthusiast glow!
Repeating here whate'er she learns below. “ Mem'ry her name, her charge o’er earth to flit, " And cull the fairest flowers of human wit. “ Whatever genius, in his happiest hour, “ Has penn'd, of moral grace and comic power, " To warm the heart, the spells of spleen unbind, “ And pour gay sunshine o'er the misty mind;
my power confirm.
« Teach men to cherish their fraternal tie,
“ But morning calls thee hence.--Yet one scene
"My fostering love shall lead thee to explore. “ This, thy last fight, with careful eyes furvey, • And mark th' extensive nature of my way."
S E C T.
THE LAST SCENE PRESENTED TO SERENA.
HUS with fond zeal the guardian spirit faid,
And to new precincts of her palace led;