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Swift as they felt their ruling power inthron'd,
Æthereal beings, who her empire own'd,
Crowded in glittering pomp the gorgeous scene,
To pay their homage to their heav'nly queen.
First came chalte Love, whose sweet harmonious
Ne'er felt suspicion's soul-convulling storm;
No baleful arrow in his quiver lies,
No blinding veil enwraps his sparkling eyes;
Here all the rays of varied joy unite,
And jointly shed unspeakable delight.
With him was Friendship, like a virgin dreft,
The soft asbestos form'd her simple veít,
Whose wondrous folds, in fiercest flames entire,
Mock the vain ravage of consuming fire :
Around this robe, a mystic chain the wore,
Each golden link a star of diamonds bore ;
Force could not tear the finish'd work apart,
Nor Int'rest loose it by his subtleft art :
But, ftrange to tell! if the presiding power,
Who to her favourite gave this precious dower,
If kind Sophrofyne could fail to breathe
Her vital virtue on this magic wreath,
The parts must sever, faithless to their trust,
The gold grow dross, and every diamond duft.
These Valour follow'd, deck'd with verdant palm,
Gracefully bold, majestically calm.
A mingled troop fucceed, with festive found,
Wisdom with olive, Wit with feathers crown'd;
Here, hand in hand they move, no longer foes,
Their charms increasing as their union grows ;
Pure spirits all, who hating mental strife,
Exalt creation, and embellish life ;
All here attend, and in their sov'reign's praise,
Their circling forms the song of glory raise.
The bleft Serena drinks, with ravish'd ear,
The melting music of the tuneful sphere.
Now in its close the foothing echoes roll
O’er her rapt fancy, and entrance her soul ;
Her senses sink in soft Oblivion's bands,
Till faithful Jenny at her pillow stands,
Recals each mental and corporeal power,
While she proclaims aloud the passing hour ;
And in a voice expressive of surprise,
Too shrill to seem the music of the skies,
Informs the startled fair 'tis time to rise.
A PEER INVITES SERENA TO A BALL.
BLEST be the heart of fympathetic mould,
Whatever form that gentle heart enfold,
Whose generous fibres with fond terror shake,
When keen affliction threatens to o’ertake
Young artless beauty, as alarm’d she strays
Thro’ the strange windings of this mortal maze !
To such, Serena, be thy story known,
Whose bosom best can make thy lot their own,
And, kindly sharing in thy trials past,
Attend with sweet anxiety the last.
The hour approaches, the tremendous hour,
In whose dark moments deeper perils lower ;
Still so enwrapt in Pleasure's gay disguise,
They lurk invisible to Caution's eyes;
And, unsuspected by the fair one, wait
To cancel or confirm her blissful fate.
Her lively mind with bright ideas ftor’d,
She takes her station at the breakfast-board ;
Still her soft soul the heav'nly vision fills,
And sweetest graces in her smile instils;
New hopes of triumph glide through ev'ry nerve,
And arm her glowing heart with firm reserve;
Conscious the final trying chance impends,
To bear its force her every power she bends ;
In her quick thought ambitious to presage
How Spleen's dark agents may exert their rage,
She ponders on what perils may befal,
And fondly deems her mind a match for all.
Ah, lovely nymph! this dang'rous pride forego;
Pride may betray-Security's thy foe.
While fancied Prudence thus, a foreign guest,
Sits doubly cherish'd in Serena's breast,
Behold a billet her attention steal,
No common arms compose its ample seal ;
Th’ unfolding paper breathes a roseate scent,
Sweet harbinger of joy, its kind intent.
Of courteous Filligree it bears the name,
Clear symptom of the peer's increasing flame!
The gracious Earl, lamenting pleasure loft,
And fair Serena in her wishes croft,
Has plann'd in honour of the lovely maid
A fancied ball, a private masquerade,
And fupplicates her fire, with warm efteem,
To smile indulgent on the festive scheme.
All arts he uses to ensure the grant,
Nor leaves unask'd the
Quick at the sound Serena's glowing heart
Throbs with gay hopes; but foon those hopes depart:
Reflection, in her soul a faithful guard,
The opening avenues of pleasure barr'd:
She deem'd the plan of this delightful show,
But the new ambush of her secret foe;
The bliss too bright to realize, she guess’d,
And chas’d th' idea from her guarded breaft.
While these discreet resolves her thought employ,
Tranquil she triumphs o'er the smother'd joy.
Not fo the Knight-to his parental eyes
In dazzling pomp delusive visions rise :
That coronet, the object of his vow,
He sees suspended o'er his daughter's brow;
Eager he burns to snap the pendant thread,
And fix the glory on his darling's head.
Far wiser aims the ancient maiden caught,
No empty gew-gaw flutters in her thought ;
But, while more keenly she applauds the plan,
Her hope is solid and substantial man ;
Not for her infant niece, whose baby frame
She holds unfit for Hymen's holy flame;
But for her riper self, whose strength may bear,
The heaviest burden of connubial care.
Tho' different phantoms dance before their fight, Niece, aunt, and father, in one wish unite.
To join the banquet is their common choice,
The business past with no difsenting voice ;
And the warm fire, in whom ambition burn'd,
A note of grateful courtesy return'd:
His billet seal'd, the glad good-humour'd knight
Launch'd forth, like Nestor, on his youthful might.
HE Peer himself, his prowess to evince,
Shines in the semblance of a moorish Prince;
And round the brilliant mimic hero wait
All pomp and circumstance of Moorish state:
Thro' all his splendid dome no eye could find
Aught unembellish’d, save the master's mind.
There, tho' represt by courtesy's controul,
Lurks the low mover of the little soul,
Mean vanity; whose slave can never prove
The heart-refining flame of genuine love.
While her cold joys his abject mind amuse,
His thoughts are bufied on connubial views.
His house compleat, its decorations plac'd
By the sure hand of fashionable taste,
He only wants, to crown his modish life,
That last and finest moveable-a Wife.
She too must prove, to fix his coy desire,
Such as the eye of fashion will admire.