« AnteriorContinuar »
Descends the fated flash. Young Celadon
And his Amelia were a matchless pair ;
With equal virtue form'd, and equal grace ;
The same, distinguish'd by the sex alone :
Her's the mild lustre of the blooming morn,
And his the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd ; but such their guiltless passion was
As in the dawn of time informd the heart
Of innocence, and undissembling truth.
'Twas friendship heightend by the mutual wish.
Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,
Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting alk
To love, each was to each a dearer self;
Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades,
Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing hourg,
Or sighd, and look'd unutterable things.
So pass'd their life, a clear united stream, By care unruffled : till, in evil hour; The tempest caught them on the tender walk, Heedless how far, and where its mazes stray'da While, with each other blest, creative love Still bade eternal Eden smile around. Heavy with instant fate her bosom heav'd Unwonted sighs ; and stealing oft a look Tow'rds the big gloom, on Celadon her eye Fell tearful, wetting her disordered cheek. In vain assuring love, and confidence In Heaven, repress'd her fear; it grew and shook Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd Thunequal conflict, and as angels look On doing saints, his eyes compassion shed, With love illumin'd high. “ Fear not,” he said, « Sweet innocence ! thou stranger to offence, « And inward storm, He, who yon skies involves « La frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
“ With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft « That wastes at midnight, or th’'undreaded hour « Of noon, flies harmless ; and that very voice, « Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart, « With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine. “ 'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus « To clasp perfection ! From his void embrace, (Mysterious Heaven !) that moment to the groundg: A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid. But who can paint the lover as he stood, Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life, Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe ! So, faint resemblance ! on the marble tomb, The well dissembled mourner stooping stands, For ever silent, and for ever sad,
SOON as young"reason dawn'd' in Junio's breast,
His father sent him from these geniai isles;
To where old Thames with conscious pride surveys
Green Eton, soft abode of every Muse.
Each classic beauty he soon made his own ;
And soon fam'd' Isis saw him woo the nine,
On her inspiring banks: Love tund his song :
For fair Theana was his only theme,
Acasto's daughter, whom in early youth
He oft distinguish'd ; and for whom he oft
Had climb'd the bending cocoa's airy beight,
To rob it of its nectar ; which the maid,
When he presented, more nectarious deem'd.
The sweetest sappadillas oft he brought ;
Erom him more sweet ripe sappadillas seem'd..
Nor had long absence yet effac'd her form;
Her charms still triumph'd o'er Britannia's fair.
One morn he met her in Sheen's royal walks :
Nor knew, till then, sweet Sheen contain'd his all.
His taste mature approv'd his infant choice.
In colour, form, expression, and in grace,
She shone all perfect ; while each pleasing art,
And each soft virtue that the sex adorns,
Adorn'd the woman. My imperfect strain
Can ill describe the transports Junio felt
At this discovery : he declar'd his love ;
She'own'd his merit, nor resus'd his hand.
And shall not Hymen light bis brightest torch
For this delighted pair ? Ah, Junio knew
His sire detested his Theana's house
Thus duty, reverence, gratitude, conspird
Te check their happy union. He resolvid
(And many a sigh that resolution cost) ·
To pass the time, till death his sire remov'd, :
In visiting old Europe's letter'd climes;
While she (and many a tear that parting drew,
Embark'd, reluctant, for her native isle.
Tho' learned, curious, and tho gobly bent
With each rare talent to adorn the mind,
His native land to serve ; no joys he found.
Yet sprightly Gaul ; yet Belgium, Saturn's reign
Yet Greece, of old the seat of every Muse,
Of freedom, courage ; yet Ausonia's clime
His steps explor’d, where painting, music's strains,
Where arts, where laws, (philosophy's best child)
With rival beauties his attention claim'd.
To his just-judging, his instructed eye,
The all perfect Medician Venus seem?d
A perfect semblance of his Indian fair :
But when she spoke of love, her voice surpass'd
The harmonious warblings of Italian song.
Twice one long year elaps'd, when letters came,
Which briefly told him of his father's death.
Afflicted, filial, yet to Heav'n resign'd,
Soon he reach'd Albion, and as soon embark'd,
Eager to clasp the object of his love.
Blow, prosperous breezes ; swiftly sail, thou Po! Swift sail'd the Po, and happy breezes blew.
In Biscay's stormy seas an armed ship,
Of force superior, from loud Charente's wave
Clapt them on board. The frighted flying crew
Their colours strike ; when dauntless Junio, fir'd
With noble indignation, killed the chief,
Who on the bloody deck dealt slaughter round.
The Gauls retreat ; the Britons loud huzza ;
And touch'd with shame, with emulation stung,
So plied their cannon, plied their missile fires,
That soon in air the hapless Thunderer blew.
Blow, prosperous breezes ; swiftly sail, thou Po : May no more dangerous fights retard thy way!
Soon Porto Sanco's rocky heights they spy,
Like clouds dim rising in the distant sky,
Glad Eurus whistles, laugh the sportive crew;
Each sail is set to catch the favouring gale,
While on the yard-arm the harpooner sits,
Strikes the boneta, or the shark ensnares:
The little nautilus, with purple pride
Expands his sails, and dances o’er the waves :
Small winged fishes on the shrouds alight;
And beauteous dolphins gently play'd around.
Tho' faster than the Tropic bird they flew,
Oft Junio cry'd, Ah ! when shall we see land?
Soon land they made ; and now in thought he clasp'd
His Indian bride, and deem'd his toils o'trpaid.
She, no less anxious, every evening walk'd
On the cool margin of the purple main,
Intent her Junio's vessel to descry.
One eve (faint calms for many a day had rag'd) The wing'd Dæmons of the tempest rose ;
Thunder, and rain, and lighting's awful power
She fled : could innocence, could beauty claim
Exemption from the grave; the ethereal bolt,
That stretch'd her speechless, o'er her lovely head
Had innocently roll'd.
Meanwhile, impatient Junio leap'd ashore,
Regardless of the Dæmons of the storm.
Ah, youth! what woes, too great for man to bear,
Are ready to burst on thee ? Urge not so
Thy flying courser. Soon Theana's porch
Receiv'd him : at his sight, the ancient slaves
Affrighted shriek, and to the chamber point :-
Confounded, yet not knowing what they meant,
He enter'd hasty
Ah! what a sight for one who lov'd so well!
All pale and cold, in every feature death,
Theana lay ; and yet a glimpse of joy
Play'd on her face, while with faint faultering voice,
She thus address'd the youth, whom yet she knew :
“ Welcome, my Junio, to thy native shore ! “ Thy sight repays this summons of my fate : “ Live, and live happy; sometimes think of me : " By night, by day, you still engag'd my care ; “ And, next to God, you now my thoughts employ: “ Accept of this My little all I give ; « Would it were larger."
Nature could no more : She look'd, embrac'd him, with a groan expir'd. But say, what strains, what language can express The thousand pangs,
which tore the lover's breast ? Upon her breathless corse himself he threw, And to her clay-cold lips, with trembling haste, Ten thousand kisses gave. He strove to speak ; Nor words he found : he claspt her in his arms ; He sigh’d, he swoond, look'd up, and died away, One grave contains this hapless, faithful pair ; And still the Cane-isles tell their matchless love !