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Is this your wily Carthaginian kind?
No English woman had been half so kind.
What from a husband's hand could she expect
But ratsbane, or that common fate, neglect ?
Perhaps some languishing soft fair may say,
Poyson's so shocking—but consider pray,
She feard the Roman, he the marriage chain;
All other means to free them both were vain.
Let none then Massinissa's conduct blame,
He first his love consulted, then his fame.
And if the fair one with too little art,
Whilft seemingly she play'd a patriot-part,
Was secretly the dupe of her own heart;
Forgive a fault she strove so well to hide,
Nor be compassion to her fate deny’d,
Who liv'd unhappily, and greatly dy'd.
An Imitation of the Eleventh Ode of the First
Book of HORACE.
FORBEAR, my dear Stephen, with a fruitless desire,
, Into truths which are better conceald to enquire ; Perhaps many years are allow'd us by Fate, Or next winter perhaps is the last of their date : Let the credulous fools whom astrologers cheat, Exult or despond, as they vary deceit ; Who anticipate care, their own pleasure destroy, And invite disappointment who build upon joy; All ills unforeseen we the easiest endure, What avails to foresee, unless foresight could cure ? And from ills by their art how can wretches be freed, When that art must be false, or those ills be decreed? From reflection and hope little comfort we find, To poffeffion alone let thy thoughts be confin’d; To-day's all the treasure poor mortals can boast, For to-morrow's not gained, and yesterday's loft ;
Even now whilst I write, time steals on our youth,
And a moment's cut off from thy friendship and truth.
Then seize the swift blessing, enjoy the dear now,
And take, 'not expect, what hereafter 'll bestow.
HAT shall I say to fix thy wav'ring mind,
To chase thy doubts, and force thee to be kind? What weight of argument can turn the scale, If intercession from a lover fail ? By what shall I conjure thee to obey This tender summons, nor prolong thy stay? If unabated in this conftant breast That passion burns which once thy vows profess’d; If absence has not chill'd the languid Aame, Its ardour and its purity the fame ; Indulge those transports, and no more controul The dictates of thy fond consenting soul; By no vain scruple be thy purpose sway'd, And only Love implicitly obey'd :
Let inclination this debate decide,
Nor be thy prudence, but thy heart thy guide:
But real prudence never can oppose
What Love suggests, and Gratitude avows :
The warm dear raptures which thy bosom move,
'Tis virtue to indulge, and wisdom to improve :
For think how few the joys allow'd by Fate,
How mix'd the cup, how short their longest date !
How onward still the stream of pleasure flows !
That no reflux the rapid current knows !
Not ev’n thy charms can bribe the ruthless hand
Of rigid Time, to stay his ebbing sand;
Fair as thou art, that beauty must decay;
The night of age fucceeds the brightest day:
That cheek where Nature's fweetest garden blows,
Her whitest lily, and her warmest rose ;
Those eyes, those meaning ministers of Love,
Who, what thy lips can only utter, prove;
These must resign their luftre, those their bloom,
And find with meaner charms one common doom :
Pass but a few short years, this change must be;
Nor one less dreadful shalt thou mourn in me:
For though no chance can alienate my fame,
While thine to feed the lamp, shall burn the same,
Yet shall the stream of years abate that fire,
And cold esteem succeed to warm desire :
Then on thy breast enraptur'd shall I dwell,
Nor feel a joy beyond what I can tell.
Or say, should sickness antedate that woe,
And intercept what Time would else allow;
If pain should pall my taste to all thy charms,
Or Death himself should tear me from thy arms;
How would’st thou then regret with fruitless truth,
The precious squander'd hours of health and youth?
Come then, my love, nor trust the future day,
Live whilst we can, be happy whilst we may:
For what is life unless its joys we prove ?
And what is happiness but mutual love?
Our time is wealth no frugal hand can store,
All our poffeffion is the present hour,
And he who spares to use it, ever poor.
The golden now is all that we can boast;
And that (like snow) at once is grasp’d and loft.
Hafte, wing thy passage then, no more delay,
But to these eyes their fole delight convey.
Not thus I languish'd for thy virgin charms,
When first surrender'd to these eager arms,