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Then would thy foul my fond confent deplore,
And blame what it follicited before;
Thy own exhausted would reproach my truth,
And fay I had undone thy blinded youth;
That I had damp'd Ambition's nobler flame,
Eclips'd thy talents, and obfcur'd thy fame;
To madrigals and odes that wit confin'd,
That would in fenates or in courts have shin'd,
Gloriously active in thy country's caufe,
Afferting freedom, and enacting laws.
Or fay, at best, that negatively kind
You only mourn'd, and filently repin'd;
The jealous dæmons in my own fond breast
Would all these thoughts inceffantly fuggeft,
And all that fenfe muft feel, tho' pity had fuppreft.
Yet added grief my apprehenfion fills
(If there can be addition to thofe ills)
When they shall cry, whose harsh reproof I dread,
"Twas thy own deed, thy folly on thy head!"
Age knows not to allow for thoughtless youth,
Nor pities tenderness, nor honours truth;
Holds it romantic to confefs a heart,
And fays thofe virgins act a wifer part
Who hospitals and bedlams would explore
To find the rich, and only dread the poor;
Who legal prostitutes, for int'rest fake,
Clodios and Timons to their bofoms take,
And, if avenging heav'n permit increase,
People the world with folly and difeafe.
Those titles, deeds, and rent-rolls only wed,
Whilft the best bidder mounts the venal bed,
And the grave aunt and formal fire approve
This nuptial fale, this auction of their love.
But if regard to worth or fense be shown,
That poor degenerate child her friends difown,
Who dares to deviate by a virtuous choice
From her great name's hereditary vice.
These scenes my prudence ufhers to my mind,
Of all the storms and quickfands I must find,
If I embark upon this fummer fea,
Where Flatt'ry smooths, and Pleasure gilds the way.
Had our ill fate ne'er blown thy dang❜rous flame
Beyond the limits of a friend's cold name,
I might upon that score thy heart receive,
And with that guiltless name my own deceive;
That commerce now in vain you recommend,
I dread the latent lover in the friend;
Of ignorance I want the poor excuse,
And know, I both must take, or both refuse.
Hear then the safe, the firm resolve I make,
Ne'er to encourage one I must forfake.
Whilft other maids a fhameless path pursue,
Neither to int'reft, nor to honour true,
And proud to fwell the triumph of their eyes,
Exult in love from lovers they defpife;
Their maxims all revers'd I mean to prove,
And though I like the lover, quit the love.
EPISTLES in the Manner of OVID.
MONIMIA to PHILOCLES.
By the Same.
INCE language never can describe my pain, How can I hope to move when I complain? But fuch is woman's frenzy in distress,
We love to plead, though hopeless of redress.
Perhaps, affecting ignorance, thou❜lt say,
From whence thefe lines? whofe meffage to convey?
Mock not my grief with that feign'd cold demand,
Too well you know the hapless writer's hand:
But if you force me to avow my shame,
Behold it prefac'd with Monimia's name.
Loft to the world, abandon'd and forlorn,
Expos'd to infamy, reproach, and scorn,
To mirth and comfort loft, and all for you,
Yet loft, perhaps, to your remembrance too,
How hard my lot! what refuge can I try,
Weary of life, and yet afraid to die!
Of hope, the wretch's last resort, bereft,
By friends, by kindred, by my lover, left.
Oh! frail dependence of confiding fools!
On lovers oaths, or friendship's facred rules,
How weak in modern hearts, too late I find,
Monimia's fall'n, and Philocles unkind!
To these reflections, each flow wearing day,
And each revolving night a conftant prey,
Think what I fuffer, nor ungentle hear
What madness dictates in my fond despair;
Grudge not this short relief, (too fast it flies)
Nor chide that weakness I myself despise.
One moment fure may be at least her due,
Who facrific'd her all of life for you.
Without a frown this farewel then receive,
For 'tis the last my hapless love fhall give;
Nor this I would, if reafon could command,
But what reftriction reins a lover's hand?
Nor prudence, fhame, nor pride, nor int'rest sways,
The hand implicitly the heart obeys:
Too well this maxim has my conduct fhewn,
Too well that conduct to the world is known.
Oft have I writ, and often to the flame
Condemn'd this after-witness of my shame;
Oft in my cooler recollected thought,
Thy beauties, and my fondness half forgot,
(How short those intervals for reafon's aid!)
Thus to myself in anguish have I faid.
Thy vain remonftrance, foolish maid, give o'er,
Who act the wrong, can ne'er that wrong deplore.
Then fanguine hopes again delufive reign,
I form'd thee melting, as I tell my pain.
If not of rock thy flinty heart is made,
Nor tygers nurs'd thee in the defart fhade,
Let me at least thy cold compaffion prove,
That slender sustenance of greedy love:
Though no return my warmer wishes find,
Be to the wretch, though not the mistress, kind;
Nor whilft I court my melancholy state,
Forget 'twas love, and thee, that wrought my fate.