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Might I but once again behold thy charms,
Might I but breathe my last in those dear arms,
On that lov'd face but fix my closing eye,
Permitted where I might not live to die,
My foften'd fate I wou'd accuse no more ;
But fate has no such happiness in store.
'Tis paft, 'tis done-what gleam of hopę behind,
When I can ne'er be false, nor thou be kind ?
Why then this care?--'tis weak—'tis vain--farewel
At that last word what agonies I feel !
I faint-I die-remember I was true
"Tis all I ask-eternally--adieu ! -
By the Same. Pompey, when he was very young, fell in love with Flora,
a Roman courtezan, who was so very beautiful that the
Romans bad her painted to adorn the temple of Castor
and Pollux. Geminius (Pompey's friend) afterwards
fell in love with her too; but she, preporoded with a pas.
fron for Pompey, would not listen to Geminius. Pompey,
in compassion to his friend, yielded him his mistress, which
Flora took so much to heart, that size fell dangerously ill
upon it, and in that fickness is supposed to write the fol.
lowing letter to Pompey.
RE death these closing eyes for ever shade,
(That death thy cruelcies have welcome made)
Receive, thou yet lov'd man! this one adieu,
This last farewel to happiness and you.
My eyes o'erflow with tears, my trembling hand
Can scarce the letters form, or pen command :
The dancing paper swims before my sight,
And scarce myself can read the words I write.
behold me in this loft eftate,
And think yourself the author of my fate :
How vast the change! your Flora’s now become
The gen'ral pity, not the boast of Rome.
This form, a pattern to the sculptor's art,
This face, the idol once of Pompey's heart,
(Whose pictur'd beauties Rome thought fit to place
The sacred temples of her gods to grace)
Are charming now no more; the bloom is filed,
The lillies languid, and the roses dead.
Soon fhall some hand the glorious work deface,
Where Grecian pencils tell what Flora was ;
No longer my resemblance they impart,
They lost their likeness, when I loft thy heart.
Oh! that those hours could take their turn again, When Pompey, lab’ring with a jealous pain, His Flora thus bespoke : “ Say, my dear love! " Shall all these rivals unsuccessful prove ? “ In vain, for ever, shall the Roman youth
Envy my happiness, and tempt thy truth?
“ Shall neither tears nor pray’rs thy pity move ?
“ Ah! give not pity, 'tis akin to love.
“ Would Flora were not fair in such excess,
“ That I might fear, tho' not adore her less."
Fool that I was, I fought to ease that grief,
Nor knew indiff'rence follow'd the relief:
Experience taught the cruel truth too late,
I never dreaded, till I found
'Twas mine to ask if Pompey's self could hear,
Unmov'd, his rival's unsuccessful pray'r;
To make thee swear he'd not thy pity move;
Alas ! such pity is no kin to love.
'Twas thou thyself (ungrateful as thou art !) Bade me unbend the rigour of my heart:
You chid my faith, reproach'd my being true,
(Unnat'ral thought!) and labour'd to subdue
The constancy my soul maintain'd for you ;
To other arms your mistress you
condemn'd, Too cool a lover, and too warm a friend.
How could'At thou thus my lavish heart abuse,
To ask the only thing it could refuse?
Nor yet upbraid me, Pompey, what I say,
For 'tis my merit that I can't obey;
Yet this alledg'd against me as a fault,
Thy rage fomented, and my ruin wrought.
Just gods ! what tye, what conduct can prevail
O'er fickle man, when truth like mine can fail ?
Urge not, to glofs thy crime, the name of friend,
We know how far those sacred laws extend;
Since other heroes have not blush'd to prove
How weak all paffion's when oppos'd to love :
Nor boast the virtuous confict of thy heart,
When gen'rous pity took Geminius' part;
'Tis all heroic fraud, and Roman art.
Such flights of honour might amuse the crowd,
But by a mistress ne'er can be allow'd ;
Keep for the fenate, and the grave debate,
That infamous hypocrisy of state :
There words are virtue, and your trade deceit.
No riddle is thy change, nor hard t' explain ;
Flora was fond, and Pompey was a man:
No longer then a specious tale pretend,
Nor plead fi&titious merit to your friend :
By nature false, you follow'd her decree,
Nor gen'rous are to him, but false to me.
You say you melted at Geminius' tears,
You say you felt his agonizing carcs :
Gross artifice, that this from him could move,
And not from Flora, whom you say you love :
You could not bear to hear your rival sigh, ;
Yet bear un mov'd to see your mistress die.
Inhuman hypocrite ! not thus can he
My wrongs, and my distress, obdurate, fee.
He, who receiv'd, condemns the gift you made,
And joins with me the giver to upbraid,
Forgetting he's oblig'd, and mourning I'm betray'd.
He loves too well that cruel gift to use,
Which Pompey lov'd too little to refuse :
Fain would he call my vagrant lord again,
But I the kind embassador restrain ;
I scorn to let another take my part,
And to myself will owe or lose thy heart.
Can nothing e'er rekindle love in thee?
Can nothing e'er extinguish it in me?
That I could tear thee from this injur'd breast !
And where you gave my person, give the reit,
At once to grant and punish thy request.
That I could place thy worthy rival there !
No second insult need my fondness fear;