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With melting sweetness, or with magic fire,
Breathe the soft lute, or strike the louder lyre?
From that fam'd lyre no vulgar music sprung,
The Graces tun'd'it, and Apollo strung.
Apollo too was once a shepherd swain,
And fed the flock, and grac'd the rustic plain,
He taught what charms to rural life belong,
The social sweetness, and the sylvan fong;
He taught, fair Wisdom in her grove to woo,
Her joys how precious, and her wants how few!
The savage herds in mute attention stood,
And ravish'd Echo fill'd the vocal wood;
The sacred Sisters, stooping from their sphere,
Forgot their golden harps, intent to hear.
Till Heav'n the scene survey'd with jealous eyes,
And Jove, in envy, call'd him to the fries.
Young Polydore was rich in large domains,
In smiling pastures, and in flow'ry plains :
With these, he boasted each exterior charm,
To win the prudent, and the cold to warm;
To act the tenderness he never felt,
In sorrow foften, and in anguish melt,
The figh elaborate, the fraudful tear,
The joy dissembled, and the well-feign'd fear,
All these were his; and his the treach'rous art
That steals the guileless and unpractis'd heart.
Too soon he heard of Lindamira's fame,
'Twas each enamour'd shepherd's fav'rite theme;
Return'd the rising, and the setting fun,
The shepherd's fav’rite theme was never done ;
They prais'd her wit, her worth, her shape, her air
And e’en inferior beauties thought her fair.
Such sweet perfection all his wonder movid;
He faw, admir’d, nay, fancy'd that he lov’d:
But Polydore no real pafsion knew,
Loft all to truth in feigning to be true.
No sense of tenderness could warm a heart,
Too proud to feel, too selfish to impart,
Cold as the snows of Rhodope descend,
And with the chilling waves of Hebrus blend ;
 So cold the breast where vanity presides, And mean self-love the bosom feelings guides.
Too well he knew to make his conquest sure, Win her soft heart, yet keep his own secure. So oft he told the well-imagin'd tale, So oft he swore-how should he not prevail ? Too unsuspecting not to be deceiv'd, The well-imagin'd tale the nymph believ'd; She lov'd the youth, she thought herself belov’d, Nor blush'd to praise whom every maid approv’d. Alas! that youth, from Lindamira far, For newer conquests wages cruel war ; With other nymphs on other plains he roams, Where injur'd Lindamira never comes ; Laughs at her easy faith, insults her woe, Nor pities tears himself had taught to flow.
And now her eye's soft radiance seem'd to fail, And now the crimson of her cheek grew pale; The lilly there, in faded beauty, shows Its sickly empire o'er the vanquish'd rose. Devouring sorrow marks her for his prey, And flow and certain mines his silent way. Yet, as apace her ebbing life declin'd, Increasing strength sustain’d her firmer mind. • Oh! had my heart been hard as his,' she cry'd, • An hapless victim thus I had not dy'd : • If there be gods, and gods there surely are, • Insulted virtue doubtless is their care. • Then hasten, righteous Heav'n! my tedious fate, • Shorten my woes, and end my mortal date : • Quick let your pow'r transform this failing frame, • Let me be any thing but what I am! • And since the cruel woes I'm doom'd to feel,
Proceed, alas ! from having lov'd too well; • Grant me some form where love can have no part, • Nor human weakness reach my guarded heart. • If pity has not left your blest abodes,
Change me to flinty adamant, ye gods ; • To hardeit rock, or monumental stone, • Rather than let me know the pangs I've known, • So shall I thus no farther torments prove, Nor taunting rivals say “ she dy'd for love."
• For sure if aught can aggrevate our fate,
• Tis scorn or pity from the breast we hate.'
She said—the gods accord the fad request :
For when were pious prayers in vain address’d?
Now, strange to tell, if rural folks say true,
To harden'd rock the stiff’ning damsel grew;
No more her shapeless features can be known,
Stone is her body, and her limbs are stone;
The growing rock invades her beauteous face;
And quickly petrifies each living grace;.
The stone her stature nor her shape retains,
The nymph is vanish'd, but the rock remains..
Yet would her heart its vital spirits keep,
And scorn to mingle with the marble heap.
When babbling Fame the fatal tidings bore,
Grief seiz'd the foul of perjur'd Polydore;
Despair and horror robb'd his soul of rest,
And deep compunction wrung his tortur'd breast,
Then to the fatal spot in haste he hy'd,
And plung'd a deadly poniard in his side:
He bent his dying eyes upon the stone,
And, • Take, sweet maid, he cry'd, my parting groan.'
Fainting, the steel he grasp?d, and, as he fell,
The weapon pierc'd the rock he lov'd so well;
The guiltless steel affail'd the mortal part,
And Itabb’d the vital, vulnerable heart;
The life-blood issuing from the wounded stone,
Blends with the crimson current of his own,
And, though revolving ages since have past,
The meeting torrents undiminish'd last;
Still gulhes out the fanguine stream amain,
The standing wonder of the stranger swain.
Now once a year, so rustic records tell, When o'er the heath resounds the midnight bell; On eve of Midsummer, that foe to sleep, What time young maids their annual vigils keep, The * tell-tale shrub fresh gather'd to declare The swains who false, from those who constant are ; When ghosts, in clanking chains, the church-yard walk, And to the wond’ring ear of fancy talk:
When the scar'd maid steals trembling through the grove,
To kiss the tomb of him who dy'd for love:
When with long watchings, Care, at length opprest,
Steals broken pauses of uncertain rest;
Nay, Grief short snatches of repose can take,
And nothing but Depair is quite awake:
Then, at that hour, so still, so full of fear,
When all things horrible to thought appear,
Is perjur'd Polydore observ'd to rove,
A ghastly spectre, through the gloomy grove;
Then to the Rock, the Bleeding Rock repair,
Where, sadly fighing, it dissolves to air.
Still when the hours of folemn rites return,
The village train in sad procession mourn;
Pluck every weed which might the spot disgrace,
And plant the fairest field-flow'rs in their place:
Around no noxious plant or flow'ret grows,
But the first daffodil, and earliest rose:
The snow-drop spreads its whitelt bosom here,
And golden cowslips grace the vernal year:
Here the pale primrose takes a fairer hue,
And every vi’let boasts a brighter blue.
Here builds the wood-lark, here the faithful dove
Laments her loft, or wooes her living love.
Secure from harm is ev'ry hallow'd nest,
The spot is sacred where true-lovers rest.
To guard the rock from each malignant sprite,
A troop of guardian spirits watch by night,
Aloft in air each takes his little stand,
The neighb’ring hill is hence call?d Fairy Land.*
On the DEATH of a FAVOURITE OLD SPANIEL.
Phillis ! The burthen of old age was heavy on thee, And yet thou shouldst have liv’d! What tho' thinę eye Was dim, and watch'd no more, with eager joy,
The wonted call, that on thy dull sense sunk
With fruitless repetition, the warm sun
Would still have cheerd thy slumber; thou didft love
To lick the hand that fed thee; and though past
Youth's active season, even life itself
Was comfort. Poor old friend! moft earnestly
Would I have pleaded for thee; thou hadft been
Still the companion of my childish sports:
And, as I roam'd o'er Avon's woody cliffs,
From many a day.dream has thy fort quick bark
Recall'd my wand'ring soul. I have beguil'd
Often the melancholy hours at school,
Sour’d by some little tyrant, with the thought
Of distant home, and I remember'd then
Thy faithful fondness: for not mean the joy,
Returning at the pleasant holidays,
I felt from thy dumb welcome. Pensively
Sometimes have I remark'd thy flow decay,
Feeling myself chang’d too, and musing much
On many a sad viciflitude of life!
Ah! poor companion! when thou follow'dft last
Thy master's parting footsteps to the gate
That clos'd for ever on him, thou didst lose
Thy truest friend, and none was left to plead
For the old age of brute fidelity!
But fare thee well! mine is no narrow creed :
And He who gave thee being, did not frame
The mystery of life to be the sport
Of merciless man! There is another world
For all that live and move a better one!
Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine
Infinite Goodness to the little bounds
Of their own charity, may envy
TORBEAR, my friends, to facrifice your fame
, I own that hunger will indulgence claim
For hard stone heads and landscape carving.