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Ye gentle Gales, beneath my body blow, And foftly lay me on the waves below! And thou, kind Love, my sinking limbs sustain, Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main, Nor let a lover's death the guiltless flocd profane! On Phæbus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow, And this inscription shall be plac'd below: “ Here she who sung, to him that did inspire, “ Sappho to Phoebus consecrates her lyre. 215 “ What suits with Sappho, Phæbus, fuits with thee; “ The gift, the giver, and the god agree."
But why, alas ? relentless youth, ah why To distant feas must tender Sappho fly? Thy charins than those may far more pow'rful be, And Phæbus' self is less a god to me. Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea ? Oh far more faithless and more hard than they ! Ah! canst thou rather see this tender breast Dash'd on these rocks, than to thy bosom press’d? 225 This breast which once, in vain! you lik'd so well; Where the Loves play'd, and where the Muses dwell. Quicquid erit, melius quam nunc erit: aura, subito,
Et mea non magnum corpora pondus habent.
Tu quoque mollis amor, pennas fuppone cadenti:
Ne fim Leucadiæ mortua crimen aquæ.
Inde chelyn Phæbo communia munera ponam :
Et fub ea versus unus et alter erunt, « Grata lyram posui tibi, Phæbe, poëtria Sappho : 215
“ Convenit illa mihi, convenit illa tibi." Cur tamen Astiacas miseram me mittis ad oras,
Cum profugum pollis iple referre pedem? Tu mihi Leucadia potes effe falubrior unda: Et forma et meritis tu mihi Phoebus eris.
ô scopulis undaque ferocior illa, Si moriar, titulum mortis habere meæ ? At quanto melius jungi mea pectora tecum,
Quam poterant faxis præcipitanda dari! 22$ Hæc funt illa, Phaon, quæ tu laudare folebas ;
Visaque sunt toties ingeniofa tibi,
Alas! the Muses now no more inspire ;
Untun'd my lute, and filent is my lyre;
My languid numbers have forgot to flow, 230
And fancy links beneath a weight of woe.
Ye Lesbian Virgins, and ye Lesbian Dames,
Themes of my verse, and objects of my fiames,
No more your groves with my glad fongs shall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling itring:
My Phaon's filed, and I those arts resign,
(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!)
Return, fair Youth, l'eturn, and bring along
Joy to my soul, and vigour to my song:
Absent from thee, the poet's flame expires; - 240
But ah! how fiercely burns the lover's fires ?
Gods! can no pray’rs, no sighs, no numbers move
One savage heart, or teach it how to love?
The winds my pray’rs, my sighs, my numbers bear,
The flying winds have lost them all in air ! 245
Oh when, alas! fhall more auspicious gales
To these fond eyes restore thy welcome fails !
If you returrimah why thele long delays ?
Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays.
Nunc vellem facunda forent: dolor artibus obitat;
Ingeniumque meis substitit omne malis.
Non mihi reipondent veteres in carmina vires. 230
Plectra dolore tacent : muta dolore lyra ett.
Lelbides æquoreæ, nupturaque nuptaque proles ;
Lelbides, Æolia nomina dicta lyra;
Lesbides, infamem quæ me fecistis amatæ ;
Definite ad citharas turba venire meas.
Abstulit omne Phaon, quod vobis ante placebat. 236
(Me miseram! dixi quam modo pene, meus !)
Eficite ut redeat : vates quoque vestra redibit.
Ingenio vires ille dat, ille rapit.
240 Ecquid ago precibus ? pectusne agreste movetur ? : An riget? et zephyri verba caduca ferunt?
245 Qui mea verba ferunt, vellem tua vela referrent.
Hoc te, si faperes, lente, decebat opus.
Sive redis, puppique tuæ votiva parar,tur
Munera ; quid laceras pectora noftra mora?
o launch thy bark, nor fear the wat’ry plain; 259
Venus for thee shall smooth her native main.
O launch thy bark, fecure of prosp'rous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the swelling fails.
If you will fly-(yet ah! what cause can be,
Tóo cruel youth, that you should fly from me?) 255
If not from Phaon I mult hope for ease,
Ah let me seek it from the raging seas:
To raging seas unpity'd I'll remove,
And either cease to live or cease to love!
Sclve ratem: Venus orta mari, mare pritet eunti.
Aura dabit cursum ; tu modo folve ratem. 251 Ipfe gubernabit residens in puppe Cupido:
Ipfe dabit tenera vela legetque manu. Sive juvat longe fugiffe Pelafgida Sappho ;
(Non tamen invenies, cur ego digna fuga.) 255 [O faltem miferæ, Crudelis, epistola dicat:
Ut mihị Leucadiæ fata petantur aquæ.]
Abelard and Eloisa flourished in the twelfth century : they were two of the
moâ dittinguished perions of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing
more famous than for their unfortunate paffion. After a long course of cala-
mities, they retired each to a feveral convent, and confecrated the remainder of
their days to religion. It was many years after this feparation that a letter of
Abelard's to a friend, wirich contained the history of his inisfortune, fell into
the hands of Eloisa." This awakening all her tenderness, occafioned those ce-
lebrated Letters (out of which the following is partly extracted, which give to
lively a picture of the struggles of Grace and Nature, Virtue and Paffio... [P.]
IN these deep folitudes and
Where heav'nly-pensive Contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing Melancholy reigns,
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins ?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat ?
Why feels my heart its long forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love :--- From Abelard it came,
And Eloïsa yet must kiss the name.
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Nor pass these lips, in holy silence feald :
Hide it, my heart, within that clofe disguise,
Where mix'd with God's, his lov’d idea lies :
() write it not, my hand--the name appears
Already written--wash it out, my tears !
In vain loft Eloïsa weeps
15 Her heart ftill dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls ! whose darksome round contains
Repentant fighs, and voluntary pains:
Ye rugged Rocks! which holy knees have worn ;
Ye Grots and Caverns, shagg’d with horrid thorn! 20
Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep,
And pitying faints, whose statues learn to weep!
Though cold like you, unmov'd and silent
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not heay'n's while Abelard has part, 25
Still rebel Nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray’rs nor fafts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain..
Soon as thy letters trembling I uncloie,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Ob name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in sighs, still wher’d with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my cwn I find,
Some dire misfortune follows close behind,
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Led through a sad variety of woe :
Now waim in love, now with’ring in my blcom,
Loft in a convent's folitary gloom!
There itern Religion quench'd th' unwilling flame ;
There dy'd the beit of passions, love and fame.
Yet write, oh write me ail, that I may join
Grefs to thy griefs, and echo fighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away ;
And is my Abelard lets kind than they?
Tears ftill are mine, and those I need not spare,
Love but demands what else were fned in pray’r;
No happier task thele faded eyes pursue ;
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
Ah, more than thare it, give me all thy grief.
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid :
They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires,
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires ;
The virgin's with without her fears impart, 55.
Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart,
Speed the foft intercourle from soul to foul,
And watt a figh from Indus to the pole.
Thou know it how guiltieis firit I met thy flame,
When Love approach'd me under Friendship's name;
My fancy form’d thee of angelic kind,
Some emanation of th' all-beauteous Mind.
Those smiling eyes, attemp’ring ev'ry ray,
Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.
Guiltless I gaz'd ; Heav’n litten'd while you sung; 65
And truths divine came mended from that tongue.
From lips like thole what precept fail'd to move?
Too soon th:y taught me 'twas no fin to love :
Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran,
Nor with'd an angel whom I lov'd a man.
Dim and remote the joys of saints I fee;
Nor envy them that heav'n I lose for thee.
How oft, when press’d to marriage, have I said, Curse on all laws but those which Love has made !