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SELIM; OR, THE SHEPHERD'S MORAL. Scene-A Valley near Bagdat. Time-The Morning. 'YE Persian maids! attend your poet's lays, And hear how shepherds pass their golden days. Not all are blest, whom Fortune's hand sustains With wealth in courts; nor all that haunt the plains: Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell; 'Tis virtue makes the bliss where'er we dwell.')

Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspired;
Nor praise, but such as Truth bestow'd, desired:
Wise in himself, his meaning songs convey'd
Informing morals to the shepherd maid;
Or taught the swains that surest bliss to find,
What groves nor streams bestow-a virtuous mind.

When sweet and blushing, like a virgin bride,
The radiant morn resumed her orient pride;
When wanton gales along the valleys play,
Breathe on each flower, and bear their sweets away;
By Tigris' wand'ring waves he sat, and sung
This useful lesson for the fair and young:

'Ye Persian dames, he said, to you belong Well may they please—the morals of my song: No fairer maids, I trust, than you are found, Graced with soft arts, the peopled world around! The morn that lights you, to your love supplies Each gentler ray delicious to your eyes:

For you those flowers her fragrant hands bestow,
And yours the love that kings delight to know.
Yet think not these, all beauteous as they are,
The best kind blessings Heaven can grant the fair!
Who trust alone in Beauty's feeble ray,
Boast but the worth Bassora's pearls display;
Drawn from the deep, we own their surface bright,
But, dark within, they drink no lustrous light:
Such are the maids, and such the charms they boast,
By sense unaided, or to virtue lost.
Self-flattering sex! your hearts believe in vain

That Love shall blind, when once he fires the swain ;
Or hope a lover by your faults to win,
As spots on ermine beautify the skin:
Who seeks secure to rule, be first her care
Each softer virtue that adorns the fair;
Each tender passion man delights to find,
The loved perfections of a female mind! \

Blest were the days when Wisdom held her reign,
And shepherds sought her on the silent plain;
With Truth she wedded in the secret grove,
Immortal Truth! and daughters bless'd their love.
O haste, fair maids! ye Virtues, come away,
Sweet Peace and Plenty lead you on your way!
The balmy shrub for you shall love our shore,
By Ind excell'd, or Araby, no more.

Lost to our fields, for so the Fates ordain, The dear deserters shall return again.

Come thou, whose thoughts as limpid springs are clear, To lead the train, sweet Modesty, appear:

Here make thy court amidst our rural scene,

And shepherd-girls shall own thee for their queen :
With thee be Chastity, of all afraid,
Distrusting all, a wise, suspicious maid;
But man the most-not more the mountain doe
Holds the swift falcon for her deadly foe.

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Cold is her breast, like flowers that drink the dew;
A silken veil conceals her from the view.
No wild desires amidst thy train be known,
But Faith, whose heart is fix'd on one alone:
Desponding Meekness, with her downcast eyes,
And friendly Pity, full of tender sighs:

And Love, the last: by these
These are the virtues that must lead to love.'

your hearts approve,

Thus sung the swain; and ancient legends say,
The maids of Bagdat verified the lay:
Dear to the plains, the Virtue's came along,
The shepherds loved, and Selim bless'd his song.



Scene-The Desert. Time-Mid-day.
IN silent horror, o'er the boundless waste
The driver Hassan with his camels past;
One cruse of water on his back he bore,
And his light scrip contain'd a scanty store;
A fan of painted feathers in his hand,

To guard his shaded face from scorching sand.
The sultry sun had gain'd the middle sky,
And not a tree, and not an herb was nigh;
The beasts, with pain, their dusty way pursue,
Shrill roar'd the winds, and dreary was the view!
With desperate sorrow wild, th' affrighted man
Thrice sigh'd, thrice struck his breast, and thus began.
Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

· Ah! little thought I of the blasting wind, The thirst or pinching hunger that I find

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Bethink thee, Hassan, where shall thirst assuage,
When fails this cruse, his unrelenting rage?
Soon shall this scrip its precious load resign;
Then what but tears and hunger shall be thine?

Ye mute companions of my toils, that bear
In all my griefs a more than equal share!
Here, where no springs in murmurs break away,
Or moss-crown'd fountains mitigate the day,
In vain ye hope the dear delights to know,
Which plains more blest, or verdant vales bestow:
Here rocks alone and tasteless sands are found,

And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around.
Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!
Curst be the gold and silver which persuade
Weak men to follow far fatiguing trade!
The lily peace outshines the silver store,
And life is dearer than the golden ore:
Yet money tempts us o'er the desert brown,
To every distant mart and wealthy town.
Full oft we tempt the land, and oft the sea;
And are we only yet repaid by thee?
Ah! why was ruin so attractive made?
Or why fond man so easily betray'd?
Why heed we not, while mad we haste along,
The gentle voice of Peace, or Pleasure's song?
Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side,
The fountain's murmurs, and the valley's pride,
Why think we these less pleasing to behold
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?

Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!
'Oh cease, my fears!—all frantic as I go,
When thought creates unnumber'd scenes of woe;
What if the lion in his rage I meet!-
Oft in the dust I view his printed feet;

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And, fearful! oft, when day's declining light
Yields her pale empire to the mourner night,
By hunger roused, he scours the groaning plain,
Gaunt wolves and sullen tigers in his train:
Before them Death with shrieks directs their way,
Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey.

Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day, When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

At that dread hour the silent asp shall creep, If aught of rest I find, upon my sleep: Or some swoln serpent twist his scales around, And wake to anguish with a burning wound. Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor, From lust of wealth, and dread of death secure! They tempt no deserts, and no griefs they find; Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind. Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day, When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

O hapless youth!-for she thy love hath won, The tender Zara will be most undone!

Big swell'd my heart, and own'd the powerful maid,
When fast she dropt her tears, as thus she said:
"Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain,
Whom Zara's breaking heart implored in vain!
Yet as thou go'st may every blast arise
Weak and unfelt, as these rejected sighs!
Safe o'er the wild, no perils may'st thou see,
No griefs endure, nor weep, false youth, like me!
O let me safely to the fair return,

Say, with a kiss, she must not, shall not mourn;
O! let me teach my heart to lose its fears,
Recall'd by Wisdom's voice, and Zara's tears!'
He said; and call'd on Heaven to bless the day
When back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.

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