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EPISTLE

To the Right Honourable CHARLES Lord HALIFAX.

To you, my Lord, my Muse her tribute pays
Of various verfe, in various rude essays;
To you, fhe first addrefs'd her early voice,
By inclination led, and fix'd by choice;
To you, on whofe indulgence the depends,

Her few collected lays the now commends.

By no one measure bound, her numbers range,
And, unrefolv'd in choice, delight in change;
Her fongs to no distinguish'd fame afpire,

For, now, she tries the reed, anon, attempts the lyre;
In high Parnaffus fhe no birthright claims,
Nor drinks deep draughts of Heliconian streams;
Yet near the facred mount fhe loves to rove,
Vifits the fprings, and hovers round the grove.
She knows what dangers wait too bold a flight,
And fears to fall from an Icarian height:

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Yet, fhe admires the wing that fafely foars,

At diftance follows, and its track adores.

She knows what room, what force, the swan requires,
Whofe towering head above the clouds aspires,
And knows as well, it is your lowest praise,
Such heights to reach with equal strength and ease.
O had your genius been to leifure born,

And not more bound to aid us, than adorn!
Albion in verfe with ancient Greece had vy'd,
And gain'd alone a fame, which, there, seven states divide.
But fuch, ev'n fuch renown, too dear had cost,
Had we the patriot in the poet loft.

A true poetic ftate we had deplor'd,
Had not your miniftry our coin restor❜d.

But ftill, my Lord, though your exalted name
Stands foremost in the fairest lift of Fame,
Though your ambition ends in public good
(A virtue lineal to your house and blood):
Yet think not meanly of your other praise,
Nor flight the trophies which the Mufes raife.
How oft, a patriot's best-laid schemes we find
By Party crofs'd, or Faction undermin'd!
If he fucceed, he undergoes this lot,

The good receiv'd, the giver is forgot.

But honours which from verfe their fource derive,
Shall both furmount Detraction, and furvive:
And Poets have unqueftion'd right to claim;
If not the greatcft, the most lafting name.

W. CONGREVE.

THE

THE

MOURNING MUSE OF ALEXIS.

A PASTORAL.

Lamenting the Death of

QUEEN MARY. "Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." VIRG.

ALEXIS, MENAL CAS.

MENAL CAS.

BEE

;

EHOLD, Alexis, fee this gloomy shade,
Which feems alone for forrow's fhelter made,
Where no glad beams of light can ever play,
But night fucceeding night excludes the day;
Where never birds with harmony repair,
And lightsome notes, to cheer the dusky air.
To welcome day, or bid the Sun farewell,
By morning lark, or evening Philomel.

No violet here, nor daify, e'er was feen;
No fweetly-budding flower, nor fpringing green:
For fragrant myrtle, and the blushing rofe,
Here, baleful eugh with deadly cyprefs grows.
Here then, extended on this wither'd mofs,
We'll lie, and thou shalt fing of Albion's lofs,
B 3

Of

Of Albion's lofs, and of Paftora's death,

Begin thy mournful fong, and raise thy tuneful breath.

ALEX I S.

Ah woe too great! Ah theme which far exceeds
The lowly lays of humble fhepherds reeds!

O could I fing in verfe of equal firain
With the Scicilian bard, or Mantuan swain;
Or melting words and moving numbers chufe,
Sweet as the British Colin's mourning Mufe;
Could I, like him, in tuneful grief excel,
And mourn like Stella for her Aftrofel;
Then might I raise my voice (fecure of skill)
And with melodious woe the valleys fill;
The liftening Echo on my song should wait,
And hollow rocks Paftora's name repeat;

Each whistling wind and murmuring stream should tell
How lov'd fhe liv'd, and how lamented fell.

MENAL CAS.

Wert thou with every bay and laurel crown'd,
And high as Pan himfelf in fong renown'd,

Yet would not all thy art avail, to show
Verfe worthy of her name, or of our woe :
But fuch true paffion in thy face appears,
In thy pale lips, thick fighs, and gushing tears,
Such tender forrow in thy heart I read,

As fhall fupply all skill, if not exceed.

Then leave this common form of dumb diftrefs,
Each vulgar grief can fighs and tears exprefs;
In fweet complaining notes thy paffion vent,
And not in fighs, but words explaining fighs, lament.

ALEXIS.

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