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S. B. I. S. 83. Folgende Elegie von ihm ist offens bar eine Nachahmung der vorhergehenden von Gray, der fie indeß durch Nührung und leidenschaftliche Schilderung nås her kommt, als durch Schönheit und Harmonie der Spras che. Sie wurde im J. 1762 zuerst einzeln gedruckt. Man sieht bald, daß unter den Niagdalenen reuige gefallene Personen des andern Geschlechts verstanden werden, deren traurige Lage und bedauernswerther Zustand von dem Dichter überaus treffend geschildert wird. Jene Benennung ist in England ziemlich geläufig, feitdem das bekannte Magdalenenspital in London, als Zuflucht jener Unglücklichen, ers richtet ist.
to your fane the fuppliant nymphs repair,
At virtue's fhrine to breathe Contrition's figh,
Their youthful cheek is pal'd with early care,
And forrow dwells in their dejected eye.
Hark! they awake a folemn plaintive lay,
Where Grief with Harmony delights to meet:
Not Philomela from her lonely spray,
Trills her clear note more querulously fweet.
Are these the fair (late Pleasure's youthful quire)
Who wont the dome of Luxury to tread?
Appear in all the fplendor of attire?
And vie in beauty with the high-born maid?
The fmiling fcenes of Pleafure they forfake,
Obey no more Anrufement's idle call,
Nor mingling with the fons of mirth partake
The treat voluptuous, or the festive ball.
For fober weeds they change their flowing train, Jerningham. Of the pearl bracelet ftrip the graceful arm, Conceal the breaft that glow'd in ev'ry vein, And madden'd' into joy at Love's alarm.
No longer now the diamond's dazzling ray
Darts from the cunning treffes of the hair;
Nor do thofe trefles any more display
The colour'd plumes that iported in the air.
Yet Beauty lingers on their mournful brow,
As loth to leave the cheek fuffus'd with tears,
Which fcarcely blufhing with a languid glow,
Like Morn's faint beam thro' gath'ring mist appears.
No more compare them to the gaudy flow'r, Whofe painted foliage wantons in the gale: They look the lily drooping from the Thow'r, Or the pale violet fick'ning in the vale.
If fond of empire and of conquest vain,
They frequent vot'ries to their altars drew,
Yet blaz'd thofe fplendid altars to their bane
The idol they, and they the victim too!
Once deftitute of counfel, aid, or food,
Some helpless orphans in this dome refide,
Who (like the wand'ring children in the wood)
Trod the rude paths of life without a guide.
Some who encircled by the great and rich Were won by wiles and deep defigning art, By fplendid bribes, and foft perfuafive fpeech, Of pow'r to cheat the young unguarded heart.
Some on whom Beauty breath'd her radiant
While adverse stars all other gifts remov'd;
Who hurried from the dungeon's living tomb,
To fcenes their inborn virtue difapprov'd.
What tho' their youth imbib'd an early ftain,
A fecond innocence is now their claim;
While in the precincts of this blefs'd domain,
. They bask beneath the rays of rifing Fame.
So the young myrtles in Misfortune's day,
Nipt by the blaft that fwept their vernal bed,
In 1 heltring walls their tender leaves display,
And wak'ning into life new fragrance fled.
Tho' white-wing'd Peace protect this calm abode,
Tho' each tumultuous paffion be fupprefs'd,
Still Recollection wears a fting to goad,
Still Confcience wakes to rob their foul of rest.
See one the tort'ring hour of mem'ry prove
Who wrapt in penfive fecrecy forlorn,
Sits mufing on the pledges of her love,
Who fell the victims of paternal fcorn.
Forgot, deferted in th' extremeft need,
By him who fhou'd have rear'd their tender age:
Was this, Seducer, this the promis'd meed?"
She cries then finks beneath Affliction's rage.
Her bufy mind recalls the fatal plain,
Which with low lab'ring fteps fhe journey'd o'er,
Half-yielding to the fierce impetuous rain,
While in her arms two helpless babes he bore.
Her mind recalls how at that awful hour
The dismal owlet fcream'd her fhiv'ring note,
How fhriek'd the fpirit from the haunted tow'r, -
While other founds of woe were heard remote.
How to the covert of a tott'ring fhed,
As Night advanc'd, fhe fearfully retir'd,
And as around the dark'ning horror fpread
Her famifh'd infants on her breast expir'd.
How keenest Anguifh bad her bofom bleed,
As there fhe brooded o'er her hapless state:
,, Was this, Seducer, this the promis'd meed?"
She cries then finks beneath Afflictions weight.
Another mourns her fall with grief finceré,
Whom tranquil Reafon tells fhe's fhun'd, disdain'd,
Repuls'd as vile, by thofe who held her dear,
Who call'd her once Companion, Sifter, Friend.
That recollects the day when loft to fhame,
She fondly facrific'd her veftal charms,
Refign'd the virgin's for an harlot's name,
And left a parent's for fpolier's arms.
Imagination pictures to her mind
The father's rage, the mother's fofter woe:
Unhappy pair! to that diftrefs confign'd,
A child can give, a parent only know.
At this deep scene, by Fancy drawn, imprefs'd,
The filial paffions in her heart revive:
Reproach vindictive rufhes on her breaft,
To Nature's pangs too feelingly alive.
If this, or fimilar tormenting thought,
Cling to their foul, when penfively alone,
For youth's offence, for Love's alluring fault,
Say, do they not fufficiently atone?
Oh, mock not then their penitential woes,
Thou who may'ft deign to mark this humble the-
Nor feek with foul derision to expose,
And give to Infamy their tainted name.
Nor deem me one of Melancholy's train,
If anxious for the forrow-wedded fair,
Tho' little fkillful of that heav'nly strain
Whofe melting numbers to the heart repair.
Jerningham. I steal impatient from the idle throng,
The roving gay companious of my age,
To temper with their praise my artless fong,
And foft-ey'd Pity in their caufe engage.
'Tis Virtue's tafk to foothe Affliction's fmart,
To join in fadness with the fair diftreft:
Wake to another's pain the tender heart,
And move to clemency the gen'rous breast,