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When the lean wolf laments the mangled sheep; Then shall Parthenia o'er Menalcas weep.
When famish'd panthers seek their morning food,
And monsters roar along the desert wood;
When hifling vipers rustle through the brake,
Or in the path-way rears the speckled snake;
The wary fwain th' approaching peril spies,
And through some diftant road securely flies.
Fly then, ye swains, from beauty's furer wound.
Such was the fate our poor Menalcas found!
What shepherd does not mourn Menalcas slain!
Killd by a barbarous woman's proud disdain !
Whoe'er attempts to bend her scornful mind,
Cries to the deserts, and pursues the wind.
With every grace Menalcas was endow'd,
His merits dazzled all the sylvan croud.
If you would know his pipe's melodious found,
Ask all the echoes of these hills around,
For they have learnt his strains; who shall rehearse
The strength, the cadence of his tuneful verse?
Go, read those lofty poplars; there you'll find
Some tender sonnet grow on every rind.
Yet what avails his skill? Parthenia Aies.
Can merit hope success in woman's eyes?
I SHEPHERD. Why was Parthenia form’d of softest mould ! Why does her heart such savage nature hold? O ye kind gods! or all her charms efface, Or tame her heart - so spare the shepherd race.
As fade the flowers which on the grave I cast;
So may Parthenia's transient beauty waste!
What woman ever counts the fleeting years,
Or fees the wrinkle which her forehead wears ?
Thinking her features never shall decay,
This swain she scorns, from that she turns away.
But know, as when the rose her bud unfolds,
Awhile each breast the short-liv'd fragrance holds;
When the dry stalk lets drop het shrivel'd pride,
The lovely ruin 's ever thrown aside.
So shall Parthenia be.
See, she appears,
To boast her spoils, and triumph in our tears,
Parthenia appears from the mountain.
doft thou turn thy baneful eyes,
Pernicious Basilisk? Lo! there he lies :
There lies the youth thy cursed beauty flew;
See, at thy presence, how he bleeds anew
Look down, enjoy thy murder.
- Spare my fames
I come to clear a virgin's injur'd name.
If I'm a Basilisk, the danger fly,
Shun the swift glances of my venom'd eye:
If I'm a murderer, why approach ye near,
And to the dagger lay your bofom bare?
What heart is proof against that face divine?
Love is not in our power.
Is love in mine? If e'er I trifled with a shepherd's pain, Or with false hope his passion ftrove to gain ; Then might you justly curse my savage mind, Then might you rank me with the serpent kind:
But I ne'er trifled with a shepherd's pain,
Nor with false hope his passion ftrove to gain:
'Tis to his rafh pursuit he owes his fate;
I was not cruel ; he was obstinate.
Hear this, ye fighing shepherds, and despair.
Unhappy Lycidas, thy hour is near!
Since the same barbarous hand hath fign’d thy doom,
We'll lay thee in our lov'd Menalças' tomb.
Why will intruding man my peace destroy?
Let me content and solitude enjoy ;
Free was I born; my freedom to maintain,
Early I fought the unambitious plain.
Most women's weak resolves, like reeds, will ply,
Shake with each breath, and bend with every figh;
Mine, like an oak, whose firm roots deep descend,
Nor breath of love can Make, nor sigh can bend.
If ye unhappy Lycidas would fave;
Go seek him, lead him to Menalcas' grave;
Forbid his eyes with Aowing grief to rain,
Like him Menalcas wept, but wept in vain :
Bid him his heart-consuming groans give o'er :
Tell him, I heard fuch piercing groans before,
And heard unmov’d. O Lycidas, be wise,
Prevent thy fate. - Lo! there Menalcas lies,
Now all the melancholy rites are paid,
And o'er his grave the weeping marble laid;
Let's seek our charge; the flocks, dispersing wide,
Whiten with moving fleece the mountain's fide.
Trust not, ye swains, the lightning of her eye,
Left ye, like him, should love, despair, and die.
(Exeunt Shepherds, &c. Parthenia remains in a me-
lancholy posture, looking on the grave of Menalcas.
When shall my steps have rest? through all the wood,
And by the winding banks of Ladon's flood,
I fought my love. O fay, ye skipping fawns
(Who range entangled shades and daisy'd lawns),
If ye have seen her! say, ye warbling race
(Who measure on swift wing th' aerial space,
And view below hills, dales, and distant shores),
Where shall I find her whom my soul adores !
LYCIDAS, PARTHENIA, DIONE, LAURA.
[Dione and Laura at a difance.
What do I see? no. Fancy mocks my eyes,
And bids the dear deluding vision rise.