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She turns the key; her cheeks like roses bloom,
And on the lock her fingers drop persume.
Before his eyes, on agate columns rear'd,
On high a purple canopy appeared;
And under it in stately form was plac'd
A table with a thousand vases grae'd,
Laden with all the dainties that are found
In air, in seas, or on the fruitful ground.
Here the fair youth reclin'd with decent pride,
His wanton nymph was seated by his side:
All that could please the taste the happy pair
Cull'd from the loaded board with curious care;
(But first the king had quafF'd the tempting stream,
That through the bow'r display'd a silver gleam :)
O'er their enchanted heads a mantling vine
His curling tendrils wove with am'rous twine;
From the green stalks the glowing clusters hung
Like rubies on a thread of em'ralds strung,
With these were other fruits of ev'ry hue,
The pale, the red, the golden, and the blue.
An hundred smiling pages stood around,
Their shining brows with wreaths of myrtle bound:
They, in transparent cups of agate, bore
Of sweetly sparkling wines a precious store;
The stripling sip'd and revel'd, till the fun
Down heav'n's blue vault his daily course had run,
Then rose, and, follow'd by the gentle maid,
* Op'd the fifth door: a stream before them play'd.
The king impatient for the cooling draught
In a sull cup the mystick nectar quafF'd;
Then with a smile (he knew no higher bliss)
From her sweet lip he stole a balmy kiss:
On the smooth bank of vi'lets they reclin'd;
And, whilst a chaplet for his brow she twin'd,
With his soft cheek her softer cheek he press'd,
His pliant arms were folded round her breast.
She smil'd, soft lightning darted from her eyes,
And from his fragrant seat she bade him rise;
Then, while a brighter blush her face o'erspread,
To the sixth gate her willing guest she led.
The golden lock she softly turn'd around,
The moving hinges gave a pleasing sound:
The boy delighted ran with eager haste,
And. to his lips the living fountain plac'd;
The magick water pierc'd his kindled brain,
And a strange venom shot from vein to vein.
Whatever charms he saw in other bow'rs,
Were here combin'd, fruits, musick, odours, flow'rs,
A couch besides with softest silk o'erlaid,
And sweeter still a lovely yielding maid;
Who now more charming seem'd, and not so coy,
And in her arms infolds the blushing boy:
They sport and wanton, till, with sleep oppress'd,
Like two fresh rose-buds on one stalk, they rest.
H • When
When morning spread around her purple flame,
To the sweet couch the sive fair sisters came;
They hail'd the bridegroom with a cheerful voice,
And bade him make with speed a second choice.
Hard task to choose when all alike were fair!
Now this, now that engag'd his anxious care:
Then to the first that spoke his hand he lent;
The rest retir'd, and whisper'd as they went.
The prince enamour'd view'd his second bride;
They left the bow'r, and wander'd side by side,
With her he charm'd his ears, with her his sight,
With her he pass'd the day, with her the night.
Thus all by turns the sprightly stranger led,
And all by turns partook his nuptial bed;
Hours, days, and months in pleasure flow'd away,
All laugh'd, all sweetly sung, and all were gay.
So had he wanton'd threescore days and sev'n, More blest, he thought, than any son of heav'n: i .. Till
Till on a morn, with sighs and streaming tears,
The train of nymphs before his bed appears;
And thus the youngest of the sisters speaks,
"Whilst a fad show'r runs trickling down her cheeks:
"A custom which we cannot, dare not fail,
"(Such are the laws that in our isle prevail)
"Compels us, prince, to leave thee here alone,
"Till thrice the fun his rising front has shown:
"Our parents, whom, alas, we must obey,
"Expect us at a splendid seast to day;
""What joy to us can all their splendour give?
"With thee, with only thee, we wish to live.
"Yet may we hope, these gardens will afford
"Some pleasing solace to our absent lord?
"Six golden keys, that ope yon blissful gates,
"Where joy, eternal joy, thy steps awaits,
"Accept: the sev'nth (but that you heard before)
"Leads to a gloomy dungeon, and no more,
H2 "A sullen,