« ПредишнаНапред »
ADVERTISEMENT. The Editor presents to his Fair Patronesses this little piece, rather as a speci:
men of that species of poetry he wishes to see cultivated by persons of fuperior genius and learning, than as a production in itself compleat: he is fully sensible he has much to fear, if judged by the strict rules of severe criti. cism; though he cannot relinquish the fiattering hope, that this little Story, and it's intended Moral, may in some degree contribute to the entertainment of his kind Friends-the only idea under which he will attempt to jur. tify the insertion of any performance of his own, in a Collection so truly
respectable. The Editor begs leave to add, that his Story has, at least, the claimi of novel
TY-and, if it should be found to meet with the general approbation of his numerous friends, he means to lay before them, at the commencement of each future volume, somewhat of a different kind, the best he may be able to produce.
E British Fair, whose gentle bosoms know
To fhare luxurious in another's woe;
Whose radiant orbs, when black misfortunes lour;
Refresh with Pity's dew the drooping flow'r ;
And, Phæbus like, thro' wat'ry clouds lament
The wasteful tempest which ye can't prevent:
Approach your Poet--fain would he relate,
(To guard from ills like her's) Albina's fate.
And O ye British Youths, unskill'd to rove
In the dark lab'rinths of illicit love ;
Whose gen’rous souls permit not to despise
The pearly drops that glide from Pity's eyes ;
Ye too, draw near-and, plac'd by Virtue's fide,
Dare to indulge those griefs the scorns to hide :
Nor let the moral tale my muse fupplies,
No more instruct when Time hath wip'd your eyes ;
But, to compleat the purpose of these rhymes,
And shun Lothario's woes--avoid his crimes !
-Not far remov'd from that requester'd bow'r,
Where once fecurely dwelt earth’s faireft flow'r;
Till the vindi&tive queen with rage pursu’d,
And drench'd her cruel hands in injur'd blood ;
High on a hill Earl Elwin's mansion stood,
In part fecreted by a neighb’ring wood,
Which down the slope thro' secret mazes leads,
To where the Ifis laves her favorite meads:
Hither the earl would oft at dawn repair,
To breathe the fragrance of the vernal air ;
To hear the warblers of the vocal grove,
And join their strains of gratitude and love.
It chanc’d, one morning, while the earl thus stray'd,
A wretched fair at distance he furvey'd;
Whose careless tresies floating in the wind,
And various gestures, spoke her anguilli'd mind.
Sometimes she stepp'd with hafte among the trees,
Look'd wildly round, and dropp'd upon her knees
Now rose again; and, with uplifted eyes,
Seem'd to implore compailion from the skies-
Then downward bent them, smote her heaving breast,
And with her snowy hand her temples press’d
Thus, in despair, a inoment's space the stood,
Then ruh'd impetuous tow'rds the chrystal flood:
But ever as she reach'd the river's fide,
Sudden she stopp'd, and gaz'd upon the tide ;
Glancing from thence, quick ey'd the little grove,
And backward flew, as on the wings of Love.
This scene the earl beheld her twice repeat;
And wonder'd much the cause of her retreat.
When now, approaching secretly behind,
He saw Albina on the ground reclin'd;
And instant knew her for the daughter fair
Of old Ernesto, tutor to his heir:
But O how high Earl Elwin's wonder rose,
To see her çireling arms a babe inclose!
Down her pale cheeks unnumber'd streams descend,
And broken fighs her lab’ring bosom rend :
In vain she stops the torrent of her eyes,
Her beating breaft continues it's supplies !
The tender infant, delug'd o'er with woe,
Bids with her tears, his streams of sorrow flow :
As if to heal her poignant grief he strove,
And felt, instinctively, maternal love!
The anxious mother wip'd his cherub face,
And closely strain'd him in a fond embrace:
Then, while the lull’d his infant griefs to reft,
Her own fad tale in words like these express’d.
Ah, loft Albina ! wretched, ruin'd fair!
• Happ’ly, my babe, thou know'st not her despair ;
• Else wouldft thou mix, indeed, thy tears with mine,
• And let a mother's woes be truly thine !
• For sure thy form angelick beauty wears,
• And human woes are wept with angels tears !
« But thou art man-
n—and might, unmov’d, survey
« The saddest scene misfortune can display!
• Yet have I known-too soon to be renew'd !-
• A father's feeling heart by grief subdu'd;
" Yet have I known an husband's streaming eyes
• Mock the vain pomp which pageantry supplies :
< When noble Elwin mourn'd his Ella's doom,
• And follow'd weeping to her filent tomb;
• When good Ernesto fear'd Albina's fate,
"And on her bed of sickness mournful fate !
• O cruel death, to plange thy keenest dart
* In happy Ella's breast, nor touch Albina's heart !"
A pause of woe here stopp'd the pow'rs of speech,
But still her fighs the earl's soft bosom reach :
The casual mention of his Ella's name,
Ernesto's daughter's obvious lofs of fame,
Join'd with the great respect he bore her fire,
First swell his breast with sorrow—then with ire ;
Nor does he mourn her ills with idle grief,
But bends his thoughts, how hest to bring reliefs
Resolves th’accursed cause with speed to find,
And let resentment follow close behind ;
Till his base heart, who dar'd her honour ftain,
Should make a large amends, or suffer equal pain.
And now, while gen'rous Elwin pensive ftands,
He hears Albina clasp her iv'ry hands;
A deep-drawn figh's unwelcome found succeeds,
Follow'd by words—at which his bosom bleeds.
• How vainly once, Albina, didst thou dream, That thou shouldft baik in Fortune's brightest beam • Enjoy each pleasure of exalted life,
And be-O fatal charm-Lothario's wife ! • Alas! perfidious youth, he only strove • To veil his purpose in the garb of love! • Each specious art too well the faithless knew, ! Practis’d by false ones to ensnare the true: « Too well he knew the pow'r affection gave, “And basely ruin'd her he swore to save !
. And thou, unhappy offspring of my shame, → Thou too muft feel a mother's lofs of fame! « For soon-too soon !-thy blighted youth shall know, ! The child of Nature is the child of Wae!