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Ilyssus. Great queen, I do confess, my soul mix'd
with them. Whene'er I grasp'd the osier-platted shield, Or sent the mimic javelin to its mark, I felt I know not what of manhood in me. But then I knew my duty, and repressid The swelling ardour. 'Tis to shades, I cried, The servant of the temple must confine His less ambitious, not less virtuous cares. Creusa. Did the good man observe, and blame thy
ardour ? Ilyssus. He only smil'd at my too forward zeal; Nay, seem'd to think such sports were necessary To soften, what he call'd, more rig'rous studies.
Creusa.-Suppose when I return to Athens, youth, Thou should'st attend me thither! would'st thou trust To me thy future fortunes ? Ilyssus.
O most gladly!
-But then to leave these shades where I was nurs'd
The servant of the god, how might that seem ?
And good Aletes too, the kind old man
Of whom I spake ?–But wherefore talk I thus,
You only throw these tempting lures to try
Th' ambition of my youth.—Please you, retire.
Creusa. Ilyssus, we will find a time to speak
More largely on this subject; for the present
Let all withdraw and leave us. Youth, farewel,
I see the place, and will retire at leisure.
Lycea, Phorbas, stay.
Ilyssus. (Aside.) How my heart beats !
She must mean something sure. Tho' good Aletes
Has told me polish'd courts abound in falsehood.
But I will bear the priestess' message to him,
And open all my doubts.
A TALE FOR MARRIED PEOPLE.
A GENTLE maid, of rural breeding,
By Nature first, and then by reading,
Was fill'd with all those soft sensations
Which we restrain in near relations,
Lest future husbands should be jealous,
And think their wives too fond of fellows.
The morning sun beheld her rove
A nymph, or goddess of the grove! :
At eve she pac'd the dewy lawn,
And call'd each clown she saw, a faun!
Then, scudding homeward, lock'd her door,
And turn'd some copious volume o'er.
For much she read; and chiefly those
Great authors, who in verse, or prose,
Or something betwixt both, unwind
The secret springs which move the mind.
These much she read; and thought she knew
The human heart's minutest clue;
Yet shrewd observers still declare, ...
(To shew how shrewd observers are) .
Though plays, which breath'd heroic flame,
And novels, in profusion, came,
Imported fresh and fresh from France,
She only read the heart's romance.
The world, no doubt, was well enough
To smooth the manners of the rough;
Might please the giddy and the vain,
Those tinsel'd slaves of folly's train :
But, for her part, the truest taste
She found was in retirement plac'd,
Where, as in verse it sweetly flows,
“ On every thorn instruction grows."
Not that she wish'd to “ be alone,”
As some affected prudes have done ;
She knew it was decreed on high
We should " increase and multiply;"
And therefore, if kind Fate would grant
Her fondest wish, her only want,
A cottage with the man she lov'd
Was wliat her gentle heart approv’d;
In some delightful solitude
Where step profane might ne'er intrude;
But Hymen guard the sacred ground,
And virtuous Cupids hover round.
Not such as flutter on a fan
Round Crete's vile bull, or Leda's swan,
(Who scatter myrtles, scatter roses,
And hold their fingers to their noses)
But simp’ring, mild, and innocent
As angels on a monument.
Fate heard her pray’r: a lover came, Who felt, like her, th' innoxious flame; One who had trod, as well as she, The flow'ry paths of poesy; Had warm’d himself with Milton's heat, Could ev'ry line of Pope repeat, Or chant in Shenstone's tender strains, “ The lover's hopes," “ the lover's pains."
Attentive to the charmer's tongue, With him she thought no evening long; With him she saunter'd half the day; And sometimes, in a laughing way, Ran o'er the catalogue by rote Of who might marry, and who not; “ Consider, sir, we 're near relations" “ I hope so in our inclinations."In short, she look'd, she blush'd consent; He grasp'd her hand, to church they went; And ev'ry matron that was there,
With tongue so voluble and supple,
Said, for her part, she must declare,
She never saw a finer couple.
O Halcyon days ! 'T'was Nature's reign,
'Twas Tempe's vale, and Enna's plain,
The fields assum'd unusual bloom,
And ev'ry zephyr breath'd perfume.
The laughing sun with genial beams
Danc'd lightly on th' exulting streams;
And the pale regent of the night,
In dewy softness shed delight.
'Twas transport not to be exprest;
'Twas Paradise ! But mark the rest.
Two smiling springs had wak’d the flow'rs.
That paint the meads, or fringe the bow'rs,.
(Ye lovers, lend your wond’ring ears,
Who count by months, and not by years)
Two smiling springs had chaplets wove
To crown their solitude, and love:
When lo, they find, they can't tell how,
Their walks are not so pleasant now.
The seasons sure were chang'd; the place
Had, some how, got a diff'rent face.
Some blast had struck the cheerful scene;
The lawns, the woods, were not so green.
The purling rill, which murmur'd by,
And once was liquid harmony,
Became a sluggish, reedy pool:
The days grew hot, the ev'nings cool.
The moon, with all the starry reign,
Were melancholy's silent train.
And then the tedious winter night-
They could not read by candle-light.
Full oft, unknowing why they did,
They call'd in adventitious aid.
A faithful fav’rite dog ('twas thus
With Tobit and Telemachus)
Amus'd their steps ; and for a while
They view'd his gambols with a smile.
The kitten too was comical,
She play'd so oddly with her tail,