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Next shadow'd light a rounding force bestows,
Swells into life, and fpeaking action grows!
Here pleafing, melancholy fubjects find,
To calm, amuse, exalt the penfive mind!
This figure tender grief, like mine, implies,
And femblant thoughts, that earthly pomp defpife.
Such penitential Magdalene reveals;
Loofe-veil'd, in negligence of charms fhe kneels.
Though drefs, near-ftor'd, its vanity supplies,
The vanity of drefs unheeded lies.
The finful world in forrowing eye fhe keeps,
As o'er Jerufalem Meffiah weeps.
One hand her bofom fmites; in one appears
The lifted lawn, that drinks her falling tears.
Since evil outweighs good, and fways mankind, True fortitude affumes the patient mind:
Such prov'd Meffiah's, though to fuffering born, 35
To penury, repulfe, reproach, and scorn.
Here, by the pencil, mark his flight defign'd;
The weary'd virgin by a ftream reclin'd,
Who feeds the child. Her looks a charm exprefs,
A modeft charm, that dignifies distress.
Boughs o'er their heads with blufhing fruits depend,
Which angels to her bufied confort bend.
Hence by the fmiling infant feems difcern'd,
Trifles, concerning Him, all heaven concern'd.
Here the transfigur'd Son from earth retires:
See the white form in a bright cloud afpires!
Full on his followers burfts a flood of rays,
Proftrate they fall beneath th' o'erwhelming blaze!
Like noon-tide fummer-funs the rays appear,
Unfufferable, magnificent, and near!
What scene of agony the garden brings;
The cup of gall; the fuppliant King of kings!
The crown of thorns; the cross, that felt him die ;
Thefe, languid in the fketch, unfinish'd lie.
There, from the dead, centurions fee him rife, 55 See! but ftruck down with horrible furprize! As the firft glory feem'd a fun at noon, This cafts the filver splendor of the moon.
Here peopled day, th' afcending God furveys ! The glory varies, as the myriads gaze!
Now foften'd, like a fun at diftance feen,
When through a cloud bright-glancing, yet ferene !
Now faft-encreafing to the croùd amaz'd,
Like fome vaft meteor high in æther rais'd!
My labour, yon high-vaulted altar ftains
With dies, that emulate ætherial plains.
The convex glafs, which in that opening glows,
Mid circling rays a piétur'd Saviour shows!
Bright it collects the beams, which, trembling all,
Back from the God, a fhowery radiance fall.
Lightening the fcene beneath! a scene divine!
Where faints, clouds, feraphs, intermingled shine!
Here water-falls, that play melodious round,
Like a sweet organ, swell a lofty found!
The folemn notes bid earthly paffions fly,
Lull all my cares, and lift my foul on high!
This monumental marble-this I rear
To one-Oh! ever mourn'd!-Oh! ever dear!
He ftopt-pathetic fighs the pause supply,
And the prompt tear starts, quivering, on his eye! 80
I look'd-two columus near the wall were feen,
An imag'd beauty stretch'd at length between.
Near the wept fair, her harp Cecilia ftrung;
Leaning, from high, a liftening angel hung!
Friendship, whofe figure at the feet remains,
A phoenix, with irradiate crest, sustains:
This grac'd one palm, while one extends t'impart
Two foreign hands, that clasp a burning heart.
A pendent veil two hovering feraphs raise,
Which opening heaven upon the roof difplays!
And two, benevolent, lefs-diftant, hold
A vafe, collective of perfumes uproll'd !
Thefe from the heart, by Friendship held, arise,
Odorous as incenfe gathering in the skies.
In the fond pelican is love exprest,
Who opens to her young her tender breast.
Two mated turtles hovering hang in air,
One by a faulcon ftruck !-in wild despair,
The hermit cries-So death, alas! destroys
The tender confort of my cares and joys!
Again foft tears upon his eye-lid hung,
Again check'd founds dy'd, fluttering, on his tongue.
Too well his pining inmoft thought I know!
Too well ev'n filence tells the story'd woe!
To his my fighs, to his my tears reply !
I ftray o'er all the tomb a watery eye!
Next, on the wall, her fcenes of life I gaz'd, The form back-leaning, by a globe half-rais'd!
Cherubs a profer'd crown of glory show,
Ey'd wistful by th' admiring fair below.
In action eloquent difpos'd her hands,
One fhows her breaft, in rapture one expands!
This the fond hermit seiz'd !-o'er all his foul,
The foft, wild, wailing, amorous paffion stole!
In ftedfaft gaze his eyes her aspect keep,
Then turn away, a while dejected weep;
Then he reverts them; but reverts in vain,
Dimm'd with the fwelling grief that streams again.
Where now is my philofophy? (he cries)
My joy, hope, reafon, my Olympia dies!
Why did I e'er that prime of blessings know?
Was it, ye cruel fates, t'imbitter woe?
Why would your bolts not level first my head?
Why must I live to weep Olympia dead?
-Sir, I had once a wife! Fair bloom'd her youth, 125
Her form was beauty, and her foul was truth!
Oh, she was dear! How dear, what words can say?
She dies!-my heaven at once is snatch'd away!
Ah! what avails, that, by a father's care,
I rofe a wealthy and illuftrious heir?
That early in my youth I learn'd to prove
Th' inftructive, pleafing, academic grove?
That in the fenate eloquence was mine?
That valour gave me in the field to shine?
That love shower'd bleffings too-far more than all 135
High-rapt ambition e'er could happy call?
Ah! What are thefe, which ev'n the wife adore?
Loft is my pride!—Olympia is no more!
Had I, ye perfecuting powers! been born
The world's cold pity, or, at best, its scorn;
Of wealth, of rank, of kindred warmth bereft ;
To want, to fhame, to ruthlefs cenfure left!
Patience, or pride, to this, relief fupplies!
But a loft wife!-there! there diftraction lies!
Now three fad years I yield me all to grief,
And fly the hated comfort of relief!
Though rich, great, young, I leave a pompous feat,
(My brother's now) to feek some dark retreat:
Mid cloister'd folitary tombs I ftray,
Defpair and horror lead the cheerless way!
My forrow grows to fuch a wild excefs,
Life, injur'd life, must wish the passion less!
Olympia -My Olympia's loft! (I cry)
Olympia's loft, the hollow vaults reply!
Louder I make my lamentable moan;
The fwelling echoes learn like me to groan;
The ghosts to scream, as through lone aifles they fweep; The fhrines to fhudder, and the faints to weep!
Now grief and rage, by gathering sighs fuppreft, Swell my full heart, and heave my labouring breast! 160 With ftruggling ftarts, each vital ftring they ftrain, And strike the tottering fabric of my brain! O'er my funk fpirits frowns a vapoury fcene, Woe's dark retreat! the madding maze of spleen! A deep damp gloom o'erfpreads the murky cell; 165 Here pining thoughts and fecret terrors dwell! Here learn the Great unreal wants to feign!
Unpleafing truths here mortify the vain!