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To

To you, my Lord, my Mufe her tribute pays
Of various verfe, in various rude effays;
you, fhe firft addrefs'd her early voice,
By inclination led, and fix'd by choice;
To you, on whofe indulgence the depend's,
Her few collected lays she now commends.

By no one meafure bound, her numbers range,
And, unrefolv'd in choice, delight in change;
Her fongs to no diftinguish'd fame aspire,

For, now, fhe tries the reed, anon, attempts the lyre;
In high Parnaffus fhe no birthright claims,
Nor drinks deep draughts of Heliconian streams;
Yet near the facred mount fhe loves to rove,
Vifits the springs, and hovers round the grove.
She knows what dangers wait too bold a flight,
And fears to fall from an Icarian height:

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Yet, fhe admires the wing that fafely foars,

At distance follows, and its track adores.

She knows what room, what force, the fwan requires,
Whofe towering head above the clouds afpires,
And knows as well, it is your lowest praise,
Such heights to reach with equal strength and ease.
O had your genius been to leifure born,

And not more bound to aid us, than adorn!
Albion in verfe with ancient Greece had vy'd,

And gain'd alone a fame, which, there, seven states divide.
But fuch, ev'n fuch renown, too dear had cost,
Had we the patriot in the poet loft.

A true poetic state we had deplor'd,
Had not your miniftry our coin restor❜d.

But ftill, my Lord, though your exalted name
Stands foremost in the fairest lift of Fame,
Though your ambition ends in public good
(A virtue lineal to your house and blood):
Yet think not meanly of your other praise,
Nor flight the trophies which the Mufes raife.
How oft, a patriot's beft-laid fchemes we find
By Party crofs'd, or Faction undermin'd!
If he fucceed, he undergoes this lot,
The good receiv'd, the giver is forgot.

But honours which from verfe their fource derive,
Shall both furmount Detraction, and furvive:
And Poets have unqueftion'd right to claim;
If not the greatest, the most lasting name.

W. CONGREVE.

THE

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"Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." VIRG.

BE

ALEXIS, MENAL CAS.

MENAL CAS.

EHOLD, Alexis, fee this gloomy shade,
Which feems alone for forrow's shelter made;
Where no glad beams of light can ever play,
But night fucceeding night excludes the day;
Where never birds with harmony repair,
And lightsome notes, to cheer the dusky air.
To welcome day, or bid the Sun farewell,
By morning lark; or evening Philomel.

No violet here, nor daify, e'er was feen;
No fweetly-budding flower, nor fpringing green :
For fragrant myrtle, and the blushing rofe,
Here, baleful eugh with deadly cyprefs grows.
Here then, extended on this wither'd mofs,
We'll lie, and thou fhalt fing of Albion's lofs,

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Of Albion's lofs, and of Paftora's death,

Begin thy mournful fong, and raise thy tuneful breath.

ALEX I S.

Ah woe too great! Ah theme which far exceeds
The lowly lays of humble fhepherds reeds!

O could I fing in verfe of equal, ftrain
With the Scicilian bard, or Mantuan fwain ;
Or melting words and moving numbers chufe,
Sweet as the British Colin's mourning Mufe;
Could I, like him, in tuneful grief excel,
And mourn like Stella for her Aftrofel;
Then might I raife my voice (fecure of skill)
And with melodious woe the valleys fill;
The listening Echo on my song should wait,
And hollow rocks Paftora's name repeat;

Each whiftling wind and murmuring stream fhould tell
How lov'd fhe liv'd, and how lamented fell.

MENAL CAS.

Wert thou with every bay and laurel crown'd,
And high as Pan himself in fong renown'd,
Yet would not all thy art avail, to show
Verfe worthy of her name, or of our woe:
But fuch true paffion in thy face appears,
In thy pale lips, thick fighs, and gushing tears,
Such tender forrow in thy heart I read,

As fhall fupply all skill, if not exceed.

Then leave this common form of dumb diftrefs,
Each vulgar grief can fighs and tears exprefs;
In fweet complaining notes thy paffion vent,
And not in fighs, but words explaining fighs, lament.

ALEXIS.

ALEX I S.

Wild be my words, Menalcas, wild my thought,
Artless as nature's notes, in birds untaught;
Boundless my verfe, and roving be my strains,
Various as flowers on unfrequented plains.
And thou, Thalia, darling of my breast,
By whom infpir'd, I fung at Comus' feast;
While in a ring the jolly rural throng
Have fat and fmil'd to hear my chearful song :
Begone, with all thy mirth and fprightly lays,
My pipe, no longer now thy power obeys;

Learn to lament, my Mufe, to weep, and mourn,
Thy fpringing laurels all to cyprefs turn;

Wound with thy difmal cries the tender air,

And beat thy fnowy breast, and rend thy yellow hairs Far hence, in utmoft wilds, thy dwelling chufe, Begone, Thalia; forrow is my Muse.

I mourn Paftora dead; let Albion mourn,

And fable clouds her chalky

cliffs adorn.

No more, thefe woods fhall with her fight be blefs'd, Nor with her feet thefe flowery plains be prefs'd;

No more the winds fhall with her treffes play,
And from her balmy breath fteal fweets away;
No more thefe rivers chearfully fhall pafs,
Pleas'd to reflect the beauties of her face;

While on their bank's the wondering flocks have ftood,
Greedy of fight, and negligent of food.

No more the nymphs fhall with foft tales delight Her ears, no more with dances pleafe her fight:

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