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Safe went the murmur'd founds, and every day
A thousand amorous blandifhments convey;
And often, as they ftood on either side,
To catch by turns the flitting voice, they cry'd,
Why, envious wall, ah! why dost thou destroy
The lovers hopes, and why forbid the joy?
How should we bless thee, would't thou yield to charms,
And, opening, let us rufh into each other's arms;
At least, if that's too much, afford a space
To meeting lips, nor fhall we flight the grace;
We owe to thee this freedom to complain,
And breathe our vows, but vows, alas! in vain.
Thus having faid, when evening call'd to rest,
The faithful pair on either fide impreft
An intercepted kiss, then hade good-night;
But when th' enfuing dawn had put to flight
The ftars; and Phoebus, rifing from his bed,
Drank up the dews, and dry'd the flowery mead,
Again they meet, in fighs again disclose
Their grief, and laft this bold design propose;
That, in the dead of night, both would deceive
Their keepers, and the house and city leave;
And left, efcap'd, without the walls they ftray
In pathless fields, and wander from the way,
At Ninus' tomb their meeting they agree,
Beneath the fhady covert of the tree;
The tree well-known near a cool fountain
And bore fair mulberries of snowy hue.
The project pleas'd; the fun's unwelcome light 50 (That flowly feem'd to move, and flack his flight) Sunk in the feas; from the fame feas arofe the fable night;
When, ftealing through the dark, the crafty fair
Unlock'd the door, and gain'd the open air;
Love gave her courage; unperceiv'd she went,
Wrapp'd in a veil, and reach'd the monument.
Then fat beneath th' appointed tree alone;
But, by the glimmering of the shining moon,
She fat not long, before from far she spy'd
A lioness approach the fountain-fide;
Fierce was her glare, her foamy paws in blood
Of laughter'd bulls befmear'd, and foul with food;
For, reeking from they prey, the favage came,
To drown her thirst within the neighbouring stream.
Affrighted Thisbe, trembling at the fight,
Fled to a dark fom den, but in her flight
Her veil dropp'd off behind. Deep of the flood
The monster drank, and, fatiate, to the wood
Returring, found the garment as it lay,
And, torn with bloody feet, difpers'd it in her
Belated Pyramus arriv'd, and found
The mark of favage feet along the fandy ground:
All pale he turn'd; but foon as he beheld
The crimson'd vefture scatter'd o'er the field,
One night, he cry'd, two lovers fhall destroy!
She worthy to have liv'd long years of joy,
But mine 's the forfeit life; unhappy maid!
Twas I that flew thee, I th' appointment made;
To places full of death, thy innocence betray'd,
And came not first myself-O hither hafte,
Ye lions all, that roam this rocky waste!
Tear my devoted entrails, gnaw, divide,
And gorge your famine in my open'd fide!
But cowards call for death!-Thus having fpoke,
The fatal garment from the ground he took,
And bore it to the tree; ardent he kiss'd,
And bath'd in flowing tears the well-known vest,
Now take a fecond ftain, the lover faid,
While from his fide he fnatch'd his fharpen'd blade,
And drove it in his groin; then from the wound 90
Withdrew the steel, and staggering fell to ground :
As when, a conduit broke, the streams shoot high,
Starting in fudden fountains through the sky,
So fpouts the living stream, and sprinkled o'er
The trees fair berries with a crimson gore,
While, fapp'd in purple floods, the conscious root
Tranfmits the ftain of murder to the fruit.
The fair, who fear'd to disappoint her love,
Yet trembling with the fright, forfook the grove,
And fought the youth, impatient to relate
Her new adventure, and th' avoided fate.
She faw the vary'd tree had lost its white,
And doubting stood if that could be the right,
Nor doubted long; for now her eyes beheld
A dying perfon fpurn the fanguine field.
Aghaft she started back, and shook with pain,
As rifing breezes curl the trembling main.
She gaz'd awhile entranc'd; but when the found
It was her lover weltering on the ground,
She beat her lovely breast, and tore her hair,
Clafp'd the dear corpfe, and, frantic in despair,
Kifs'd his cold face, fupply'd a briny flood
To the wide wound, and mingled tears with blood.
Say, Pyramus, oh fay, what chance fevere
Has fnatch'd thee from my arms ?-
'Tis thy own Thibe calls, look up and hear!
At Thibe's name he lifts his dying eyes,
And, having feen her, clos'd them up, and dies.
But when she knew the bloody veil, and spy'd
The ivory scabbard empty by his fide,
Ah! wretched youth, faid fhe, by Love betray'd!
Thy hapless hand guided the fatal blade.
Weak as I am, I boast as strong a love;
For fuch a deed, this hand as bold shall prove.
I'll follow thee to death; the world fhall call
Thisbe the caufe, and partner of thy fall;
And ev'n in death, which could alone disjoin
Our perfons, yet in death thou shalt be mine.
But hear, in both our names, this dying prayer,
Ye wretched parents of a wretched pair!
Let in one urn our afhes be confin'd,
Whoni mutual love and the fame fate have join'd.
And thou, fair tree, beneath whofe friendly fhade,
One lifeless lover is already laid,
And foon fhall cover two; for ever wear
Death's fable hue, and purple berries bear!
She faid, and plunges in her breast the sword,
Yet warm, and reeking from its flaughter'd lord.
Relenting heaven allows her last request,
And pity touch'd their mournful parents breaft. 140
The fruit, when ripe, a purple dye retains ;
And in one urn are plac'd their dear remains.
IN IMITATION OF OVID, AMORUM LIB. I.
TELL me, fome god, whence does this change
Why gentle fleep forfakes my weary eyes?
Why, turning often, all the tedious night
In pain I lie, and watch the springing light ?—
What cruel dæmon haunts my tortur'd mind ?
Sure, if 'twere love, I fhould th' invader find
Unless difguis'd he lurks, the crafty boy,
With filent arts ingenious to destroy.
Alas! 'tis fo-'tis fix'd the fecret dart;
I feel the tyrant ravaging my heart.
Then, fhall I yield; or th' infant flame oppose?
I yield-Refiftance would increase my woes :