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Safe went the murmur'd sounds, and every day
A thousand amorous blandishments convey;
And often, as they stood on either side,
To catch by turns the fitting voice, they cry'd, 25
Why, envious wall, ah! why dost thou destroy
The lovers hopes, and why forbid the joy ?
How Thould we bless thee, would'st thou yield to
Ani, opening, let us rush into each other's arms;
At least, if that's too much, afford a space 30
To meeting lips, nor Mall we fight the grace;
We owe to thee this freedom to complain,
And breathe our vows, but vows, alas ! in vain.
Thus having said, when evening callid to rest,
The faithful pair on either side imprest
35 An intercepted kiss, then hade good-night; But when th’ensuing dawn liad put to fight The stars; and Phæbus, rising from his bed, Drank up the dews, and dry'd the flowery mead, Again they meet, in fighs again disclose
40 Their grief, and last this bold design propose ; That, in the dead of night, both would deceive Their k:epers, and the house and city leave; And lest, escap'd, without the walls they stray In pathless fields, and wander from the way,
45 At Ninus' tomb their meeting they agree, Beneath the lady covert of the tree; The tree well-known near a cool fountain
grew, And bore fair mulberries of snowy hue.
The project pleas’d ; the sun's unwelcome light 50 (That Nowly seem'd to move, and lack his flight) Sunk in the seas; from the same feas arose the fable
When, stealing 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 sat not long, before from far nie spy'd
A lioness approach the fountain-fide ;
60 Fierce was her glare, her foamy paws in blood Of Naughter'd bulls besmear’d, and foul with food; For, reeking from they prey, the savage came, To drown her thirst within the neighbouring stream. Affrighted Thisbe, trembling at the fight, 65 Fled to a darksom den, but in her flight Her veil dropp'd off behind. Deep of the flood The monster drank, and, fatiate, to the wood Returning, found the garment as it lay, And, torn with bloody feet, dispers’d it in her way.
70 Belated Pyramus arriv'd, and found The mark of savage feet along the fandy ground : All pale he turn'd ; but soon as he beheld The crimson'd velture scatier'd o'er the field, One night, he cry'd, two lovers shall destroy ! 75 She worthy to have liv'd long years of joy,
But mine's the forfeit life; unhappy maid !
Twas I that sew thee, I th' appointment made;
To places full of death, thy innocence betray'd,
And came not first myself - hither haste, 80
Yelions all, that roain this rocky waste !
devoted entrails, gnaw, divide,
And gorge your famine in my open'd lide!
But cowards call for death!--Thus having spoke,
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 second itain, the lover said,
While from his side he snatch'd his sharpen'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 freams shoot high,
Starting in sudden fountains through the sky,
So spouts the living stream, and sprinkled o'er
The trees fair berries with a crimson gore, 95
While, sapp'd in purple floods, the conscious root
Transmits the stain of murder to the fruit.
The fair, who fear'd to disappoint her love,
Yet trembling with the fright, forsook the grove,
And fought the youth, impatient to relate
Her new adventure, and th' avoided fate.
She saw 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 person fpurn the fanguine field.
Aghaft she started back, and Mook with pain,
As rifing breezes curl the trembling main.
She gaz'd awhile entranc'd; but when she found
It was her lover weltering on the ground,
She beat her lovely breast, and tore her hair,
Clafp'd the dear corpse, and, frantic in despair,
Kiss'd his cold face, supply'd a briny food
To the wide wound, and mingled tears with blood.
Say, Pyramus, oh say, what chance fevere
Has snatch'd thee from my arms ?..
'Tis thy own. Thisbe calls, look up and hear !
At Thisbe's name he lifts his dying eyes,
And, having seen her, clos’d them up, and dies.
But when the knew the bloody veil, and spy'd
The ivory scabbard empty by his fide,
Ah! wretched youth, said she, 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 Mall prove.'
I'll follow thee to death ; the world thall call
Thisbe the cause, and partner of thy fall ;
And ev’n in death, which could alone disjoin
Our persons, yet in death thou halt be mine.
Bat hear, in both our names, this dying prayer,
Ye wretched parents of a wretched pair !
130 Let in one urn our ashes be confin'd, Whoni mutual love and the same fate have join'd. And thou, fair tree, beneath whose friendly shade, One lifeless lover is already laid,
And soon fall 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 Naughter'd lord.
Relenting heaven allows her last request,
And pity touch'd their mournful
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, some god, whence does this change
Why gentle Neep 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 ? 5
Sure, if 'twere love, I fould th’invader find ;
Unless disguis’d he lurks, the crafty boy,
With filent arts ingenious to destroy.
Alas ! 'tis fo-'tis fix'd the secret dart;
I feel the tyrant ravaging my heart.
Then, tha}l I yield; or th' infant flame oppose }
I yield !--Refiftance would increase my woes :