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NARCIS S A.

TO HER GRACE

THE DUCHESS OF P

Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere manes.

Virg.

FROM Dreams, where thought in fancy's maze runs

mad,
To Reason, that heav'n-lighted lamp in man,
Once more I wake; and at the destin'd hour,
Punctual as lovers to the moment sworn,
I keep my assignation with my woe.

0! Lost to virtue, lost to manly thought,
Lost to the noble sallies of the soul !
Who think it solitude, to be Alone.
Communion sweet! communion large and high !
Our Reason, Guardian Angel, and our God!
Then nearest These, when Others most remote;
And All, ere long, shall be remote, but These.
How dreadful, Then, to meet them all alone,
A stranger! unacknowledg'd! unapprov'd! .
Now woo them: wed them; bind them to thy breast;
To win thy wish, creation has no more.
Or if we wish a fourth, it is a Friend
But friends, how mortal! dang'rous the desire,

E

Take Phoebus to yourselves, ye basking bards ! Inebriate at fair fortune's fountain-head; And reeling thro' the wilderness of joy; Where Sense runs savage, broke from Reason's chain, And sings false peace, till smother'd by the pall. My fortune is unlike; unlike my song; Unlike the deity my song invokes. I to Day's, soft-ey'd sister pay my court, (ENDYMION's rival!) and her aid implore; Now first implor'd in succour to the Muse.

Thou, who didst lately borrow * Cynthia's form, And modestly forego thine Own! O Thou, Who didst thyself, at midnight hours, inspire ! Say, why not CYNTHIA patroness of song? As Thou her crescent, she thy character Assumes; still more a goddess by the change.

Are there demurring wits, who dare dispute This revolution in the world inspir'd ? Ye train Pierian! to the Lunar sphere, In silent hour, address your ardent call For aid immortal; less her brother's right. She, with the spheres harmonious, nightly leads The mazy dance, and hears their matchless strain, A strain for gods, deny'd to mortal ear. Transmit it heard, thou silver queen of heav'n! What title, or what name, endears thee most? CYNTHIA! CYLLENE! PHOEBE !-or dost hear

* At the duke of Norfolk's masquerade.

With higher gust, fair P- D of the skies!
Is that the soft inchantment calls thee down,
More pow'rful than of old Circean charm?
Come; but from heav'nly banquets with thee bring
The soul of song, and whisper in my ear
The theft divine ; or in propitious dreams
(For dreams are Thine) transfuse it thro' the breast
Of thy first votary B ut not thy last;
If, like thy Namesake, thou art ever kind.

And kind thou wilt be; kind on such a theme;
A theme so like thee, a quite lunar theme,
Soft, modest, melancholy, female, fair!
A theme that rose all pale, and told my soul,
'Twas Night; on her fond hopes perpetual night;
A night which struck a damp, a deadlier damp,
Than that which smote me from PHILANDER's tomb.
Narcissa follows, ere his tomb is clos'd.
Woes cluster ; rare are solitary woes;
They love a train, they tread each other's heel;
Her death invades his mournful right, and claims
The grief that started from my lids for Him :
Seizes the faithless, alienated tear,
Or shares it, ere it falls. So frequent death,
Sorrow he more than causes, he confounds;
For human sighs his rival strokes contend,
And make distress, distraction. Oh PhiLANDER!
What was thy fate? A double fate to me;
Portent, and pain ! a menace, and a blow !
Like the black raven hov’ring o'er my peace,
Not less a bird of omen, thạn of prey.

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