Page images
[ocr errors]

"You trees, fays he, and thou furrounding grove, "Who oft have been the kindly fcenes of love, "Tell me, if e'er within your fhades did lie "A youth fo tortur'd, fo perplex'd as I? "I, who before me fee the charming fair, "Whilft there he flands, and yet he ftands not there: "In fuch a maze of love my thoughts are loft: "And yet no bulwark'd town, nor distant coast, "Preferves the beauteous youth from being feen, "No mountaius rise, nor oceans flow between. "A fhallow water hinders my embrace; "And yet the lovely mimic wears a face

"That kindly fmiles, and when I bend to join

[ocr errors]

My lips to his, he fondly bends to mine. "Hear, gentle youth, and pity my complaint, "Come from thy well, thou fair inhabitant. "My charms an eafy conqueft have obtained "O'er other hearts, by thee alone disḍain'd. "But why should I despair? I'm sure he burns "With equal flames, and languishes by turns. "Whene'er I ftoop, he offers at a kiss, "And when my arms I ftretch, he stretches his. "His eyes with pleasure on my face he keeps, "He fmiles any fmiles, and when I weep he weeps. "Whene'er I speak, his moving lips appear

"To utter fomething which I cannot hear.

[blocks in formation]

"Ah wretched me! I now begin too late "To find out all the long-perplex'd deceit; "It is myfelf I love, myfelf I fee;

"The gay delufion is a part of me.

"I kindle up the fires by which I burn,

"And my own beauties from the well return. "Whom should I court? how utter my complaint? "Enjoyment but produces my refraint,

"And too much plenty makes me die for want.

[ocr errors]

How gladly would I from myself remove!

"And at a distance fet the thing I love.

[ocr errors]

My breaft is warm'd with such unusual fire,

I wish him abfent whom I moft defire.

"And now I faint with grief; my fate draws nigh;'
"In all the pride of blooming youth I die:
"Death will the forrows of my heart relieve.
"Oh might the vifionary youth survive,
"I fhould with joy my latest breath refign!
"But oh! I fee his fate involved in mine."

This faid, the weeping youth again return'd
To the clear fountain, where again he burn'd;
His tears defac'd the furface of the well,
With circle after circle, as they fell:

And now the lovely face but half appears,

O'er-run with wrinkles, and deform'd with tears.

[ocr errors]


"Ah whither, cries Narciffus, doft thou fly?
"Let me ftill feed the flame by which I die;
"Let me ftill fee, tho' I'm no further bleft."
Then rends his garment off, and beats his breaft;
His naked bofom redden'd with the blow,

In fuch a blush as purple clufters fhow,



the fun's autumnal heats refine
Their fprightly juice, and mellow it to wine.
The glowing beauties of his breast he spies,
And with a new redoubled paffion dies.
As wax diffolves, as ice begins to run,
And trickle into drops before the fun,
So melts the youth, and languishes away :
His beauty withers, and his limbs decay,
And none of those attractive charms remain,
To which the flighted echo fu'd in vain.
She faw him in his prefent mifery,

Whom, fpite of all her wrongs, the griev'd to fee. She answer'd fadly to the lover's moan, Sigh'd back his fighs, and groan'd to ev'ry groan: "Ah youth! belov'd in vain," Narciffus cries; "Ah youth! belov'd in vain," the nymph replies. "Farewel," fays he; the parting found fcarce fell From his faint lips, but the reply'd, "Farewel." Then on the unwholfom earth he gasping lies, 'Till death fhuts up thofe felf-admiring eyes.

[blocks in formation]

To the cold fhades his flitting ghost retires,
And in the Stygian waves itself admires.

For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn,
Whom the fad echo anfwers in her turn;

And now the filer nymphs prepare his urn:
When, looking for his corps, they only found
A rifing ftalk, with yellow bloffoms crown'd.


The Story of CEYX and ALCYONE, from OVID.

Tranflated by Mr. DRYDEN.

HESE prodigies affect the pious prince;


But more perpiex'd with thofe that happen'd


He purposes to feek the Clarian God,
Avoiding Delphi, his more fam'd abode,
Since Phrygian robbers made unfafe the road.
Yet could he not from her he lov'd fo well,
The fatal voyage, he refolv'd, conceal;
But when the faw her Lord prepar'd to part,
A deadly cold ran fhiv'ring to her heart;
Her faded cheeks are chang'd to boxen hue,
And in her eyes the tears are ever new.
She thrice effay'd to fpeak; her accents hung,
And falt'ring dy'd unfinish'd on her tongue,




Or vanish'd into fighs: with long delay

Her voice return'd and found the wonted way.
Tell me, my Lord, the faid, what fault unknown
Thy once belov'd Alcyonè has done?

Whither, ah, whither, is thy kindness gone!
Can Ceyx then sustain to leave his wife,

And unconcern'd forfake the fweets of life?
What can thy mind to this long journey move?
Or need'st thou abfence to renew thy love?
Yet if thou go'ft by land, tho' grief poffefs
My foul ev'n then, my fears will be the lefs.
But ah! be warn'd to fhun the watry way,
The face is frightful of the stormy sea:
For late I faw a-drift disjointed planks,
And empty tombs erected on the banks.
Nor let falfe hopes to truft betray thy mind,
Because my fire in caves constrains the wind,
Can with a breath their clam'rous rage appease,
They fear his whistle, and forfake the feas:
Not fo; for once indulg'd, they fweep the main
Deaf to the call, or hearing, hear in vain ;
But bent on mifchief bear the waves before,
And not content with feas, infult the shore,
When ocean, air, and earth at once engage,
And rooted forefts fly before their rage:



« PreviousContinue »