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"I who before me see the charming fair,

"Whilst there he stands, and yet he stands not there: "In such a maze of love my thoughts are lost; "And yet no bulwark'd town, nor distant coast, "Preserves the beauteous youth from being seen, "No mountains rise, nor oceans flow between. "A shallow water hinders my embrace; "And yet the lovely mimic wears a face "That kindly smiles, and when I bend to join "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 easy conquest have obtain❜d, “O'er other hearts, by thee alone disdain’d. "But why should I despair? I'm sure he burns "With equal flames, and languishes by turns. "Whene'er I stoop, he offers at a kiss, "And when my arms I stretch, he stretches his. "His eye with pleasure on my face he keeps, "He smiles my smiles, and when I weep he "Whene'er I speak his moving lips appear "To utter something, which I cannot hear.

"Ah wretched me! I now begin too late "To find out all the long-perplex'd deceit; "It is myself I love, myself I see; "The gay delusion 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 restraint,

"And too much plenty makes me die for want.

"How gladly would I from myself remove! "And at a distance set the thing I love. "My breast is warm'd with such unusual fire, "I wish him absent whom I most desire. "And now I faint with grief; my fate draws nigh; "In all the pride of blooming youth I die. "Death will the sorrows of my heart relieve. "O might the visionary youth survive, "I should with joy my latest breath resign! "But oh! I see his fate involv'd in mine."

This said, the weeping youth again return'd To the clear fountain, where again he burn'd. His tears defac'd the surface of the well, With circle after circle, as they fell: And now the lovely face but half appears, O'errun with wrinkles, and deform'd with tears. "Ah whither," cries Narcissus, "dost thou fly? "Let me still feed the flame by which I die; "Let me still see, though I'm no farther blest." Then rends his garment off, and beats his breast: His naked bosom redden'd with the blow, In such a blush as purple clusters show; Ere yet the sun's autumnal heats refine Their sprightly juice, and mellow it to wine. The glowing beauties of his breast he spies, And with a new redoubled passion dies. As wax dissolves, as ice begins to run, And trickle into drops before the sun, So melts the youth, and languishes away; His beauty withers, and his limbs decay, And none of those attractive charms remain, To which the slighted Echo sued in vain.

She saw him in his present misery,

Whom, spite of all her wrongs, she griev❜d to see.
She answer'd sadly to the lover's moan,

Sigh'd back his sighs, and groan'd to every groan:
"Ah youth! belov'd in vain,” Narcissus cries;
"Ah youth! belov'd in vain," the nymph replies.
"Farewell," says he: the parting sound scarce fell
From his faint lips, but she replied, "Farewell."
Then on th' unwholesome earth he gasping lies,
Till death shuts up those self-admiring eyes.
To the cold shades his flitting ghost retires,
And in the Stygian waves itself admires.

For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn,
Whom the sad Echo answers in her turn:
And now the sister nymphs prepare his urn;
When, looking for his corpse, they only found
A rising stalk, with yellow blossoms crown'd.


THIS sad event gave blind Tiresias fame,
Through Greece establish'd in a prophet's name.
Th' unhallow'd Pentheus only durst deride
The cheated people, and their eyeless guide.
To whom the prophet in his fury said,
Shaking the hoary honours of his head :

""Twere well, presumptuous man, 'twere well for thee

"If thou wert eyeless too, and blind, like me: "For the time comes, nay, 'tis already here,

“When the young god's solemnities appear;

"Which if thou dost not with just rites adorn,
"Thy impious carcass, into pieces torn,
"Shall strew the woods, and hang on every thorn.
Then, then remember what I now foretel,
"And own the blind Tiresias saw too well."

Still Pentheus scorns him, and derides his skill;
But time did all the prophet's threats fulfil.
For now through prostrate Greece young Bacchus rode,
Whilst howling matrons celebrate the god.

All ranks and sexes to his orgies ran,

To mingle in the pomps, and fill the train.
When Pentheus thus his wicked rage express'd:
"What madness, Thebans, has your souls possess'd?
"Can hollow timbrels, can a drunken shout,
"And the lewd clamours of a beastly rout,
"Thus quell your courage? can the weak alarm
"Of women's yells those stubborn souls disarm,
"Whom nor the sword nor trumpet e'er could fright,
"Nor the loud din and horror of a fight?

"And you, our sires, who left your old abodes,
"And fix'd in foreign earth your country gods;
"Will you without a stroke your city yield,
"And poorly quit an undisputed field?

"But you, whose youth and vigour should inspire
"Heroic warmth, and kindle martial fire,

"Whom burnish'd arms and crested helmets grace,
"Not flow'ry garlands and a painted face;
"Remember him to whom you stand allied:
"The serpent for his well of waters died.

"He fought the strong; do you his courage show
And gain a conquest o'er a feeble foe.

"If Thebes must fall, oh might the fates afford
"A nobler doom from famine, fire, or sword!
"Then might the Thebans perish with renown:
"But now a beardless victor sacks the town;
"Whom nor the prancing steed, nor pond'rous shield,
"Nor the hack'd helmet, nor the dusty field,
"But the soft joys of luxury and ease,

"The purple vests, and flow'ry garlands please.
"Stand then aside, I'll make the counterfeit
"Renounce his godhead, and confess the cheat.
"Acrisius from the Grecian walls repell'd

"This boasted power; why then should Pentheus yield? "Go quickly, drag th' audacious boy to me;

"I'll try the force of his divinity."

Thus did th' audacious wretch those rites profane;

His friends dissuade th' audacious wretch in vain;

In vain his grandsire urg'd him to give o'er
His impious threats; the wretch but raves the more.
So have I seen a river gently glide,

In a smooth course, and inoffensive tide;
But if with dams its current we restrain,
It bears down all, and foams along the plain.

But now his servants came besmear'd with blood.
Sent by their haughty prince to seize the god;
The god they found not in the frantic throng,
But dragg'd a zealous votary along.


HIM Pentheus view'd with fury in his look,
And scarce withheld his hands while thus he spoke :

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