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Of purest white. A secret charm combin'd
Her features, and infus'd enchantment through them;
Her shape was harmony.-But eloquence
Beneath her beauty fails; which seem'd on purpose
By nature lavish'd on her that mankind
Might see the virtue, of a hero try'd
Almost beyond the stretch of human force.
Soft as she pass'd along, with downcast eyes,
Where gentle sorrow swell'd, and now and then
Dropt o'er her modest cheek a trickling tear,
The Roman legions languish'd, and hard war
Felt more than pity. Ev'n their chief himself,
As on his high tribunal rais'd he sat,
Turn'd from the dangerous sight, and chiding ask'd
His officers, if by this gift they meant
To cloud his virtue in its very dawn.
She, question'd of her birth, in trembling accents,
With tears and blushes broken, told her tale.
But when he found her royally descended,
Of her old captive parents the sole joy;
And that a hapless Celtiberian prince,
Her lover and belov'd, forgot his chains,
His lost dominions, and for her alone
Wept out his tender soul; sudden the heart
Of this young, conquering, loving, God-like Roman,
Felt all the great divinity of virtue.
His wishing youth stood check'd, his tempting power
Restrain'd by kind humanity.—At once
He for her parents and her lover call'd.
The various scene imagine: how his troops
Look'd dubious on, and wonder'd what he meant ;
While stretch'd below the trembling suppliants lay,
Rack'd by a thousand mingling passions, fear,
Hope, jealousy, disdain, submission, grief,
Anxiety and love in every shape.
To these as different sentiments succeeded,
As mixt emotions, when the man divine
Thus the dread silence to the lover broke.
"We both are young, both charm'd. The right of war
Has put thy beauteous mistress in my power;
"With whom I could in the most sacred ties
"Live out a happy life: but know that Romans
"Their hearts, as well as enemies can conquer.
"Then take her to thy soul; and with her take
"Thy liberty and kingdom. In return
"I ask but this; when you behold these eyes, "These charms, with transport, be a friend to Rome."
The BLESSINGS of PEACE.
O BEAUTEOUS Peace!
Sweet union of a state! what else, but thou,
Gives safety, strength, and glory to a people!
I bow, Lord Constable, beneath the snow
Of many years; yet in my breast revives
A youthful flame. Methinks, I see again
Those gentle days renew'd, that bless'd our isle,
Ere by this wasteful fury of division,
Worse than our Ætna's most destructive fires,
It desolated sunk. I see our plains
Unbounded waving with the gifts of harvest;
Our seas with commerce throng'd, our busy ports
With cheerful toil. Our Enna blooms afresh;
Afresh the sweets of thymy Hybla blow.
Our nymphs and shepherds, sporting in each vale,
Inspire new song, and wake the pastoral reed.
-THERE is a power
Unseen, that rules th' illimitable world,
That guides its motions, from the brightest star
To the least dust of this sin-tainted mould;
While man, who madly deems himself the lord
Of all, is nought but weakness and dependance.
This sacred truth, by sure experience taught,
Thou must have learnt, when wandering all alone,
Each bird, each insect, flitting thro' the sky,
Was more sufficient for itself, than thou.
Act with cool Prudence, and with manly temper,
As well as manly firmness.-
'Tis godlike magnanimity to keep,
When most provok'd, our reason calm and clear,
And execute her will, from a strong sense
Of what is right, without the vulgar aid
Of heat and passion, which, tho' honest, bear us
Often too far.
DESCRIPTION of SHIPS appearing at a DISTANCE, and approaching the SHORE.
GUIOM. As far as I could cast my eyes
Upon the sea, something, methought, did rise
Like blueish mists, which, still appearing more,
Took dreadful shapes, and thus mov'd towards the shore:
The object, I could first distinctly view,
Was tall strait trees, which on the water flew:
Wings on their sides instead of leaves did grow,
Which gather'd all the breath the winds could blow;
And at their roots grew floating palaces,
Whose out-blow'd bellies cut the yielding seas!
MONTEZUMA. What divine monsters, O ye Gods! are these,
That float in air, and fly upon the seas?
Came they alive, or dead, upon the shore?
GUIOM. Alas! they liv'd too sure: I heard them roar:
All turn'd their sides, and to each other spoke:
I saw their words break out in fire and smoke.
Sure 'tis their voice that thunders from on high,
And these the younger brothers of the sky :
Deaf with the noise, I took my hasty flight,
No mortal courage can support the fright.
VIRTUE preferable to RANK,
WHAT tho' no gaudy titles grace my birth!
Titles, the servile courtier's lean reward !
Sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft
The hire which greatness gives to slaves and sycophants :
Yet Heav'n, that made me honest, made me more
Than e'er a king did, when he made a lord.
DESCRIPTION of an ancient CATHEDRÁL.
How rev'rend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof!
By its own weight made stedfast, and immoveable,
Looking tranquillity, it strikes an awe
And terror to my aching sight! The tombs
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart.
DESCRIPTION of a TRIUMPH.
-HE comes, and with a port so proud,
As if he had subdu'd the spacious world:
And all Sinope's streets are fill'd with such
A glut of people, you would think some God
Had conquer'd in their cause, and them thus rank'd,
That he might make his entrance on their heads!
While from the scaffolds, windows, tops of houses,
Are cast such gaudy show'rs of garlands down,
That ev'n the crowd appear like conquerors,
And the whole city seems like one vast meadow,
Set all with flow'rs, as a clear heav'n with stars.
Nay, as I've heard, ere he the city enter'd,
Your subjects lin'd the way for many furlongs;
The very trees bore men: and as our God,
When from the portal of the east he dawns,
Beholds a thousand birds upon the boughs,
To welcome him with all their warbling throats,
And prune their feathers in his golden beams;
So did your subjects, in their gaudy trim,
Upon the pendant branches speak his praise.
Mothers, who cover'd all the banks beneath,
Did rob the crying infants of the breast,
Pointing Ziphares out, to make them smile;
And climbing boys stood on their father's shoulders,
Answering their shouting sires, with tender cries,
To make the concert up of general joy.
A SHEPHERD'S LIFE happier than a KING's.
TH' unbusied shepherd, stretch'd beneath the hawthorn,
His careless limbs thrown out in wanton ease,
With thoughtless gaze perusing the arch'd heavens,
And idly whistling while his sheep feed round him;
Enjoys a sweeter shade than that of canopies,
Hemm'd in by cares, and shook by storms of treason.
GREAT minds, like heav'n, are pleas'd with doing good,
Tho' the ungrateful subjects of their favours
Are barren in return. Virtue does still
With scorn the mercenary world regard,
Where abject souls do good, and hope reward:
Above the worthless trophies man can raise,
She seeks not honour, wealth, nor airy praise,
But with herself, herself the Goddess pays.
NO DIFFICULTIES infuperable to the PRUDENT and BRAVE.
THE wise and active conquer difficulties
By daring to attempt them: sloth and folly
Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
And make th' impossibility they fear.
IMITATION OF SPENSER.
AH me! full sorely is my heart forlorn,
To think how modest worth neglected lies;
While partial Fame doth with her blasts adorn
Such deeds alone, as pride and pomp disguise;
Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprize:
Lend me thy clarion. Goddess! let me try
To sound the praise of merit, ere it dies:
Such as I oft have chaunced to espy,
Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.