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Wilt thou, indulgent, hear my verse relate
The various changes of a lover's state;
And while each turn of paffion I pursue,
Ask thy own heart if what I tell be true ?
To the green margin of a lonely wood,
Whose pendent shades o'erlook'd a silver flood,
Young Damon came, unknowing were he stray'd,
Full of the image of his beauteous maid :
His flock far off, unfed, untended lay,
To every favage a defenceless prey ;
No sense of intrest could their master move,
And every care seern'd trilling now but Love.
Awhile in pensive silence he remain'd,
But though his voice was mute, his looks complain'd;
At length the thoughts within his bosom pent,
Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.
Ye Nymphs, he cry'd, ye Dryads, who so long
Have favour'd Damnon, and inspir'd his song ;
For whom, retir'd, I thun the gay
Of sportful cities, and of pompous courts ;
in vain I bid the restless world adieu,
To seek tranquillity and peace with you.
Though wild Ambition and destructive Rage
No Factions here can form, no wars can wage ;
Though Fnvy frowns not on your humble shades,
Nor Calumny your innocence invades,
Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breaft,
Too often violates your boasted reit;
With inbred storms disturbs your calm retreat,
And taints with bitterness each rural sweet.
Ah luckless day! when first with fond surprize
On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes;
Then in wild tumults all my soul was tost,
Then reason, liberty, at once were lost :
And every with, and thought, and care was gone,
But what my heart employ'd on her alone.
Then too she smild: can smiles our peace destroy,
Those lovely Children of Content and Joy ?
How can soft pleasure and tormenting woe,
From the fame spring at the same moment flow?
Unhappy boy, these vain enquiries cease,
Thought could not guard, nor will restore thy peace;
Indulge the frenzy that thou must endure,
And footh the pain thou know'st not how to cure.
Come, fatt'ring Memory, and tell my heart
How kind the was, and with what pleasing art
She strov: its fondest wishes to obtain,
Confirm her pow'r, and fafter bind my chain,
If on the green we danc'd, a mirthful band,
To me alone, she gave her willing hand;
Her partial taite, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
Still in my fong found fomething to admire,
By none but her my crook with flow'rs was crown'd,
By none but her my brows with ivy bound:
The world that Damon was her choice believ'd,
The world, alas! like Damon was deceiv'd.
When last I saw her, and declar'd my fire,
In words as soft as paffion could inspire,
Coldly she heard, and full of fcorn withdrew,
Without one pitying glance, one sweet adieu.
The frighted hind, who sees his ripen'd corn
Up from the roots by sudden tempest torn,
Whose faireft hopes destroy'd and blasted lie,
Feels not so keen a pang of grief as I,
Ah ! how have I deserv'd, inhuman maid,
To have my faithful service thus repay'd?
Were all the marks of kindness I receiv'd,
But dreams of joy, that charm’d me and deceiv'd?
Or did you only nurse my growing love,
That with more pain I might your hatred prove ?
Sure guilty treachery no place could find
In such a gentle, such a gen'rous mind :
A maid brought up the woods and wilds among,
Could ne'er have learnt the art of courts so young:
No; let me rather think her anger feign'd,
Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
'Twas only modesty that seem'd disdain,
And her heart suffer'd when she gave me pain.
Pleas'd with this flatt’ring thought the love-fick boy
Felt the faint dawnings of a doubtful joy ;
Back to his flock more chearful he return'd,
When now the setting fun less fiercely burn'd;
Blue vapours rose along the mazy rills,
And light's last blathes ting'd the distant hills.
Ear, DODDINGTON, the notes that shepherds fing,
Notes soft as those of nightingales in spring :
Nor Pan, nor Phoebus tune the shepherd's reed;
From Love alone our tender lays proceed :
Love warms our fancy with enliv'ning fires,
Refines our genius, and our verse inspires :
From him Theocritus, on Enna's plains,
Learnt the wild sweetness of his Doric strains ;
Virgil by him was taught the moving art,
That charm'd each ear,
O would'st thou quit the pride of courts, and deign
To dwell with us upon the vocal plain,
Thee too his pow'r should reach, and every shade
Resound the praises of thy fav’rite maid ;
Thy pipe our rural concert would improve,
And we should learn of thee to please and love.
Damon no longer fought the filent shade,
No more in unfrequented paths he stray'd,
But call'd the nymphs to hear his jocund song,
And told his joy to all the rustic throng.
Bleft be the hour, he said, that happy hour, When first I own'd my Delia's gentle pow'r; Then gloom.y discontent and pining care Foríook
breast, and left soft wishes there :
Soft wishes there they left, and gay desires,
Delightful languors, and transporting fires.
Where yonder limes combine to form a shade,
These eyes first gaz'd upon the charming maid;
There me appear'd, on that auspicious day,
When swains their sportive rites to Bacchus pay:
She led the dance-heav'ns! with what grace she mov'd!
Who could have seen her then, and not have loy'd?
I ftrove not to resist so sweet a flame,
But glory'd in a happy captive's name;
Nor would I now, could Love permit, be free,
But leave to brutes their favage liberty.
And art thou then, fond swain, secure of joy?
Can no reverse thy flatt'ring bliss destroy ?
Has treach’rous Love no torment yet in store ?
Or haft thou never prov'd his fatal pow'r?
Whence flow'd those tears that late bedew'd thy cheek?
Why figh'd thy heart as if it strove to break :
Why were the defart rocks invok'd to hear
The plaintive accents of thy fad despair?
From Delia's rigour all those pains arose,
Delia, who now compassionates my woes,
Who bids me hope; and in that charming word
Has peace and transport to my soul restor'd.