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Abroad, of speech so prompt and rapid,
At home, so vacant and so vapid;
Of every puppet-show the life,
At home a dull and tasteless wife: -
The mind with sense and knowledge stor'd
Can counsel, or can soothe its Lord;
His varied joys or sorrows feel,
And share the pains it cannot heal.
But, Piety! without thy aid,
Love's fairest prospects soon must fade.
Blest architect, rear'd by thy hands,
Connubial Concord's temple stands,
Though Wit, though Genius, raise the pile,
Though Taste assist, though Talents smile,
Though Fashion, while her wreaths she twine,
Her light Corinthian columns join;
Still the frail structure Fancy rears
A tott'ring house of cards appears;
Some sudden gust, nor rare the case,
May shake the building to its base,
Unless, bless’d Piety ! thou join
Thy key-stone to insure the shrine;
Unless, to guard against surprises,
On thy broad arch the temple rises.
THE METAMORPHOSIS OF A NYMPH INTO STONE.
- The annual wound allur'd
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis from his native Rock
Ran purple to the sea, suppos’d with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded.
WHERE beauteous Belmont rears her modest brow
To view Sabrina's silver waves below,
Liv'd young Ianthe, fair as beauty's queen;
She reign'd unrivalld in the Sylvan scene;
Hers ev'ry charm of symmetry and grace,
Which aids the triumph of the fairest face;
With all that softer elegance of mind,
By genius heighten’d, and by taste refin'd.
Yet early was she doom'd the child of care,
For hapless love subdued th' ill-fated fair.
Ah! what avails each captivating grace,
The form enchanting, or the fairest face?
Or what each beauty of the heav'n-born mind,
The soul superior, or the taste refin’d?
Beauty but serves destruction to insure,
And sense, to feel the pang it cannot cure.
Each neighb’ring youth aspir'd to gain her hand,
And many a suitor came from many a land;
But all in vain each neighb'ring youth aspir’d,
And distant suitors all in vain admir’d.
Averse to hear yet fearful to offend,
The lover she refus'd she made a friend :
Her meek rejection wore so mild a face,
More like acceptance seem'd it than disgrace.
Young POLYDORE, the pride of rural swains,
Was wont to visit Belmont's blooming plains,
Who has not heard how POLYDORE could throw
Th' unerring dart to wound the flying doe?
How leave the swiftest at the race behind,
How mount the courser, how outstrip the wind ?
With melting sweetness, or with magic fire,
Breathe the soft flute, or sweep the well-strung lyre?
From that fam’d lyre no vulgar music sprung,
The Graces tun'd it, and Apollo strung.
Apollo, too, was once a shepherd swain,
And fed the flock, and grac'd the rustic plain.
He taught what charms to rural life belong,
The social sweetness, and the sylvan song;
He taught fair Wisdom in her grove to woo,
Her joys how precious, and her wants how few!
The savage herds in mute attention stood,
And ravish'd Echo fill'd the vocal wood;
The sacred Sisters, stooping from their sphere,
Forgot their golden harps, intent to hear :
Till' Heaven the scene survey'd with jealous eyes,
And Jove in envy call’d him to the skies.
Young POLYDORE was rich in large domains,
In smiling pastures, and in flow'ry plains;
With these, he boasted each exterior charm,
To win the prudent, and the cold to warm;
The fairest semblance of desert he bore,
And each fictitious mark of goodness wore;
Could act the tenderness he never felt,
In sorrow soften, and in anguish melt.
The sigh elaborate, the fraudful tear,
The joy dissembled, and the well-feign'd fear,
All these were his; and his each treach’rous art
That steals the guileless and unpractis'd heart.