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The neighboring swains around the stranger throng, Here oft the nymph his breathing vows had heard ,
Here oft her silence had her heart declar'd.
Had half express'd, and half conceald, his flame, With dutiful respect and studious fear;
Upon this tree : and, as the tender mark Lest any careless sound offend her ear.
Grew with the year, and widend with the bark, A frantic gipsy now, the house he haunts, Venus had heard the virgin's soft address, And in wild phrases speaks dissembled wants. That, as the wound, the passion might increase. With the fond maids in palmistry he deals : As potent Nature shed her kindly showers, They tell the secret first, which he reveals ; And deck'd the various mead with opening flowers, Says who shall wed, and who shall be beguil'd; Upon this tree the nymph's obliging care What groom shall get, and squire maintain the child. Had left a frequent wreath for Henry's hair; But, when bright Emma would her fortune know, Which, as with gay delight the lover found, A softer look unbends his opening brow;
Pleas'd with his conquest, with her present crown'd, With trembling awe he gazes on her eye, Glorious through all the plains he oft had gone, And in soft accents forms the kind reply;
And to each swain the mystic honor shown;: That she shall prove as fortunate as fair; The gift still prais'd, the giver still unknown. And Hymen's choicest gifts are all reserv'd for her. His secret note the troubled Henry writes :
Now ost had Henry chang'd his sly disguise, To the lone tree the lovely maid invites. Unmark'd by all but beauteous Emma's eyes : Imperfect words and dubious terms express, Oft had found means alone to see the dame, That unforeseen mischance disturbid his peace; And at her feet to breathe his amorous flame; That he must something to her ear commend, And oft, the pangs of absence to remove,
On which her conduct and his life depend. By letters, sost interpreters of love :
Soon as the fair-one had the note receivid, Till Time and Industry (the mighty two The remnant of the day alone she griev'd : That bring our wishes nearer to our view) For different this from every former note, Made him perceive, that the inclining fair Which Venus dictated, and Henry wrote; Receiv'd his vows, with no reluctant ear;
Which told her all his future hopes were laid That Venus had confirm'd her equal reign, On the dear bosom of his Nut-brown Maid ; And dealt to Emma's heart a share of Henry's pain. Which always bless'd her eyes, and own'd her While Cupid smild, by kind occasion bless'd,
power; And, with the secret kept, the love increas'd ; And bid her oft adieu, yet added more. The amorous youth frequents the silent groves; Now night advanc'd. The house in sleep were And much he meditates, for much he loves. He loves, 'tis true; and is belov'd again : The nurse experienc'd, and the prying maid, Great are his joys; but will they long remain ? And, last, that sprite, which does incessant haunt Emma with smiles receives his present flame ; The lover's steps, the ancient maiden-aunt. But, smiling, will she ever be the same ?
To her dear Henry, Emma wings her way, Beautiful looks are rul'd by fickle minds; With quicken'd pace repairing fore'd delay; And summer seas are turn'd by sudden winds. For Love, fantastic power, that is afraid Another love may gain her easy youth :
To stir abroad till Watchfulness be laid, Time changes thought, and flattery conquers truth. Undaunted then o'er cliffs and valleys strays, O impotent estate of human life!
And leads his votaries safe through pathless ways. Where Hope and Fear maintain eternal strife ; Not Argus, with his hundred eyes, shall find Where fleeting joy does lasting doubt inspire ; Where Cupid goes; though he, poor guide! is blind And most we question, what we most desire ! The maiden first arriving, sent her eye Amongst thy various gifts, great Heaven, bestow To ask, if yet its chief delight were nigh: Our cup of love unmix'd ; forbear to throw With fear and with desire, with joy and pain, Bitter ingredients in ; nor pall the draught She sees, and runs to meet him on the plain. With nauseous grief: for our ill-judging thought But, oh! his steps proclaim no lover's hasie: Hardly enjoys the pleasurable taste ;
On the low ground his fix'd regards are cast; Or deems it not sincere; or fears it cannot last. His artful bosom heaves dissembled sighs ;
With wishes rais'd, with jealousies opprest, And tears suborn'd fall copious from his eyes. (Alternate tyrants of the human breast)
With ease, alas! we credit what we love: By one great trial he resolves to prove
His painted grief does real sorrow move
Broke silence first: the tale alternate ran.
SINCERE, O tell me, hast thou felt a pain, His mind he vows to free from amorous care, Emma, beyond what woman knows to feign? The latent mischief from his heart to tear,
Has thy uncertain bosom ever strove Resume his azure arms, and shine again in war. With the first tumults of a real love? South of the castle, in a verdant glade,
Hast thou now dreaded, and now blest his sway A spreading beech extends her friendly shade : By turns averse, and joyful to obey ?
Thy virgin softness hast thou e'er bewail'd, Fair Truth, at last, her radiant beams will raise, As Reason yielded, and as Love prevailid ? And Malice vanquish'd heightens Virtue's praise. And wept the potent god's resistless dart,
Let then thy favor but indulge my flight; His killing pleasure, his ecstatic smart,
0! let my presence make thy travels light; And heavenly poison thrilling through thy heart? And potent Venus shall exalt my name If so, with pity view my wretched state ;
Above the rumors of censorious Fame;
Nor from that busy demon's restless power
Than that this truth should to the world be known And only, as the Sun's revolving ray
That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but thee alone. Brings back each year this melancholy day, Permit one sigh, and sel apart one tear, To an abandon'd exile's endless care.
But canst thon wield the sword, and bend the bow? For me, alas! outcast of human race,
With active force repel the sturdy foe? Love's anger only waits, and dire disgrace;
When the loud tumult speaks the battle nigh,
And winged deaths in whistling arrows fly;
Wilt thou, though wounded, yet undaunted stay, A shameful death attends my longer stay ;
Perform thy part, and share the dangerous day? And I this night must fly from thee and love,
Then, as thy strength decays, thy heart will fail,
Thy limbs all trembling, and thy cheeks all pale ; Condemn'd in lonely woods, a banish'd man, to rove.
With fruitless sorrow, thou, inglorious maid,
Then to thy friend, by foes o'ercharg'd, deny
A banish'd man, condemn'd in lonely woods to rove.
With fatal certainty Thalestris knew
And, great in arms, and foremost in the war,
Bonduca brandish'd high the British spear. His complement of stores, and total war.
Could thirst of vengeance and desire of fame 0! cease then coldly to suspect my love;
Excite the female breast with martial fame? And let my deed at least
And shall not love's diviner power inspire faith
my approve. Alas! no youth shall my endearments share;
More hardy virtue, and more generous fire ? Nor day nor night shall interrupt my care ;
Near Thee, mistrust not, constant I'll abide, No future story shall with truth upbraid
And fall, or vanquish, fighting by thy side. The cold indifference of the Nut-brown Maid;
Though my inferior strength may not allow Nor to hard banishment shall Henry run,
That I should bear or draw the warrior bow; While careless Emma sleeps on beds of down.
With ready hand I will the shast supply, View me resolv’d, where'er thou lead'st, to go,
And joy to see thy victor arrows fly. Friend to thy pain, and partner of thy woe;
Touch'd in the battle by the hostile reed, For I attest, fair Venus and her son,
Shouldst thou, (but Heaven avert it!) shouldst thou That I, of all mankind, will love but thee alone.
Wash them with tears, and wipe them with my hair :
Blest, when my dangers and my toils have shown Let prudence yet obstruct thy venturous way ;
That I, of all mankind, could love but thee alone. And take good heed, what men will think and say ; That beauteous Emma vagrant courses took ; Her father's house and civil life forsook ; That, full of youthful blood, and fond of man, But canst thou, tender maid, canst thou sustain She to the wood-land with an exile ran.
Afflictive want, or hunger's pressing pain ? Reflect, that lesgen'd fame is ne'er regain'd, Those limbs, in lawn and softest silk array'd, And virgin honor, once, is always stain'd: From sunbeams guarded, and of winds afraid, Timely advis'd, the coming evil shun:
Can they bear angry Jove ? can they resist
And find among the cliffs no other house
Wilt thou not then reluctant send thine eye
(Though then, alas! that trial be too late) Let every tongue its various censures choose ; To find thy father's hospitable gate, Absolve with coldness, or with spite accuse : And seats, where ease and plenty brooding sate:
Those seats, whence long excluded, thou must 'Tis long since Cynthia and her train were there,
Or guardian gods made innocence their care. That gate, for ever barr'd to thy return:
Vagrants and outlaws shall offend thy view : Wilt thou not then bewail ill-fated love,
For such must be my friends, a hideous crew, And hate a banish'd man, condemn'd in woods to By adverse fortune mix'd in social ill, rove?
Train'd to assault, and disciplin d to kill;
The beadle's lash still flagrant on their back: Thy rise of fortune did I only wed,
By sloth corrupted, by disorder fed, From its decline determind to recede;
Made bold by want, and prostitute for bread: Did I but purpose to embark with thee
With such must Emma hunt the tedious day, On the smooth surface of a summer's sea; Assist their violence, and divide their prey : While gentle zephyrs play in prosperous gales, With such she must return at setting light, And Fortune's favor fills the swelling sails ; Though not partaker, witness of their night. But would forsake the ship, and make the shore, Thy ear, inur’d to charitable sounds When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar ? And pitying love, must feel the hateful wounds No, Henry, no: one sacred oath has tied
of jest obscene and vulgar ribaldry, Our loves : one destiny our life shall guide ; The ill-bred question, and the lewd reply; Nor wild nor deep our common way divide. Brought by long habitude from bad to worse,
When from the cave thou risest with the day, Must hear the frequent oath, the direful curse, To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey; That latest weapon of the wretches' war, The cave with moss and branches I'll adorn, And blasphemy, sad comrade of despair. And cheerful sit, to wait my lord's return:
Now, Emma, now the last reflection make, And, when thou frequent bring'st the smitten deer, What thou wouldst follow, what thou must for. (For seldom, archers say, thy arrows err)
Or yield thy virtue, to attain thy love;
Or leave a banish'd man, condemnd in woods to The choicest herbs I to thy board will bring, And draw thy water from the freshest spring : And, when at night with weary toil opprest,
EMMA. Soft slumbers thou enjoy'st, and wholesome rest, O grief of heart! that our unhappy fales Watchful I'll guard thee, and with midnight prayer Force thee to suffer what thy honor hates : Weary the gods to keep thee in their care; Mix thee amongst the bad; or make thee run And joyous ask, at morn's returning ray,
Too near the paths which Virtue bids thee shun.
By her own choice free Virtue is approv'd ;
Nor by the force of outward objects mov'd.
In vain the Syrens sing, the tempests beat: No longer shall thy comely tresses break
Their flattery she rejects, nor fears their threat. In flowing ringlets on thy snowy neck;
For thee alone these little charms I drest: Or sit behind thy head, an ample round,
Condemn'd them, or absolv'd them by thy test. In graceful braids with various ribbon bound : In comely figure rang'd my jewels shone, No longer shall the bodice aptly lac'd,
Or negligently plac'd for thee alone : From thy full bosom to thy slender waist,
For thee again they shall be laid aside; That air and harmony of shape express,
The woman, Henry, shall put off her pride Fine by degrees, and beautifully less :
For thee: my clothes, my sex, exchang'd for thee, Nor shall thy lower garments' artful plait, I'll mingle with the people's wretched lee: From thy fair side dependent to thy feet,
O line extreme of human infamy! Arm their chaste beauties with a modest pride, Wanting the scissars, with these hands I'll tear And double every charm they seek to hide. (If that obstructs my flight) this load of hair. Th'ambrosial plenty of thy shining hair,
Black soot, or yellow walnut, shall disgrace Cropt off and lost, scarce lower than thy ear This little red and white of Emma's face. Shall stand uncouth : a horseman's coat shall hide These nails with scratches shall deform my breast, Thy taper shape, and comeliness of side : Lest by my look or color be expressid The short trunk-hose shall show thy foot and knee The mark of aught high-born, or ever better dress’d. Licentious, and to common eye-sight free: Yet in this commerce, under this disguise, And, with a bolder stride and looser air,
Let me be grateful still to Henry's eyes; Mingled with men, a man thou must appear. Lost to the world, let me to him be known :
Nor solitude, nor gentle peace of mind, My fate I can absolve, if he shall own Mistaken maid, shalt thou in forests find : That, leaving all mankind, I love but him alone.
Why shouldst thou weep? let Nature judge our
I saw thee young and fair; pursued the chase O wildest thoughts of an abandon'd mind !
Of Youth and Beauty: I another saw
Fairer and younger: yielding to the law
Of our all-ruling mother, I pursued
•More youth, more beauty: blest vicissitude!
My active heart still keeps its pristine flame; O guilty error! and O wretched maid !
The object alter'd, the desire the same. Whose roving fancy would resolve the same
This younger, fairer, pleads her rightful charms; With him, who next should tempt her easy fame; And blow with empty words the susceptible flame. With present power compels me to her arms. Now why should doubtful terms thy mind perplex ? (If Beauty's force to constant love can bind.)
And much I fear, from my subjected mind, Confess thy frailty, and avow the sex :
That years may roll, ere in her turn the maid No longer loose desire for constant love
Shall weep the fury of my love decay'd; Mistake: but say, 'tis man with whom thou long'st
And weeping follow me, as thou dost now, to rove.
With idle clamors of a broken vow.
Nor can the wildness of thy wishes err
So wide, to hope that thou may'st live with he Are there not poisons, racks, and Aames, and Love, well thou know'st, no partnership allow. swords,
Cupid averse rejects divided vows: That Emma thus must die by Henry's words?
Then, from thy foolish heart, vain maid, remov Yet what could swords or poison, racks or flame,
An useless sorrow, and an ill-starr'd love But mangle and disjoint this brittle frame!
And leave me, with the fair, at large in wooa More fatal Henry's words; they murder Emma's fame.
And fall these sayings from that gentle tongue, Where civil speech and soft persuasion hung; Whose artful sweetness and harmonious strain, Courting my grace, yet courting it in vain,
Are we in life through one great error led ? Callid sighs, and tears, and wishes, to its aid;
Is each man perjur'd, and each nymph betray'd. And, whilst it Henry's glowing flame convey'd,
Of the superior sex art thou the worst? Still blam'd the coldness of the Nut-brown Maid? Am I of mine the most completely curst? Let envious Jealousy and canker'd Spite
Yet let me go with thee, and going prove, Produce my actions to severest light,
From what I will endure, how much I love. And lax my open day, or secret night.
This potent beauty, this triumphant fair Did e'er my tongue speak my unguarded heart
This happy object of our different care, The least inclin'd to play the wanton's part ?
Her let me follow; her let me attend Did e'er my eye one inward thought reveal, A servant (she may scorn the name of friend). Which angels might not hear, and virgins tell?
What she demands, incessant I'll prepare : And hast thou, Henry, in my conduct known I'll weave her garlands; and I'll plait her hair: One fault, but that which I must never own,
My busy diligence shall deck her board, That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but thee alone? (For there at least I may approach my lord,)
And, when her Henry's softer hours advise
His servant's absence, with dejected eyes Vainly thou talk'st of loving me alone :
Far I'll recede, and sighs forbid to rise. Each man is man; and all our sex is one.
Yet, when increasing grief brings slow disease, False are our words, and fickle is our mind :
And ebbing life, on terms severe as these, Nor in Love's ritual can we ever find
Will have its lille lamp no longer fed ; Vows made to last, or promises to bind.
When Henry's mistress shows him Emma dead; By Nature prompted, and for empire made,
Rescue my poor remains from vile neglect, Alike by strength or cunning we invade :
With virgin honors let my hearse be deckt,
And decent emblem; and at least persuade
Where thou, dear author of my death, where she, Delusive sighs and brilile vows we bear;
With frequent eye my sepulchre may see. Our falsehood and our arms have equal use;
The nymph amidst her joys may haply breathe As they our conquest or delight produce.
One pious sigh, reflecting on my death, The foolish heart thou gav'st, again receive,
And the sad fate which she may one day prove, The only boon departing love can give.
Who hopes from Henry's vows eternal love. To be less wretched, be no longer true;
And thou forsworn, thou cruel, as thou art,
If Emma's image ever touch'd thy heart;
To her, whom love abandon'd to despair;
To her, who, dying, on the wounded stone The next man (and the next thou shalt believe)
Bid it in lasting characters be known, Will pawn his gods, intending to deceive;
That, of mankind, she lov'd but thee alone. Will kneel, implore, persist, o'ercome, and leave. Hence let thy Cupid aim his arrows right; Be wise and false, shun trouble, seek delight: Hear, solemn Jove; and conscious Venus, hear; Change thou the first, nor wait thy lover's flight. And thou, bright maid, believe me whilst I swear,