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(For who for one poor pearl of clouded ray Through Alpine dunghills delves his desperate way ?) Did genius to thy verse such bane impart? No. 'Twas the demon of thy venom'd heart (Thy heart with rancour's quintessence endued), And the blind zeal of a misjudging crowd. Thus from rank soil a poison'd mushroom
O had thy verse been impotent as dull,
When frailty leads astray the soul sincere,
Triumphs through life, from legal judgment free, For Hell may hatch what law could ne'er foresee ; Sacred from vengeance shall his memory rest ? Judas though dead, though damn'd, we still detest.
THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS.
(Published in 1765.) FAR in the depth of Ida's inmost grove,
A scene for love and solitude design'd; Where flowery woodbines wild by Nature wove
Form'd the lone bower, the royal swain reclined. All up the craggy cliffs, that tower'd to Heaven,
Green waved the murmuring pines on every side ; Save where, fair opening to the beam of even,
A dale sloped gradual to the valley wide. Echo'd the vale with many a cheerful note;
The lowing of the herds resounding long, The shrilling pipe, and mellow horn remote, And social clamours of the festive throng.
low hovering o'er the western main, Where amber clouds begirt his dazzling throne, The Sun with ruddier verdure deckt the plain;
And lakes and streams, and spires triumphal shme. And many a band of ardent youths were seen ;
Some into rapture fired by glory's charms, Or hurl'd the thundering car along the green,
Or march'd embattled on in glittering arms. Others more mild, in happy leisure gay,
The darkening forest's lonely gloom explore, Or by Scamander's flowery margin stray,
Or the blue Hellespont's resounding shore. But chief the eye to Ilion's glories turn'd,
That gleam'd along th’extended champaign far, And bulwarks in terrific
pomp adorn'd, Where Peace sat smiling at the frowns of War.
Rich in the spoils of many a subject-clime,
In pride luxurious blaz'd th' imperial dome; Tower'd 'mid th’ encircling grove the fane sublime;
And dread memorials mark'd the hero's tomb. Who from the black and bloody cavern led
The savage stern, and sooth'd his boisterous breast; Who spoke, and Science rear'd her radiant head,
And brighten'd o'er the long beníghted waste ; Or, greatly daring in his country's cause,
Whose heaven-taught soul the awful plan design'd, Whence Power stood trembling at the voice of laws;
Whence soar'd on Freedom's wing th'ethereal mind. But not the pump that royalty displays,
Nor all the imperial pride of lofty Troy, Nor Virtuė's triumph of immortal praise
Could rouse the languor of the lingering boy. Abandon'd all to soft Enone's charms,
He to oblivion doom'd the listless day; Inglorious lull'd in Love's dissolving arms,
While flutes lascivious breathed th' enfeebling lay. To trim the ringlets of his scented hair;
To aim, insidious, Love's bewitching glance ; Or cull fresh garlands for the gaudy fair,
Or wanton loose in the voluptuous dance:
Nor sought his fettered soul a nobler aim,
Which taint with infamy the lover's flame!
Melting he listen’d to the vernal song, And Echo, listening, waved her airy wing,
While the deep winding dales the lays prolong. When slowly floating down the azure skies
A crimson cloud flash'd on his startled sight; Whose skirts gay-sparkling with unnumber'd dies
Launched the long billowy trails of flickery light. That instant hush'd was all the vocal grove,
Hush'd was the gale, and every ruder sound, And strains aërial, warbling far above,
Rung in the ear a magic peal profound,
Near, and more near, the swimming radiance roll'd;
Along the mountains stream the lingering fires,
And all the Heaven resounds with louder lyres.
The glories vanish'd from the dazzled eye;
Down the steep glade were seen advancing nigh.
O'er-arching high the clustering roses hung,
And hill and dale with gratulation rung.
Fix'd was her lofty eye, erect her mien:
She look'd and moved a goddess and a queen.
Light lean'd the sceptre on her bending arm;
Heightening the pride of each commanding charm.
And on a javelin's quivering length reclined:
Nor pomp of vesture fluctuate on the wind.
Of heavenly wisdom shone: nor roved her eyes,
Or the blue concave of th' involving skies.
Yet Virtue triumph'd in their beams benign,
When in fierce lightning flash'd the wrath divine.*
His kindling cheeks great Virtue's power confess'd; But soon 'twas o'er, for Virtue prompts in vain, When Pleasure's influence numbs the nerveless
* This is agreeable to the theology of Homer, who often represents Pallas as the executioner of divine vengeance,
And now advanced the queen of melting joy,
Smiling supreme in unresisted charms: Ah, then, what transports fired the trembling boy ! A
How throbb’d his sickening frame with fierce alarms! Her eyes in liquid light luxurious swim,
And languish with unutterable love. Heaven's warm bloom glows along each brightning limb,
[rove. Where fluttering bland the veil's thin mantlings Quick, blushing as abash'd, she half withdrew :
One hand a bough of flowering myrtle waved, One graceful spread, where, scarce conceald from
view, Soft through the parting robe her bosom heaved. Offspring of Jove supreme ! beloved of Heav'n!
Attend.' Thus spoke the empress of the skies. · For know, to thee, high-fated prince, 'tis given
Through the bright realms of Fame sublime to rise, • Beyond man's boldest hope; if nor the wiles
Of Pallas triumph o'er th' ennobling thought; Nor Pleasure lure with artificial smiles
To quaff the poison of her luscious draught. · When Juno's charms the prize of beauty claim, Shall aught on Earth, shall aught in Heav'n con
tend? Whom Juno calls to high triumphant fame,
Shall be to meaner sway inglorious bend $ · Yet lingering comfortless in lonesome wild,
Where Echo sleeps 'mid cavern'd vales profound, The pride of Troy, Dominion's darling child,
Pines while the slow hour stalks its sullen round. • Hear thou, of Heav'n unconscious! From the blaze
Of glory, stream'd from Jove's eternal throne, Thy soul, O mortal, caught th' inspiring rays
That to a god exalt Earth's raptured son. • Hence the bold wish, on boundless pinion borne,
That fires, alarms, impels the maddening soul; The hero's eye, hence, kindling into scorn,
Blasts the proud menace, and defies control.