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Ev'n for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall,
Tears from sweet Virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But strong and elevated was her mind :
Could look superior down
On Fortune's smile, or frown; That could without regret or pain
To Virtue's lowest duty sacrifice
Or interest or ambition's highest prize ;
A wit that, temperately bright,
All pleasing shone, nor ever past
The decent bounds that Wisdom's sober hand,
And sweet Benevolence's mild command,
And bashful Modesty before it cast.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
Such Lucy was, when, in her fairest days,
Amidst th' acclaim of universal praise,
In life's and glory's freshest bloom,
Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the tomb.
So, where the silent streams of Liris glide,
When now the wintry tempests all are fled,
On every bough the golden fruits are seen; With odours sweet it fills the smiling skies,
The wood-nymphs tend it, and th' Idalian queen: But, in the midst of all its blooming pride, A sudden blast from Apenninus blows, Cold with perpetual snows:
The tender blighted plant shrinks up its leaves, and dies.
Arise, O Petrarch, from th' Elysian bow'rs,
With never-fading myrtles twin'd,
And fragrant with ambrosial flow'rs,
Where to thy Laura thou again art join'd;
Arise, and hither bring the silver lyre,
Tun'd by thy skilful hand
To the soft notes of elegant desire,
Was spread the fame of thy disastrous love;
To me resign the vocal shell,
And teach my sorrows to relate
Their melancholy tale so well,
As may ev❜n things inanimate,
Rough mountain oaks, and desert rocks, to pity move.
What were, alas! thy woes compar'd to mine?
To thee thy mistress in the blissful band
Of Hymen never gave her hand;
She never bore a share,
Nor with endearing art
Would heal thy wounded heart
Of every secret grief that fester'd there:
Nor did she crown your mutual flame
With pledges dear, and with a father's tender name.
O best of wives! O dearer far to me
Were yielded to my arms,
How can my soul endure the loss of thee?
Without my sweet companion can I live?
The dear reward of every virtuous toil,
For my distracted mind
What succour can I find?
On whom for consolation shall I call?
Support me, every friend,
Your kind assistance lend
To bear the weight of this oppressive wo.
Alas! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, so much was thine,
That none has any comfort to bestow.
My books, the best relief
In every other grief,
Are now with your idea sadden'd all:
Each fav'rite author we together read
My tortur'd mem'ry wounds, and speaks of Lucy dead.
We were the happiest pair of human kind:
Another and another smiling came,
Harmonious Concord did our wishes bind:
That all this pleasing fabric Love had rais'd
On which e'en wanton Vice with Envy gaz'd,
And every scheme of bliss our hearts had form'd,
Yet, O my soul, thy rising murmurs stay,
With impious grief complain.
That all thy full-blown joys at once should fade,
Was his most righteous will, and be that will obey'd.,