Imatges de pÓgina

High o'er his head was held a starry crown, Emblem of royalty and princely might: His priesthood was by golden mitre shown; An eagle young, with e'yn most piercing-bright, To prove the prophet drank the distant light. But strangest was to see a bloody hand Uprear a cross, the cross with blood bedight': Ten thousand angels, flutt'ring in a band, Admir'd the mystic sign but cou'd not understand.

Now dulcet symphonies, and voices meet, Mellifluous stole upon the shepherd's car, Which swell'd so high and dy'd away so sweet, As might have charm'd a seraph from his sphere. Happy the swain that mote such music hear! Eftsoons a joyous fellowship was seen Of ladies gent 3, and beauties without peer4, As they a train of goddesses had been, In manner of a mask, radiant along the green. Faith led the van, her mantle dipt in blue, Steady her ken, and gaining on the skies; Obedient miracles around her flew: She pray'd, and Heav'n burst open on her eyes, And golden valves roll'd back in wond'rous wise: And now some hill, with all its shaggy load Of trees and flocks, unto the ocean hies5: Now wings of cherubs, flaming all abroad, Careering on the winds in sight upbear their god.

Next Hope, the gayest daughter of the sky! Her nectar-dewed locks with roses bound; An Eden flourish'd where she cast her eye, And flocks of Sports and Joys, their temples crown'd, [ground. Plum'd their bright wings, and thump'd the hollow Grief gladden'd, and forgot to drop a tear At her approach; ne Sorrow mote be found, Ne rueful-looking Drad 7, ne pale-ey'd Care; And 'neath her chariot wheels she crush'd'hellblack Despair.

Then Charity full-zon'd, as her beseems, Her breasts were softer ivory, her hair Play'd with the sunny rays in amber streams, And floated wanton on the buxom air; As Mercy kind, as Hope divinely fair. Her soul was flame, and with prolific rays The nations warm'd, all-bright withouten glare. Both men and angels, as she passes, gaze, [praise. But chief the poor, the lame, the blind, the naked,

The train of Virtues next, a dainty train! Advance their steps, sweet daughters of delight, Awfully sweet, majestically plain! Celestial Love, as e'yn of seraphs bright, And spotless as their robes of new-spun light. Truth, simple as the love-sick village-maid; Health-blooming Temperance, a comely wight 8: Humility, in homely weeds array'd,

And by her, in a line, an asses-colt she led.

But hark, the jolly pipe, and rural lay!
And see, the shepherd clad in mantle blue,
And shepherdess in russet kirtle gay,
Come dauncing on the shepherd-lord to view,
And pay, in decent wise, obeysance due.

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Sweet-smelling flow'rs the gentle votaries bring,
Primroses, violets, wet with morning-dew,
The sweetest incense of the early spring;
A humble, yet, I weet, a grateful offering.

Jocund to lead the way, with sparkling rays,
Danc'd a star-errant up the orient sky;
The new-born splendour streaming o'er the place,
Where Jesus lay in bright humility,
Seem'd a fixt star unto the wond'ring eye:
Three seers unwist 9 the captain-glory led,
Of awful semblance', but of sable die2.
Full royally along the lawn they tread,
And each with circling gold embraved3 had his


Low, very low on bended knee they greet The virgin-mother, and the son adore, The son of love! and kiss his blessed feet; Then ope the vases and present their store, Gold, frankincense and myrrh; what cou'd they For gold and myrrh a dying king divine 4; [more! The frankincense, from Arab's spicy shore, Confess'd the God; for God did in him shine: Myrrh, frankincense and gold, God-man, were meetly thine.

And last, triumphant on a purple cloud, Fleecy with gold, a band of angels ride: They boldly sweep their lyres, and, hymning loud, The richest notes of harmony divide; Scarce Thomalin the rapture cou'd abide: And ever and anon the babe they eye, And through the fleshly veil the God descry'd, Shrill hallelujahs tremble up the sky: [reply. Good-will and peace to man," the choirs in Heav'u


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If such the rapt'rous moments prove,
O let me give my heart to love!

The business of my future days,
My every thought, my every pray'r,
Shall be employ'd to sing her praise,
Or sent to bounteous Heav'n for her.
If such the rapt'rous moments prove,
O let me give my heart to love.

Poets shall wonder at my love,
Painters shall crowd her face to see,
And when they wou'd the passions move,
Shall copy her, and think of me.
If such the rapt'rous moments prove,
O let me give my heart to love.

Old age shall burn as bright as youth,
No respite to our bliss be given:
Then mingled in one flame of truth,
We'll spurn at Earth and soar to Heav'n.
Since such the rapt'rous moments prove,
We both will give our hearts to love.



LULL'D in the arms of him she lov'd
Ianthe sigh'd the kindest things:
Her fond surrender he approv'd

With smiles; and thus, enamour'd, sings.

"How sweet are lover's vows by night,
Lapp'd in a honey-suckle grove!
When Venus sheds her gentle light,
And soothes the yielding soul to love.

"Soft as the silent-footed Dews
That steal upon the starlight-hours;
Warm as a love-sick poet's Muse;
And fragrant as the breath of flow'rs.

“To hear our vows the Moon grows pale,
And pants Endymion's warmth to prove:
While, emulous, the nightingale,
Thick-warbling trills her lay of love.

"The silver-sounding shining spheres,
That animate the glowing skies,

Nor charm so much, as thou, my ears,
Nor bless so much, as thou, my eyes.

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AUSPICIOUS sprung the morning into light,
By Love selected from the golden tide
Of Time, illustrious with peculiar white,
And mended from the blushes of the bride.

The Muse observ'd the fond approaching hour,
And thus ber Philo's gentle ear addrest:
"Behold, descending from yon maiden tow'r
The beauteous object of thy eyes and breast.

"Fair issuing, down the hill I see her move,
Like the sweet morn, in dews and blushes gay:
You, like the bridegroom Sun, her charms ap-
And warm her dawning glories into day. [prove;

"I own the radiant magic of her eyes,
But more the graces of her soul admire;
Those may lay traps for lovers, fops and flies,
But these the husband and the Muse inspire.

"A husband is a venerable name!
O happy state, when heart is link'd to heart!
Nor less the honour of the wedded-dame:
Sweet interchange! which only Death can part.

"O blest with gentle manners, graceful ease;
Gay, yet not trifling; serious, yet not grave;
Skilful, to charm the wits; the wise to please;
Tho' beauteous, humble; and tho' tender, brave.

"Riches and honours wait on either name:
But they in life are but the last desert:
Your richer happiness and fairer fame,
Shall be the good behaviour of the heart.

"When such the wonders both of form and mind,
What rapture fancy'd, reason will approve;
By time your inclinations be refin'd;
And youth be spent in passion; age in love?"

Thus far the Muse. When Hymen, from the sky,
The lovers in the band of Concord ty'd;
The Virtues and the Graces too were by,
And Venus left her cestus with the bride.

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THE following tale is related by Pausanias, in Achaicis, Græciæ, lib. 7.; but instead of giving the original, or the Latin version by Romulus Amasæus (both which the learned reader may find in the edition published by Joach. Kuhnius in fol. Lipsia, 1696, pag. 575), I shall content myself with the translation of the story into English, as it is done from the Greek in the learned and ingenious travels of sir G. Wheeler: which book, upon many accounts, deserves to be reprinted and made more common.

"Coresus, the priest of Bacchus, fell in love with a fair virgin of Calydon, called Callirboe; who the more she was courted, the more she despised the priest; so that neither his rich presents, vows, nor tears could move her to the

Open'd the festival-Loose to the winds,
Dishevell❜d, bare, the virgins give their necks
"Eve!" they mad'ning cry,
Aud wanton hair.
And shake their torches. "Eve! Io!" rends

The air, and beats the echoing vault of Heav'n.
The hills, the vales with Io! Evo! ring.

least compassion. This, at last, made the priest | And piny torch (O were it Hymen's!) ting'd run in despair to the image of Bacchus for With spicy gums, to feed the ready flame. succour, imploring vengeance from him. Bacchus made it appear that he heard his prayers, by a disease he sent on the town; which seemed a kind of drunken madness, of which mad fit people died in abundance. Whereupon they sent deputies from Calydon to the oracle of Jupiter of Dodona, to know what they should do to be freed from that woeful malady. Answer was given, that Coresus must sacrifice Callirhoe, or some other person, that would dedicate himself in her stead, to appease the anger of Bacchus. The virgin, when she could no way obtain her life of her relations, was brought to the altar, adorned as victims used to be, to be sacrificed by her lover Coresus: whose wonderful love, even at that present, so conquered all past thoughts of revenge, that instead of her he slew himself: the virgin also, relenting of her cruelty to him, went and slew herself at a fountain near the town, from thence called by her name, Callirhoe."

Thus far sir George Wheeler. See his Journey into Greece, fol. book iv. page 292.

I shall only add that the ancient customs, particularly of the orgia or rites of Bacchus, and of the sacrifice, are alluded to, and carefully observed, in the several parts of this little poem.

HIGH in Achaia, splendid from afar,
A city flourish'd; Calydon its name,
Wash'd by Evenus' chalky flood; the seat
Of Meleager, from the slaughter'd boar
Glorious. A virgin here, amazing, shone,
Callirhoe the fair: her father's boast!
For, ah! she never knew a mother's smile;
Nor learn'd what happiness from marriage springs.
In flow'r of youth, and purer than the snow,
Which, with a silver circle, crown'd the head
Of the steep neighbour mountain; but averse
To Hymen's rites, the lovely foe of man.
O why will beauty, cruel to itself,
No less than others, violate the laws
Which Nature dictates, and itself inspires!

A thousand lovers from th' Olenian hill,
From rough Pylene, and from Pleuron's tow'rs,
Their passion pleaded: but Coresus, chief,
The Calydonian priest of Bacchus, form'd
By Venus' self for love; in beauty's pride;
Young, bounteous, affable. What tender arts,
What winning carriage, and respectful suit,
Almost to zealous adoration swell'd,
Did he not practise? But in vain. And now
Drew near the orgial festival, and rites
Lyæan. Poor Coresus, to approve
The wonders of his love and dear regard,
By scorn unquench'd, and growing by neglect,
(In hopes to soften her, at least adorn)
Presented to this murdress of his peace
The ritual ornaments, by virgins worn
Upon the solemn feast. The ivy-spear,
With winding green, and viny foliage gay,
Curl'd by his hand: a mitre for his head,
Curious aumail'd with imitated grapes,
Of blushing rubies form'd: the pall of lawn,
Flower'd with the conquests of the purple god:
The cista, silver; and the cymbals, gold:

The temple opens to the sacred throng;
When foremost enters, as in dress and charms,
Callirhoe, so in speed. Their lovers wait,
His beauteous mistress each. High on a throne
With burning expectation, to enfold
Coresus blaz'd in jewels and in gold,
More charming in himself. Quick with his eye
He catch'd Callirhoe, and, descending, clasp'd
With eager transport her reluctant waist.
A thousand vows he breath'd, and melting things
He spoke and look'd; but to the rocks and wind.
What could he more? Yes more he did: for what,
What can't a lover, like Coresus, do?

Neglectful of his dignity he sunk
(Still love disdains what dignity demands,
O'er Jupiter himself supreme) he sunk,
And trembled at her feet, with prostrate zeal,
With sighing languishment: he gaz'd his soul
As to his God. He dy'd upon her hand
At every ardent glance into her eyes;
Most eloquently silent! O'er his cheek
The gushing tears, in big, round drops, diffus'd
The dews of passion, and the brain's soft show'r,
Potent to warm the most obdurate breast,
Tho' cold as marble. Idle were his tears,
His glances, languishment, and prostrate zeal.

Disdainful-frowning: "Hence," she cry'd,
To interrupt my progress in the rites ["nor dare
With thy capricious rudeness. Shall the priest
The mysteries of Bacchus thus profane,
In his own temple too? And rather pay
To Venus his devotion, than his God?"
Then, haughty as away she turn'd, he grasp'd
Her knees; upon her garments flowing train
Shivering he hung: and with beseeching eyes,
Thus, from the abundance of his heart, com-

"If pity be no stranger to thy breast,
(As sure it should not to a breast like thine,
Soft as the swanny down!) relenting, hear;
In feelingness of spirit, mildly lend
Attention to the language of my heart,
Sick with o'er-flowing tenderness and love.
I love thee with that innocence of truth,
That purity of passion and desire
Unutterable, of bequeathing up
My heart, my life, my all into thy hands,
Into thy gentle custody;-that all,
My heart, my life, are bitterness and weight
Of agony without thee. Since I first,
(By Bacchus' self I swear) beheld that face,
And nameless magic of those radiant eyes,
All the foundation of my peace gave way:
While hopes and fears rose up in bosom-war
To desolate the quiet of my days.
Thy dear idea was my fancy's dream;
It mingled with my blood; and in my veins
Throbb'd, undulating, as my life were stung,

I live but on the thought of thee; my breast
Bleeds in me, with distress to see thee frown.
O smile! by thy dead mother's reverend dust,
By all thy bowels are most fond of, smile,
And chase these heavy clouds of grief away.
I beg by Bacchus; for his sake be kind."

Here, interrupted by the swelling storm
Of passion labouring in his breast, his words
Gave way for sighs and tears to speak the rest.
She, in contempt'ous derision, smil'd,

To which her frowns were innocent; and thus:
"Thy staggering Pow'r, and thee I scorn alike;
Him I despise, for choosing thee his priest;
Thee, for thy arrogance and courtship vile."

Indignant he, in wrathful mood (alarm'd More at his god revil'd, than scorn for him) First casting on the ground his mitred-crown, With hands and eyes uplifted, ardent, pray'd:

"Offspring of Jove, Eve Lyæus, hear!
If e'er these hands with ivy wreaths thy brow
Circled, and twining tendrils of the vine:
If e'er my grateful tongue, big with thy praise,
Eva Lyæus! Io Bacchus! sung:

If e'er thy servant on thy altars pour'd,
Copious, the purple wave of offer'd wine,
And, busy, fed the consecrated fire
With fat of ass, or hog, or mountain-goat;
Devoutly, lavish in the sacrifice:

Avenge thy priest; this cursed race destroy:
Thy honours violated thus, avow;

Till they confess this staggering pow'r a god."

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The frantic crowd, as if with wine possest,
And the strong spirit of the flaming grape,
To and fro reel, and stagger to and fro,
In dithyrambic measures, wild, convolv'd.
They toss their cymbals, and their torches shake,
Shrieking, and tear their hair, and gash their flesh,
And howl, and foam, and wheel the rapid dance
In giddy maze: with fury then o'erborn,
Enthusiastic, whirling in despair,
Flat, drop down dead! and heaps on heaps expire.

Amaz'd, confounded at the raging pest,
The venerable fathers, in debate,
To speed inquiring deputies, resolv'd,
To high Dodona's grove; with vocal oaks
Umbrageous, aged, vast, the struggling day
Excluding: the prime oracle of Greece!

Obsequious, they haste: inquire: return:
And thus the counsels of the god disclose:

"The rage of Bacchus for his injur'd priest,
Coresus, by Callirhoe's scorn repuls'd,
Your city wastes: and with funereal fires
Your streets shall redden, formidably bright,
Till by Coresus' hand the cruel maid
A sacrifice be offer'd up: or one,
Free, uncompell'd, embrace the destin'd steel,
Devoted in her stead; and bleed for her.

So you'll appease the god; the plague be stay'd."

They said. Staring affright, and dumb amaze The fathers seize: but chief, Eneùs, thee, Callirhoe's old miserable sire!

Tenfold affliction to the grave weighs down
Thy silver'd hairs. But Fate and Heav'n require.

Soon through the city spread the news, and soon Wounded Callirhoe's ear. Her spindle drops Neglected from her hand. Prone on the floor,

She falls, she faints; her breath, her colour fled:
Pale, cold and pale. Till, by assisting care,
The fragrant spirit hovers o'er her lips,
And life returning streams in rosy gales;
Rekindled only to despair. She knew
The virgins envy'd; and the injur'd youth
Stung with her scorn, would wanton in her wounds,
Nor one, one offer up the willing breast
A victim for her life. And now the crowd,
Impatient of their miseries, besiege
The marble portal; burst the bolted gates;
Demand Callirhoe; furious to obey
The oracle, and pacify the god.

What pangs, unhappy maid, thy bosom tear,
Sleepless, and sad? relenting now too late,
Thy stubborn cruelty. Coresus' charms
Blaze on thy mind; his unexampled love,
His every virtue rising to thy thought.
Just in his fury, see the pointed steel

Waves, circling, o'er thy throbbing breast: he He riots in thy blood with dire delight; [strikes; Insatiate! He gluts his heart of rage

With thy warm gushing life; and death enjoys, Redoubling wound on wound, and blow on blow.

Thus pass'd her hours. And now the dewy morn The mountains tipp'd with gold, and threatened Without the city gates, a fountain wells [day. Its living waters, clear as shining glass: Haunt of the Nymphs! A cypress' aged arms Threw round a venerable gloom, and seem'd Itself a grove. An altar on the brink Convenient rose: for holy custom wills Each victim to be sprinkled with its streams, New from pollution, worthier of the god. Fierce for the sacrifice, Coresus here Waited; and, stimulated with revenge, He curs'd and chid the lazy-circling hours Too slow, as if injurious to his hate.

But soon the gath'ring crowd and shouts proCallirhoe near. Her weeping damsels lead [claim The destin'd offering, lovely in distress, And sparkling through her tears. A myrtle crown With roses glowing, and selected green, Th' ambrosial plenty of her golden hair Entwine: in looks, a Venus; and a Grace In motion. Scarce the flow'rs of sixteen springs The fields had painted, since Æneùs first Fondled his babe, and biest her on his knee. Ev'n mountain-clowns, who never pity knew, Relented, and the hardest heart wept blood, Subdu'd by beauty, tho' the fatal source Of all their misery. What tumults then Roll in thy breast, Coresus! while thy hands The purifying waters on her head Pour'd trembling; and the sacred knife unsheath'd!

Wiping the silver-streaming tears away, She with a look nor cheerful, nor dismay'd,

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