Imatges de pÓgina

O launch thy bark, secure of prosp'rous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the swelling fails.
If you will fly-(ỹet ah! what cause can be,
Too cruel youth, that you should fly from me?). 255
If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,
Ah let me seek it from the raging feas :
To raging seas unpity'd I'll remove,
And either cease to live, or cease to love!

[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

The AR G U M E N T.



BELARD and Eloisa flourished in the twelfth cen

tury; they were two of the most distinguished perfons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate passion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this separation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands of Eloisa. This awakening all her tenderness, occafioned those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which give fo lively a picture of the struggles of grace and nature, virtue and passion.

[ocr errors]


E L.
L• O I






R D.



N these deep folitades and awful cells,

Where heav'nly-pensive, contemplation dwells, And ever-musing melancholy reigns; What means this tumult in a Vestal's veins? Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat? 5 Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat ? Yet, yet I love !--From Abelard it came, And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.

Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveald, Nor pass these lips in holy silence seald :

το Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise, Where mix'd with God's, his lov'd idea lies : Oh write it not, my hand-the name appears Already written--wash it out, my tears ! In vain loft Eloifa weeps and prays, Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.

Relentless walls ! whose darksome round contains Repentant fighs, and voluntary pains : Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn; Ye ġrots and caverns shagg’d with horrid thorn! 20 Shrines ! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep, And pitying faints, whose statues learn to weep! Tho' cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown, I have not yet forgot myself to stone. All is not Heav'n's, while Abelard has part,

25 Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;



Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears, for ages, taught to flow in vain.

Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all

my woes.

30 Oh name for ever fad ! for ever dear! Still breath'd in fighs, ftill usher'd with a tear. I tremble too where'er my own I find, Some dire misfortune follows close behind. Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,

35 Led thro' a sad variety of woe : Now warm in love, now with’ring in my bloom, : Loft in a convent's solitary gloom! There stern religion quench'd th' unwilling flame, There dy'd the best of passions, love and fame.

Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join Griefs to thy griefs, and echo fighs to thine. Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away ; And is my Abelard less kind than they? Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare, 45 Love but demands what else were shed in pray'r; No happier task these faded eyes pursue ; To read and weep is all they now can do.

Then share thy pain, allow that fad relief ; Ah, more than share it! give me all thy grief. 50 Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aid, Some banish'd lover, or some captive' maid; Phey live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires, Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires, The virgin's wish without her fears impart,

55 Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, Speed the soft intercourse from soul to foul, And waft a figh from Indus to the Pole.

Thou know'ft how guiltless first I met thy flame, When Love approach'd me under Friendship's name; 60 My fancy form'd thee of angelic kind, Some emanation of th' all-beauteous mind. Those smiling cyes, attemp’ring ev'ry ray, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »