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"And love is still an emptier sound,
To warm the turtle's nest.
"For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
Surpriz'd he sees new beauties rise,
The bashful look, the rising breast,
The lovely stranger stands confest,
"And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
"But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray:
"My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he:
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine;
He had but only me.
"To win me from his tender arms,
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,
"Each hour a mercenary crowd
"In humble, simplest habit clad,
"And when beside me in the dale,
"The blossom opening to the day,
To emulate his mind.
"The dew, the blossom on the tree, With charms inconstant shine; Their charms were his, but woe to me! Their constancy was mine.
"For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain;
And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain.
"Till quite dejected with my scorn,
In secret, where he dy'd.
"But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay; I'll seek the solitude he sought, And stretch me where he lay.
"And there forlorn, despairing, hid, I'll lay me down and die;
"T was so for me that Edwin did; And so for him will I."
"Forbid it Heaven!" the Hermit cry'd, And clasp'd her to his breast:
The wond'ring fair one turn'd to chide,"T was Edwin's self that prest. 38.
"Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
"Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And shall we never, never part, My life, my all that 's mine? 40.
"No, never, from this hour to part, We'll live and love so true;
The sigh that rends thy constant heart, Shall break thy Edwin's too."
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.
I can have no expectations, in an address of this kind, either to add to your reputation or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel; and I may lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in poetry than you. Setting interest therefore aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this Poem to you.
How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to inquire; but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the opinion), that the depopulation it deplores is no where to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarcely make any other answer than that I sincerely believe what I have written; that I have taken all possible pains, in my country excursions, for these four or five years past, to be certain of what I allege, and that all my views and inquiries have led me to believe those mi
series real, which I here attempt to display. But this is not the place to enter into an inquiry, whether the country be depopulating or not; the discussion would take up much room, and I should prove myself, at best, an indifferent politician, to tire the reader with a long preface, when I want his unfatigued attention to a long poem.
In regretting the depopulation of the country, I inveigh against the increase of our luxuries; and here also I expect the shout of modern politicians against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages; and all the wisdom of antiquity in that particular, as erroneous. Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wish to be in the right.
I am, dear Sir,
Your sincere friend, and ardent admirer,
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene!
The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill,