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Soon, if none check th' invasive foe's designs,
The lively lustre of these scenes declines !
'Tis thus, the spring of youth, the morn of life,
Rears in our minds the rival feeds of strife.
Then paffion riots, reason then contends;
And, on the conquest, ev'ry bliss depends :
Life, from the nice decision, takes its hue;
And blest those judges who decide like you !
On worth like theirs shall ev'ry bliss attend :
The world their fav’rite, and the world their friend.
There are, who blind to thought's fatiguing ray, As fortune gives examples, urge
way: Not virtue's foes, tho' they her paths decline, And scarce her friends, tho' with her friends they joịn, In her's, or vice's casual road advance Thoughtless, the finners or the saints of chance ! Yet some more nobly scorn the vulgar voice; With judgment fix, with zeal pursue their choice, When ripen'd thought, when reason born to reign, Checks the wild tumults of the youthful vein ; While passion's lawless tides, at their command, Glide thro' more useful tracts, and bless the land.
Happiest of these is he whose matchless mind, By learning strengthen’d, and by taste refin’d, In virtue's cause essay’d its earliest pow'rs; Chose virtue's patlıs, and strew'd her paths with flow'rs. The first aların’d, if freedom waves her wings : The fittest to adorn each art she brings :
Lov'd by that prince whom ev'ry virtue fires :
Prais’d by that bard whom ev'ry muse inspires :
Blest in the tuneful art, the social fame ;
In all that wins, in all that merits fame!
'Twas youth's perplexing stage his doubts inspir’d,
When great Alcides to a grove retir’d.
Thro’ the lone windings of a devious glade,
Resign’d to thought, with ling’ring steps he stray’d;
Bleft with a mind to taste sincerer joys :
Arm'd with a heart each false one to despise.
Dubious he stray’d, with wav'ring thoughts poffeft,
Alternate passions struggling shar’d his breast;
The various arts which human cares divide,
In deep attention all his mind employ'd :
Anxious, if fame an equal bliss secur'd;
Or silent ease with softer charms allur'd.
The silvan choir whose numbers sweetly flow'd,
The fount that murmur'd, and the flow’rs that blow'd;
The silver flood that in meanders led
His glitering streams along th’ enliven’d mead;
The foothing breeze, and all those beauties join'd,
Which, whilst they please, effeminate the mind.
In vain! while distant, on a summit rais'd,
Th’imperial tow'rs of fame attractive blaz'd.
While thus he trac'd thro' fancy's puzzling maze The fep’rate sweets of pleasure, and of praise ; Sudden the wind a fragrant gale convey'd, And a new lustre gain’d upon the shade. R 3
At once, before his wond'ring eyes were seen
Two 'female forms, of more than mortal mien.
Various their charms; and, in their dress and face,
Each seem'd to vie with some peculiar grace.
This, whose attire less clogg’d with art appear’d,
The simple sweets of innocence endear'd.
Her sprightly bloom, her quick fagacious eye,
Shew'd native merit mix'd with modesty.
Her air diffus'd a mild yet aweful ray,
Severely sweet, and innocently gay.
Such the chaste image of the martial maid,
In artlefs folds of virgin white array'd !
She lei no borrow'd rose her cheeks adorn,
Her blushing cheeks, that Tham’d the purple morn.
Her charms nor had, nor wanted artful foils,
Or study'd gestures, or well-practis’d smiles.
She scorn’d the toys which render beauty less;
She prov'd th' engaging chastity of dress;
And while she chose in native charms to shine,
Ev'n'thus she seemd, nay more than feem'd, divine.
One modest em'rald clafp'd the robe she wore,
And, in her hand, th' imperial sword she bore.
Sublime her height, majestic was her pace,
And match'd the aweful honours of her face.
The shrubs, the flow'rs, that deck'd the verdant ground,
Seem'd, where she trod, with rising lustre crown'd.
Still her approach with stronger influence warm'd;
She pleas’d, while distant, but, when near, the charm'd.
So strikes the gazer's eye, the filver gleam
That glitt'ring quivers o'er a distant stream:
But from its banks we fee new beauties rise,
And, in its crystal bofom, trace the skies.
With other charms the rival vision glow'd ;
And from her dress her tinsel beauties flowd.
A Autt'ring robe her pamper'd shape conceald,
And seem'd to shade the charms it best reveal'd.
Its form, contrivd her faulty size to grace ;
Its hue, to give fresh lustre to her face.
Her plaited hair disguis’d with brilliants glard ;
Her cheeks the ruby's neighb'ring lustre shar'd;
The gawdy topaz lent its gay supplies,
And ev'ry gem that strikes less curious eyes ;
Expos'd her breast with foreign sweets perfum'd;
And, round her brow, a roseate garland bloom'd.
Soft-smiling, blushing lips conceal'd her wiles ;
Yet ah ! the blushes artful as the smiles.
Oft-gazing on her shade, th' enraptur'd fair
Decreed the substance well deserv'd her care :
Her thoughts, to other's charms malignly blind,
Center'd in that, and were to that confin'd;
And if on other's eyes a glance were thrown,
'Twas but to watch the influence of her own.
Much like her guardian, fair CYTHERA's queen,
When for her warrior she refines her mien;
Or when, to bless her DeliaŅ fav'rite's arms,
The radiant fair invigorates her charms.
Much like her pupil, Egypt's sportive dame,
Her dress expressive, and her air the same,
When her gay bark o'er silver Cypnos rollid,
And all th' emblazon'd streamers wav'd in gold.
Such shone the vision; nor forbore, to move,
Th. fond contagious airs of lawlefs love.
Each wanton eye deluding glances fir'd,
And am'rous dimples on each cheek conspir’d.
Lifeless her gait, and Now, with seeming pain,
She dragg’d her loitering limbs along the plain ;
Yet made somefaint efforts,&firstapproach’dtheswain.
So glaring draughts, with taudry luftre bright,
Spring to the view, and rush upon the sight:
More slowly charms a RAPHAEL's chafter air,
Waits the calm fearch, and pays the searcher's care.
Wrap'd in a pleas'd suspence, the youth survey'd
The various charms of each attractive maid :
Alternate each he view'd, and each admir'd,
And found, alternate, varying flames inspir’d.
Quick o'er their forms his eyes with pleasure ran,
When she, who first approach'd him, first began.
Hither, dear boy, direct thy wand'ring eyes ; 'Tis here the lovely vale of pleafure lies. Debate no more, to me thy life resign; Each sweet which nature can diffuse is mine. For me the nymph diversifies her pow'r, Springs in a tree, or blossoms in a flow'r; To please my ear, she tunes the linnet's strains; To please my eye, with lilies paints the plains;