IN Four ECLOGUES.
UNCERTAINTY. Eclogue I. To Mr. POPE.
1 POPE, to whose reed beneath the beechen shade,
2 The Nymphs of Thames a pleas'd attention paid;
3 While yet thy Muse, content with humbler praise,
4 Warbled in Windsor's grove her sylvan lays,
5 Though now sublimely borne on Homer's wing,
6 Of glorious wars, and godlike chiefs she sing:
7 Wilt thou with me re-visit once again
8 The crystal fountain, and the flow'ry plain?[Page 2]
9 Wilt thou, indulgent, hear my verse relate
10 The various changes of a lover's state;
11 And while each turn of passion I pursue,
12 Ask thy own heart if what I tell be true?
13 To the green margin of a lonely wood,
14 Whose pendent shades o'erlook'd a silver flood,
15 Young Damon came, unknowing where he stray'd,
16 Full of the image of his beauteous maid:
17 His flock far off, unfed, untended lay,
18 To ev'ry savage a defenceless prey;
19 No sense of int'rest could their master move,
20 And ev'ry care seem'd trifling now but Love.
21 Awhile in pensive silence he remain'd,
22 But tho' his voice was mute his looks complain'd;
23 At length the thoughts within his bosom pent,
24 Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.
25 Ye Nymphs, he cry'd, ye Dryads, who so long
26 Have favour'd Damon, and inspir'd his song;
27 For whom, retir'd, I shun the gay resorts
28 Of sportful cities, and of pompous courts;
29 In vain I bid the restless world adieu,
30 To seek tranquillity and peace with you.
31 Tho' wild Ambition and destructive Rage,
32 No Factions here can form, no Wars can wage;
33 Tho' Envy frowns not on your humble shades,
34 Nor Calumny your innocence invades,
35 Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breast,
36 Too often violates your boasted rest;[Page 3]
37 With inbred storms disturb your calm retreat,
38 And taints with bitterness each rural sweet.
39 Ah luckless day! when first with fond surprize
40 On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes;
41 Then in wild tumults all my soul was tost:
42 Then reason, liberty, at once were lost:
43 And ev'ry wish, and thought, and care was gone,
44 But what my heart employ'd on her alone.
45 Then too she smil'd: can smiles our peace destroy,
46 Those lovely children of Content and Joy?
47 How can soft pleasure and tormenting woe,
48 From the same spring at the same moment flow?
49 Unhappy boy, these vain enquiries cease,
50 Thought could not guard, nor will restore thy peace:
51 Indulge the frenzy that thou must endure,
52 And sooth the pain thou know'st not how to cure.
53 Come, flatt'ring Memory, and tell my heart
54 How kind she was, and with what pleasing art
55 She strove its fondest wishes to obtain,
56 Confirm her pow'r, and faster bind my chain.
57 If on the green we danc'd, a mirthful band,
58 To me alone she gave her willing hand;
59 Her partial taste, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
60 Still in my song found something to admire.
61 By none but her my crook with flow'rs was crown'd,
62 By none but her my brows with ivy bound:
63 The world that Damon was her choice believ'd,
64 The world, alas! like Damon, was deceiv'd![Page 4]
65 When last I saw her, and declar'd my fire
66 In words as soft as passion cou'd inspire,
67 Coldly she heard, and full of scorn withdrew,
68 Without one pitying glance, or sweet adieu.
69 The frighted hind, who sees his ripen'd corn
70 Up from the roots by sudden tempests torn,
71 Whose fairest hopes destroy'd and blasted lie,
72 Feels not so keen a pang of grief as I.
73 Ah, how have I deserv'd, inhuman maid,
74 To have my faithful service thus repay'd?
75 Were all the marks of kindness I receiv'd,
76 But dreams of joy, that charm'd me and deceiv'd?
77 Or did you only nurse my growing love,
78 That with more pain I might your hatred prove?
79 Sure guilty treachery no place cou'd find
80 In such a gentle, such a gen'rous mind:
81 A maid brought up the woods and wilds among,
82 Could ne'er have learnt the art of courts so young:
83 No; let me rather think her anger feign'd,
84 Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
85 'Twas only modesty that seem'd disdain,
86 And her heart suffer'd when she gave me pain.
87 Pleas'd with this flatt'ring thought the love-sick boy
88 Felt the faint dawnings of a doubtful joy;
89 Back to his flock more cheerful he return'd,
90 When now the setting sun less fiercely burn'd:
91 Blue vapours rose along the mazy rills,
92 And light's last blushes ting'd the distant hills.
HOPE. Eclogue II. To Mr. DODDINGTON.
1 HEar, DODDINGTON, the notes that shepherds sing,
2 Notes soft as those of nightingales in spring:
3 Nor Pan, nor Phoebus tune the shepherd's reed:
4 From Love alone our tender lays proceed:
5 Love warms our fancy with enliv'ning fires,
6 Refines our genius, and our verse inspires:
7 From him Theocritus, on Enna's plains,
8 Learnt the wild sweetness of his Doric strains;
9 Virgil by him was taught the moving art,
10 That charm'd each ear, and soften'd ev'ry heart:
11 O would'st thou quit the pride of courts, and deign
12 To dwell with us upon the vocal plain,
13 Thee too his pow'r should reach, and ev'ry shade
14 Resound the praises of thy fav'rite maid;
15 Thy pipe our rural concert wou'd improve,
16 And we should learn of thee to please and love.
17 Damon no longer sought the silent shade,
18 No more in unfrequented paths he stray'd,
19 But call'd the nymphs to hear his jocund song,
20 And told his joy to all the rustic throng.
21 Blest be the hour, he said, that happy hour
22 When first I own'd my Delia's gentle pow'r;
23 Then gloomy Discontent and pining Care
24 Forsook my breast, and left soft wishes there:
25 Soft wishes there they left, and gay desires,
26 Delightful languors, and transporting fires.
27 Where yonder limes combine to form a shade,
28 These eyes first gaz'd upon the charming maid;
29 There she appear'd, on that auspicious day,
30 When swains their sportive rites to Bacchus pay:
31 She led the dance — heav'ns! with what grace she mov'd!
32 Who cou'd have seen her then, and not have lov'd?
33 I strove not to resist so sweet a flame,
34 But glory'd in a happy captive's name;
35 Nor wou'd I now, cou'd Love permit, be free,
36 But leave to brutes their savage liberty.
37 And art thou then, fond swain, secure of joy?
38 Can no reverse thy flattering bliss destroy?
39 Has treach'rous Love no torment yet in store?
40 Or hast thou never prov'd his fatal pow'r?
41 Whence flow'd those tears that late bedew'd thy cheek?
42 Why sigh'd thy heart as if it strove to break?
43 Why were the desart rocks invok'd to hear
44 The plaintive accents of thy sad despair?
45 From Delia's rigour all those pains arose,
46 Delia, who now compassionates my woes,
47 Who bids me hope; and in that charming word
48 Has peace and transport to my soul restor'd.
49 Begin, my pipe, begin the gladsome lay;
50 A kiss from Delia shall thy musick pay;
51 A kiss obtain'd 'twixt struggling and consent,
52 Giv'n with forc'd anger, and disguis'd content:
53 No laureat wreaths I ask to bind my brows,
54 Such as the Muse on lofy bards bestows;
55 Let other swains to praise or fame aspire:
56 I from her lips my recompence require.
57 Hark how the bees with murmurs fill the plain,
58 While ev'ry flow'r of ev'ry sweet they drain:
59 See, how beneath yon hillock's shady steep,
60 The shelter'd herds on flow'ry couches sleep;
61 Nor bees, nor herds, are half so blest as I,
62 If with my fond desires my Love comply:
63 From Delia's lips a sweeter honey flows,
64 And on her bosom dwells more soft repose.
65 Ah how, my dear, shall I deserve thy charms?
66 What gift can bribe thee to my longing arms?
67 A bird for thee in silken bands I hold,
68 Whose yellow plumage shines like polish'd gold;
69 From distant isles the lovely stranger came,
70 And bears the Fortunate Canaries name;
71 In all our woods none boasts so sweet a note,
72 Not even the nightingale's melodious throat.
73 Accept of this; and cou'd I add beside
74 What wealth the rich Peruvian mountains hide;
75 If all the gems in Eastern rocks were mine,
76 On thee alone their glitt'ring pride shou'd shine.[Page 8]
77 But if thy mind no gifts have pow'r to move,
78 Phoebus himself shall leave th' Aonian grove;
79 The tuneful Nine, who never sue in vain,
80 Shall come sweet suppliants for their fav'rite swain.
81 For him each blue-ey'd Naiad of the flood,
82 For him each green-hair'd sister of the wood,
83 Whom oft beneath fair Cynthia's gentle ray
84 His musick calls to dance the night away.
85 And you, fair nymphs, companions of my Love;
86 With whom she joys the cowslip meads to rove,
87 I beg you recommend my faithful flame,
88 And let her often hear her shepherd's name;
89 Shade all my faults from her enquiring sight,
90 And shew my merits in the fairest light;
91 My pipe your kind assistance shall repay,
92 And ev'ry friend shall claim a diff'rent lay.
93 But see! in yonder glade the heav'nly fair
94 Enjoys the fragrance of the breezy air —
95 Ah, thither let me fly with eager feet;
96 Adieu, my pipe, I go my Love to meet —
97 O may I find her as we parted last,
98 And may each future hour be like the past!
99 So shall the whitest lamb these pastures feed,
100 Propitious Venus, on thy altars bleed.
JEALOUSY. Eclogue III. To Mr. EDWARD WALPOLE.
1 THE gods, O WALPOLE, give no bliss sincere:
2 Wealth is disturb'd by care, and pow'r by fear.
3 Of all the passions that employ the mind,
4 In gentle Love the sweetest joys we find;
5 Yet e'en those joys dire Jealousy molests,
6 And blackens each fair image in our breasts.
7 O may the warmth of thy too tender heart
8 Ne'er feel the sharpness of his venom'd dart;
9 For thy own quiet think thy mistress just,
10 And wisely take thy happiness on trust.
11 Begin, my Muse, and Damon's woes rehearse,
12 In wildest numbers and disorder'd verse.
13 On a romantick mountain's airy head
14 (While browzing goats at ease around him fed)
15 Anxious he lay, with jealous cares oppress'd;
16 Distrust and anger lab'ring in his breast —
17 The vale beneath a pleasing prospect yields,
18 Of verdant meads and cultivated fields;
19 Through these a river rolls its winding flood,
20 Adorn'd with various tufts of rising wood;[Page 10]
21 Here half conceal'd in trees a cottage stands,
22 A castle there the op'ning plain commands,
23 Beyond, a town with glitt'ring spires is crown'd,
24 And distant hills the wide horizon bound:
25 So charming was the scene, awhile the swain
26 Beheld delighted, and forgot his pain;
27 But soon the stings infix'd within his heart,
28 With cruel force renew'd their raging smart:
29 His flow'ry wreath, which long with pride he wore,
30 The gift of Delia, from his brows he tore:
31 Then cry'd; May all thy charms, ungrateful maid,
32 Like these neglected roses droop and fade;
33 May angry Heav'n deform each guilty grace,
34 That triumphs now in that deluding face;
35 Those alter'd looks may ev'ry shepherd fly,
36 And ev'n thy Daphnis hate thee worse than I.
37 Say, thou inconstant, what has Damon done,
38 To lose the heart his tedious pains had won;
39 Tell me what charms you in my rival find,
40 Against whose pow'r no ties have strength to bind;
41 Has he, like me, with long obedience strove
42 To conquer your disdain, and merit love?
43 Has he with transport ev'ry smile ador'd,
44 And dy'd with grief at each ungentle word?
45 Ah, no! the conquest was obtain'd with ease:
46 He pleas'd you, by not studying to please:
47 His careless indolence your pride alarm'd;
48 And had he lov'd you more, he less had charm'd.
49 O pain to think, another shall possess
50 Those balmy lips which I was wont to press:
51 Another on her panting breast shall lie,
52 And catch sweet madness from her swimming eye! —
53 I saw their friendly flocks together feed,
54 I saw them hand in hand walk o'er the mead;
55 Wou'd my clos'd eyes had sunk in endless night,
56 Ere I was doom'd to bear that hateful sight!
57 Where-e'er they pass'd, be blasted every flow'r,
58 And hungry wolves their helpless flocks devour. —
59 Ah wretched swain, could no examples move
60 Thy heedless heart to shun the rage of love?
61 Hast thou not hear'd how poor*
* See Mr. GAY'S Dione. Menalcas dy'd
62 A victim to Parthenia's fatal pride?
63 Dear was the youth to all the tuneful plain,
64 Lov'd by the nymphs, by Phoebus lov'd in vain:
65 Around his tomb their tears the Muses paid,
66 And all things mourn'd but the relentless maid.
67 Wou'd I cou'd die like him and be at peace,
68 These torments in the quiet grave would cease;
69 There my vext thoughts a calm repose wou'd find.
70 And rest as if my Delia still were kind.
71 No, let me live her falshood to upbraid;
72 Some god perhaps my just revenge will aid. —
73 Alas what aid, fond swain, would'st thou receive?
74 Cou'd thy heart bear to see its Delia grieve?[Page 12]
75 Protect her, Heav'n, and let her never know
76 The slightest part of hapless Damon's woe:
77 I ask no vengeance from the pow'rs above;
78 All I implore is never more to love —
79 Let me this fondness from my bosom tear,
80 Let me forget that e'er I thought her fair.
81 Come, cool Indifference, and heal my breast;
82 Wearied, at length, I seek thy downy rest:
83 No turbulence of passion shall destroy
84 My future ease with flatt'ring hopes of joy.
85 Hear, mighty Pan, and all ye Sylvans hear,
86 What by your guardian deities I swear;
87 No more my eyes shall view her fatal charms,
88 No more I'll court the trayt'ress to my arms;
89 Not all her arts my steady soul shall move,
90 And she shall find that Reason conquers Love. —
91 Scarce had he spoke, when through the lawn below
92 Alone he saw the beauteous Delia go;
93 At once transported he forgot his vow,
94 (Such perjuries the laughing gods allow)
95 Down the steep hills with ardent haste he flew;
96 He found her kind, and soon believ'd her true.
POSSESSION. Eclogue IV. To the Lord COBHAM.
1 COBHAM, to thee this rural lay I bring,
2 Whose guiding judgment gives me skill to sing;
3 Though far unequal to those polish'd strains,
4 With which thy Congreve charm'd the list'ning plains,
5 Yet shall its musick please the partial ear,
6 And sooth thy breast with thoughts that once were dear;
7 Recall those years which time has thrown behind,
8 When smiling Love with Honour shar'd thy mind:
9 The sweet remembrance shall thy youth restore,
10 Fancy again shall run past pleasures o'er,
11 And while in Stowe's enchanting walks you stray,
12 This theme may help to cheat the summer's day.
13 Beneath the covert of a myrtle wood,
14 To Venus rais'd a rustick altar stood,
15 To Venus and to Hymen, there combin'd,
16 In friendly league to favour humankind.
17 With wanton Cupids in that happy shade,
18 The gentle Virtues, and mild Wisdom play'd.
19 Nor there in sprightly Pleasure's genial train,
20 Lurk'd sick Disgust, or late repenting Pain,[Page 14]
21 Nor Force, nor Int'rest, join'd unwilling hands,
22 But Love consenting ty'd the blissful bands.
23 Thither with glad devotion Damon came,
24 To thank the pow'rs who bless'd his faithful flame;
25 Two milk-white doves he on their altar laid,
26 And thus to both his grateful homage paid:
27 Hail, bounteous god, before whose hallow'd shrine
28 My Delia vow'd to be for ever mine,
29 While glowing in her cheeks, with tender love,
30 Sweet virgin modesty reluctant strove:
31 And hail to thee, fair queen of young desires,
32 Long shall my heart preserve thy pleasing fires,
33 Since Delia now can all its warmth return,
34 As fondly languish, and as fiercely burn.
35 O the dear gloom of last propitious night!
36 O shade more charming than the fairest light!
37 Then in my arms I clasp'd the melting maid,
38 Then all my pains one moment overpaid;
39 Then first the sweet excess of bliss I prov'd,
40 Which none can taste but who like me have lov'd,
41 Thou too, bright goddess, once in Ida's grove,
42 Didst not disdain to meet a shepherd's love,
43 With him while frisking lambs around you play'd,
44 Conceal'd you sported in the secret shade;
45 Scarce cou'd Anchises' raptures equal mine,
46 And Delia's beauties only yield to thine.
47 What are you now, my once most valu'd joys,
48 Insipid trifles all, and childish toys —[Page 15]
49 Friendship itself ne'er knew a charm like this,
50 Nor Colin's talk could please like Delia's kiss.
51 Ye Muses, skill'd in ev'ry winning art,
52 Teach me more deeply to engage her heart;
53 Ye Nymphs, to her your freshest roses bring,
54 And crown her with the pride of all the spring;
55 On all her days let health and peace attend;
56 May she ne'er want, nor ever lose a friend;
57 May some new pleasure ev'ry hour employ;
58 But let her Damon be her highest joy.
59 With thee, my Love, for ever will I stay,
60 All night caress thee, and admire all day;
61 In the same field our mingled flocks we'll feed,
62 To the same spring our thirsty heifers lead,
63 Together will we share the harvest toils,
64 Together press the vine's autumnal spoils,
65 Delightful state, where peace and love combine,
66 To bid our tranquil days unclouded shine!
67 Here limpid fountains roll through flow'ry meads,
68 Here rising forests lift their verdant heads;
69 Here let me wear my careless life away,
70 And in thy arms insensibly decay.
71 When late old age our heads shall silver o'er,
72 And our slow pulses dance with joy no more;
73 When time no longer will thy beauties spare,
74 And only Damon's eye shall think thee fair;
75 Then may the gentle hand of welcome death,
76 At one soft stroke deprive us both of breath;[Page 16]
77 May we beneath one common stone be laid,
78 And the same cypress both our ashes shade.
79 Perhaps some friendly Muse, in tender verse,
80 Shall deign our faithful passion to rehearse,
81 And future ages with just envy mov'd,
82 Be told how Damon and his Delia lov'd.