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The birds, dismiss'd, (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again :
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In every heavenly feature smil'd,
And ask'd, what new complaints I made,
And why I callid you to my aid ?
What frenzy in my bosom rag'd, And by what care to be assuag'd ? What gentle youth I would allure, Whom in my artful toils secure ? Who does thy tender heart subdue, Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?
The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes yield,
Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing ether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When, if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies,
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends:
Jr, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
Che traveller a miry country sees,
And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees :
Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads
Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious
While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wandering feet the magic paths pursue,
And, while he thinks the fair illusion true,
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear.
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.
Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy offerings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freeze, he soon shall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn.
Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore !
In pity come and ease my grief,
Bring my distemper'd soul relief:
Favor thy suppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart desires.
A FRAGMENT OF SAPPHO. Blest as the immortal gods is he, The youth who fondly sits by thee, And hears and sees thee all the while Softly speak, and sweetly smile.
A HYMN TO VENUS.
From the Greek of Sappho. O Venus, beauty of the skies, To whom a thousand temples rise Gaily false in gentle smiles, Full of love-perplexing wiles, O, goddess! from my heart remove The wasting cares and pains of love. If ever thou hast kindly heard A song in soft distress preferr'd, Propitious to my tuneful vow, O, gentle goddess, hear me now. Descend, thou bright immortal guest, In all thy radiant charms confest.
'Twas this deprived my soul of rest,
And rais'd such tumults in my breast;
For while I gaz'd, in transport tost,
My breath was gone, my voice was lost.
My bosom glow'd ; the subtle flame
Ran quick through all my vital frame;
O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung,
My ears with hollow murmurs rung.
Thou once didst leave almighty Jove, And all the golden roofs above : The car thy wanton sparrows drew; Hovering in air they lightly flew; As to my bower they wing'd their way, I saw their quivering pinions play.