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I view the grotto, once the scene of love,
A spring there is, whose silver waters show, Clear as a glass, the shining sands below: A flowery lotos spreads its arms above, Shades all the banks, and seems itself a grove; Eternal greens the mossy margin grace, Watch'd by the silvan genius of the place. Here as I lay, and swell'd with tears the flood, Before my sight a watery virgin stood: She stood and cried, 'O you that love in vain! Fly hence, and seek the fair Leucadian main; There stands a rock, from whose impending steep Apollo's fane surveys the rolling deep; There injur'd lovers, leaping from above, Their flames extinguish, and forget to love. Deucalion once with hopeless fury burn'd, In vain he lov'd, relentless Pyrrha scorn'd: But when from hence he plung'd into the main, Deucalion scorn'd, and Pyrrha lov'd in vain.
Haste, Sappho, haste, from high Leucadia throw
But why, alas! relentless youth, ah why
Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
Ye Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts resign ;
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
NINTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. SHE said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs; When the fair consort of her son replies: 'Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan, And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own, Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate. No nymph of Echalia could compare For beauteous form with Dryope the fair, Her tender mother's only hope and pride! (Myself the offspring of a second bride.) This nymph compress'd by him who rules the day, Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey, Andræmon lov'd; and, bless'd in all those charms That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms.
'A lake there was with shelving banks around, Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd. These shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought, And to the naiads flowery garlands brought: Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she press'd Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. Not distant far a watery lotos grows;
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs,
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look ; The trembling tree with sudden horror shook. Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true) As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew, Forsook her form, and, fixing here, became A flowery plant, which still preserves her name. This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight My trembling sister strove to urge her flight; And first the pardon of the nymphs implor'd, And those offended silvan powers ador'd: But when she backward would have fled, she found Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground: In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove, And as she struggles only moves above; She feels the' encroaching bark around her grow By quick degrees, and cover all below: Surpris'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves! Where late was hair the shooting leaves are seen To rise, and shade her with a sudden green. The child Amphissus, to her bosom press'd, Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast, And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied Their milky moisture, on a sudden dried. I saw, unhappy! what I now relate, And stood the helpless witness of thy fate, Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade. 'Behold Andræmon and the' unhappy sire Appear, and for their Dryope inquire: A springing tree for Dryope they find, And print warm kisses on the panting rind. Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew, And close embrace as to the roots they grew.