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To Cities and to Courts repair,
With foamingWaves, and furious Tempests tost, The Mast, and broken Sails, and Sailors loft : Sometimes her Dream, in frightful Forms, dif
play'd A Croud of Martyrs, cruel Love had made Lamenting Thysbe's Shade before her stands, Shews her capacious Wound, and purple Hands; Now lyric Sappho in the Tide expires, Now faithful Porcia eats the living Fires. At length awaking from her Dream, she hears A Latian Voice, which thus falutes her Ears :
Unhappy Christian Maid ! (for such, at least, You, by your decent Habit, seem exprest) Say, whence you came, and hither how con
vey'd, Expos’d to Sea, without the Seaman's Aid ?
Soon as the Nymph her native Language hears, HerfrightedSoul was fill’d with Doubts and Fears: She thought, the adverse Wind, or refluent Main, Had forc'd her back to Liparis again ; Till, starting up, a spacious Land she spies; Barbarian Caves and Cots her Sight surprize : She sees a Matron on the neighb'ring Strand; Norknows the Matron, nor the neigh’bring Land. O! whither, whither am I blown? she cries; What Dens and Caves appear before my Eyes? And who inhabit 'em ? or Beasts of Prey, Or Men, less kind, and crueller than they?
To whom the Matron: Fly, nor dare to trust: The faithless People of this hated Coast:
Here Sailors oft their hapless Fate deplore;
The listning Matron wonders with Surprize;
Excited by her Words, the pensive Maid Preludes with Sighs, and thus, reluctant, said:
O hospitable Dame! why would you move A Wretch to tell a Tale of hapless Love? Which, in relating, must renew my Grief; Nor can I hope, nor you bestow Relief: Yet, fince you seem a Partner of my Care, 'Tis just a Partner know the Weight I bear.
Not far from Ætna's Aaming Mount I came, From Liparis, and Constance is my Name: Great Honours and Estates my Sire poffeft, And,O! too much to make his Daughter bless’d. I once with Fame and Fortune was supply'd, Nor envy'd Empresses their Pomp and Pride ; Now, like a Meteor, fallen from its Height, My Glory's vanish’d, and extinct my Light Full twenty Years in Happiness I pass’d, And ev'ry Year was happier than the last. Young Felix then his Love began to show; (Young Felix was the Cause of all my Woe) A beauteous Youth, endow'd with manlyGrace; But far his noble Soul excell'd his Face : And, tho’his niggard Fate bad Wealth deny'd, The Want of Wealth by Virtue was fupply'd. Two Years to win my doubtful Heart he strove, Two Years my doubtful Heartdeclin’d his Love: Yet still he press’d me with his am'rous Tale, Nor found at length, 'twas fruitless to affail : For, by Degrees, insensibly I came To first approve, and then indulge, his Flame;
Nor could his Suit, nor would his Vows reprove;
O Avarice! what Evils doft thou cause,