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In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd,
While prostrate here in humble griet I lie,
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole; Rise Alps between us ! and whole oceans roll! Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me, Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee. Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign ; Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine. Pair eyes and tempting looks (which yet I view,) Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu! O grace serene! O virtue heav'nly fair! Divine oblivion of low-thoughted care! Fresh blooming Hope, gay daughter of the sky! And Faith, our early immortality! Enter each mild, each amicable guest; Receive and wrap me in eternal rest!
See in her cell sad Eloisa spread, Propt on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead. In each low wind methinks a spirit calls, And more than echoes talk along the walls. Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around, From yonder shrine I beard a hollow sound: “Come sister, come! (it said, or seem'd to say,) Thy place is here, sad sister, come away; Once, like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd, Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid : But all is calm in this eternal sleep; Here grief forgets to groan, and love to wecp; Ev'n superstition loses every fear : For God, not man, absolves our frailties here."
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers.
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy,
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, And graft my love immortal on thy fame! Then, ages hence, wheri all my woes are o'er, When this rebellious heart shall beat no more; If ever chance two wand'ring lovers brings To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs, O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, And drink the falling tears each other sheds ; Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd,, "O may we never love as these have lov'd!" From the full choir when loud hosannas rise, And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice, Amid that scene if some relenting eye. Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie, Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heav'n. One human tear shall drop, and be forgiv'n. And sure if fate some future bard shall join In ead similitude of griefs to mine, Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
SAPPHO TO PHAON.
Plaon, a youth of exquisite beauty, was deeply en
amoured of Sappho, a lady of Lesbos, from whom he met with the tenderest returns of passion : but his affection afterwards decaying, he left her, and sailed for Sicily. She, unable to bear the loss of her lover, hearkened to all the mad suggestions of despair; and seeing no other remedy for her present miseries, resolved to throw herself into the sea, from Leucate, a promontory of Epirus, which was thought a cure in cases of obstinate love, and therefore had obtained the name of Lover's Leap. But before she ventured upon this last step, entertaining still some fond hopes that she might be able to reclaim her incoustant, she wrote him this Epistle; in which she gives him a strong picture of her distress and misery, occasioned by his absence; and endeavours, by all the artful insinuations and moving expressions she is mistress of, to soothe him to softness and a mutual feeling.- [Anon.] Say, lovely youth, that dost my heart command, Can Phaon's eyes forget his Sappho's hand ? Must then her name the wretched writer prove, To thy remembrance lost, as to thy love? Ask not the cause that I new numbers choose, The lute neglected, and the lyric muse: Love taught my tears in sadder notes to flow, And tun'd my heart to elegies of woe. I burn, I burn, as when through ripen'd corn By driving winds the spreading flames are borne ! Phaon 10 Ætna's scorching fields retires, While I consume with more than Æina's fires!
No more my soul a charm in music finds;