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O come, and to this fairer Laura pay
A more impassion'd tear, a more pathetic lay!
Tell bow each beauty of her mind and face
Was brighten'd by fome fweet peculiar grace 1
How eloquent in ev'ry look
Thro' her expressive eyes her foul distinctly fpoke 1
Tell how her manners, by the world resin'd.
Left all the taint of modiih vice behind,
And made each charm of poliih'd courts agree
With candid Truth's simplicity,
And uncorrupted Innocence!
Tell how to more than manly fenfe
She join'd the fofVning influence
Of more than female tendernefs: .
How, in the thoughtlefs days of wealth and joy.
Which oft the care of others' good destroy,
Her kindly melting heart,
To every want, and every woe,
To Guilt itfelf when in distrefs,
The balm of pity would impart,
And all relief that bounty could bestow!
E'en for the kid or lamb, that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall;
Tears, from fweet Virtue's fource, benevolent to all!
Not only good and kind.
But strong and elevated was her mind:
A spirit that with noble pride
Could look fuperior down
On Fortune's fmile or frown;
That could, without regret or pain,
To Virtue's lowest duty facrisice,
Or Interest or Amhition's highest prize;
That, injur' d or ossended, never try'd
Its dignity hy vengeance to mamtain,
But hy magnanimous difdain.
A wit, that, temperately hright,
With inossenfive light
All pleasing fhone; nor ever pafs'd
The decent hounds that Wisdom's foher hand,
. And fweet Benevolence's mild command,
And hashful Modesty, hefore it cast.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
That nor too little nor too much heliev'd;
That fcorn'd unjust Sufpicion's coward fear,
And, without weaknefs, knew to he sincere.
Such Lucy was, when in her fairest days,
Amidst th' acclaim of univerfal praife.
In life's and glory's frefhest hloom,
Death came remorfelefs on, and funk her to the tomh.
So, where the silent streams of Liris glide,
In the foft hofom of Campania's vale,
When now the wint'ry tempests all are fled,
And genial fummer hreathes her gentle gale,
The verdant orange lifts its heauteous head;
From ev'ry hranch the halmy flowerets rife,
On ev'ry hough the golden fruits are feen;
With odours fweet it sills the fmiling skies,
The wood nymphs tend it, and th' Idalian queen;
But, in the midst of all its hlooming pride,
A fudden hlast from Appenninus hlows,
Cold with perpetual fnows;
The tender hlighted plant shrinks up its leaves Jfld
Arife' O Petrarch! from th' Elyfian bow'rs,
With never-fading myrtles twin'd,
And fragrant with ambrosial flow'rs,
Where to thy Laura thou again art join'd;
Arife, and hither bring the silver lyre,
Tun'd by thy lkilful hand,
To the foft notes of elegant desire,
With which o'er many a land
Was fpread the fame of thy difastrous love j
To me resign the vocal Ihell,
And teach my forrows to relate
Their melancholy tale fo well,
As may e'en things inanimate,
Rough mountain oaks, and defert rocks, to pity move.
What were, alas! thy woes, compar'd to mine?
To thee thy mistrefs in the blifsful band
Of Hymen never gave her hand;
The joys of wedded love were never thiue.
In thy domestic care
She never bore a iharc,
Nor with endearing art
Would heal thy wounded heart
Of every fecret grief that fester'd there:
Nor did her fond assection on the bed
Of sicknefs watch thee, and thy languid head
Whole nights on her unwearied arm fustain,
And charm away the fenfe of pain:
Nor did fhe crown your mutual flame
With pledges dear, and with a father's tender name,
O best of wives! O dearer far to me
Than when thy virgin charms
Were yielded to my arms;
How can my foul endure the lofs of thee?
How in the world, to me a defert grown,
Abandon'd and alone,
Without my fweet companion can I live?
Without thy lovely fmile,
The dear reward of ev'ry virtuous toil,
What pleafures now can pall'd Ambition give?
E'en the delightful fenfe of well-earn'd praife,
XJnihar'd by thee, no more my Ufelefs thoughts could raise.
For my distracted mind
What fuccour can I sind;
On whom for confolation mail I call?
Support me, ev'ry friend;
Your kind alfistance lend,
To bear the weight of this oppressive woe,
Alas! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, fo much was thine,
That none has any comfort to bestow;
My books, the best relief
In every other grief,
Are now with your idea fadden'd all:
Each fav'rite author we together read
My tortur'd mem'ry wounds, and fpeaks of Lucy dead.
We were the happiest pair of human kind:
The rolling year its various courfe perform'd.
And back return'd again;
Another, and another fmiling came,
And faw our happinefs unchang'd remain.
Still in her golden chain
Harmonious Concord did our wilhes bind:
Our studies, pleafures, taste the fame.
O fatal, fatal stroke!
That all this pleafmg fabric Love had rais'd
Of rare felicity,
On which e'en wanton Vice with envy gaz'd.
And ev'ry fcheme of blifs our hearts had formM,
With foothing hope for many a future day,
In one fad moment broke!
Yet, O my foul ! thy rifmg murmurs stay;
Nor dare th' All-wife Difpofer to arraign,
Or against His fupreme decree
With impious grief complain.
That all thy full-blown joys at once lhould fail,
Was His most righteous will—and be that will obeyM.
Would thy fond love His grace to her controu!;
And, in thefe low abodes of sin and pain,
Her pure exalted foul,
Unjustly, for thy partial good, detain?
No; rather strive thy groveling mind to raife
Up to that unclouded blaze,
That heavenly radiance of eternal light,
In which enthron'd me now with pity feest
How frail, how infecure, how flight,
Is every mortal blifs;
Even Love itfelf, if rifmg by degrees
Beyond the bounds of this imperfect state,
Whofe fleeting joys fo foon must end,
It does not to its fovereign good afcend.
Rife then, my foul, with hope elate,
And feek thofe regions of ferene delight,