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Ufage corfirin'd what fancy had begun ;
The mutual terms around the lands were known;
As with her ftature, ftill her charms increas'd;
Thro' all the ile her beauty was confefs'd.
Oh! what perfections muft that virgin fhare,
Who faireft is etteem'd, where all are fair!
From diftant fhires repair the noble vouth,
And find report, for once, had leffen'd truth.
By wonder fift, and then by paffion mov'd,
They came; they faw; they marvell'd; and they
By public praifes, and by fecret fighs,
Each own'd the gen'ral power of Emma's eyes.
In tilts and tournaments the valiant ftrove,
By glorious deeds to purchase Emma's love.
In gentle verfe, the witty told their flame,
And grac'd their choiceft fongs with Emma's name.
In vain they combated, in vain they writ:
Ufclefs their frength, and impotent their wit.
Great Venus only muft direct the dart,
Which elfe will never reach the fair one's
Spite of th' attempts of force, and foft effects
Great Venus muft prefer the happy one:
In Henry's caufe her favour must be shown :
And Emma, of mankind, muft love but him
But, foon as Emma's eyes adorn the plain,
His notes he rails to a nobler ftrain;
With dutiful refpeét, and ftudious fear,
Left any carelets tound offend her car.
While thefe in public to the caftle came,
And by their grandeur justify'd their flame;
More fecret ways the careful Henry takes;
His fquires, his arms, and equipage forfakes:
In borrow'd name and falie attire array'd,
Oft he finds means to fee the beauteous maid.
When Emma hunts, in huntsman's habit drest,
Henry on foot purfies the bounding beaft.
In his right hand his beechen pole he bears:
And graceful at his fide his horn he wears.
Still to the glade, where he has bent her way,
With knowing kill he drives the future prey,
Bids her decline the hill, and thun the brake;
And shows the path her steed may safest take;
Directs her fpear to fix the
Fleas'd, in his toils, to have her triumph
And blows her praifes with no common found.
A falc'ner Henry is, when Emma hawks:
With her of tarfels and of lures he talks.
his wrist the tow'ring merlin ftands,
Practis'd to rife, and ftoop, at her commands.
And when fuperior now the bird has flown,
And headlong brought the tumbling quarry down;
With humble rev'rence he acccfts the fair,
And with the honour'd feather decks her hair.
Yet still, as from the sportive field he goes,
His downcaft eye reveals his inward woes;
And by his look and forrow is expreft,
A nobler game purived than bird or heast.
A fhepherd now along the plain be roves;
And, with his jolly pipe, delights the groves.
The neighboring fwains around the ftrarger
Or to admire or emulate his fong: [throng,
While, with foft orrow, he renews his lays,
Nor heedful of their envy, nor their praife.
A frantic gipley, now the house he haunts,
And in wild plirafes fpeaks diffembled wants.
With the food maids in palmiftry he deals:
They tell the fecret firft, which he reveals:
Says who fhall wed, and who fhall be begai'd;
What groom thall ger,and fquire maintain the clold.
But when bright Emma would her fortune know,
A fofter look unbends his op'ning brow;
With trembling awe he gazes on her eye,
And in foft accents forms the kind reply;
That the fhall prove as fortunate as fair,
And Hymen's choiceft gifts are all referv'd for her.
Now oft had Henry chang'd his fly difguile,
Unmark'd by all but beauteous Emma's eyes;
Oft had found means alone to fee the dame,
And at her feet to breathe his am'rous flame;
And oft, the pangs of abfence to remove
By letters, foft interpreters of love:
Fill time and indufily (the mighty two
That bring our withes nearer to our view)
Made him perceive, that the inclining fair
Receiv'd his vows with no reluctant ear;
That Venus had confirm'd her equal reign,
And dealt to Emina's heart a fhare of Henry's pain.
While Cupid fimild, by kind occasion blutt,
And, with the fecret kept, the love increas'd;
The amorous youth frequents the filent groves;
And much he meditates, for much he loves.
he loves: 'tis true; and is belov'd again:
Great are his joys; but will they long remain?
Emma with fmiles receives his present flame;
But, fmiling, will the ever be the fame?
Beautiful looks are rul'd by fickle minds;
And fummer feas are turn'd by fudden winds.
Another love may gain her cafy youth:
Iime changes thought; and flatt'ry conquers truth.
O impotent eftate of human life!
Where hope and fear maintain eternal ftrife;
Where fleeting joy does doubt
And moft we question, what we most defire.
Amongst thy various gifts, great heav'n, beftow
Our cup of love unmix'd; forbear to throw
Bitter ingredients in; nor pall the draught
With nauseous grief: for our ili-judging thought
Hardly enjoys the pleasurable taste;
Cr deems it not fincere; or fears it cannot laft.
With withes rais'd, with jealoufies oppreft,
(Alternate tyrants of the human breaft)
By one great trial he refolves to prove
The faith of woman, and the force of love.
If, fcanning Emma's virtues, he may find
That beauteous frame inclofe a fteady mind,
He'll fix his hope, of future joy fecure;
And live a flave to Hymen's happy pow'r.
But if the fair one, as he fears, is frail;
If, pois'd aright in reafon's equal fcale,
Light fly her merits, and her faults prevail;
His mind he vows to free from am'rous care,
The latent mitchief from his heart to tear,
Refune his azure arms, and shinç again in war.
South of the caftle, in a verdant glade,
A fpreading beech extends her friendly shade:
Here oft the nymph his breathing vows had heard;
Here oft her filence had her heart declar'd.
As active fpring awak'd her infant buds,
And genial life inform'd the verdant woods;
Henry, in knots involving Emma's name,
Had half exprefs'd and half conceal'd his flame
Upon the tree and, as the tender mark
Grew with the year, and widen'd with the bark,
Venus had heard the virgin's foft addrefs,
That, as the wound, the paflion night increase.
As potent nature fhed her kindly fhow'rs,
And deck'd the various mead with op'ning
Upon this tree the nymph's obliging care
Had left a frequent wreath for Henry's hair;
Which as with gay delight the lover found,
Pleas'd with his conqueft, with her prefent
Glorious thro' all the plains he oft had gone,
And to each fwain the myftic honour fhown;
The gift ftill prais'd, the giver ftill unknown.
Sincere, O tell me, haft thou felt a pain,
Emma, beyond what woman knows to feign?
Has thy uncertain bofom ever ftrove
With the first tumults of a real love?
His fecret note the troubled Henry writes; To the known tree the lovely maid invites : Imperfect words and dubious terms exprefs, That unforeseen inifchance difturb'd his peace; That he must fomething to her ear commend, On which her conduct and his life depend.
Haft thou now dreaded, and now bleft his sway,
By turns averfe, and joyful to obey?
Thy virgin foftness haft thou e'er bewail'd,
As reafon yielded, and as love prevail'd?
And wept the potent god's refiflefs dart,
His killing pleafure, his ecftatic fmart,
And heav'nly poifon thrilling thro' thy heart?
If fo, with pity view my wretched state;
At leaft deplore, and then forget my
To fome more happy knight referve thy charms,
By fortune favour'd, and fuccefsful arms:
And only, as the fun's revolving ray
Brings back each year this melancholy day,
Permit one figh, and fet apart one tear,
To an abandon'd exile's endless care.
For me, alas! out-caft of human race,
Love's anger only waits, and dire difgrace;
For lo! thefe hands in murder are inbru'd;
Thefe trembling feet by juftice are pursu'd:
Fate calls aloud, and haftens me away;
A fhameful death attends my longer stay;
And I this night muft fly from thee and love,
Condemn'd in lonely woods a banish'd man to
Soon as the fair one had the note receiv'd,
The remnant of the day alone fhe griev'd:
For diff'rent this from every former note,
Which Venus dictated, and Henry wrote;
Which told her all his future hopes were laid
On the dear bofom of his Nut-brown Maid;
Which always blefs'd her eyes, and own'd her
And bid her oft adieu, yet added more. [pow'r;
Now night advanc'd. The houfe in fleep were
The nurfe experienc'd, and the prying maid:
At laft that fprite, which does inceffant haunt
The lover's fteps, the antient maiden aunt.
To her dear Henry Emma wings her way,
With quicken'd pace repairing forc'd delay;
For Love, fantaftic power, that is afraid
To ftir abroad till watchfulness be laid,
Undaunted then, o'er cliffs and valleys ftrays,
And leads his vot'ries fafe thro' pathlefs ways.
Not Argus with his hundred eyes fhall find
Where Cupid goes; tho' he, poor guide, is blind.
The maiden, firft arriving, fent her eye
To afk, if yet its chief delight were nigh:
With fear, and with defire, with joy and pain,
She fees, and runs to meet him on the plain.
But oh! his steps proclaim no lover's hafte;
On the low ground his fix'd regards are caft;
His artful bofom heaves diffembled fighs;
And tears fuborn'd fall copious from his eyes.
With ease, alas! we credit what we love:
His painted grief does real forrow move
In the afflicted fair; adown her cheek
Trickling the genuine tears their current break;
Attentive ftood the mournful nymph: the man
Broke filence firft: the tale alternate ran :
What is our blifs, that changeth with the moon;
And day of life, that darkens ere 'tis noon?
What is true paffion, if unbleft it dies?
And where is Emma's joy, if Henry flies?
If love, alas! be pain; the pain I bear
No thought can figure, and no tongue declare.
Ne'er faithful woman felt, nor falfe one feign'd,
The flames which long have in my bofom reign'd:
The god of love himself inhabits there, [care,
With all his rage, and dread, and grief, and
His complement of ftores, and total war.
O! ceate then coldly to fufpect my love;
And let my deed, at leaft, my faith approve.
Alas! no youth fhall my endearments share;
Nor day nor night fhall interrupt my care;
No future ftory fhall with truth upbraid
The cold indiffrence of the Nut-brown Maid:
Nor to hard banishment fhall Henry run;
While carclefs Emma fleeps on beds of down.
View me refolv'd, where-e'er thou lead'ft, to go,
Friend to thy pain, and partner of thy woe:
For I atteft fair Venus, and her fon,
That I, of all mankind, will love but thee alone.
Let prudence yet obstruct thy vent'rous
And take good heed, what men will think and fay:
That beauteous Emma vagrant courses took;
Her father's house and civil life forfook;
That, full of youthful blood, and fond of man,
She to the wood-land with an exile ran.
Reflect, that leffen'd fame is ne'er regain'd;
And virgin honour once, is always ftain'd :
M m 4
Timely advis'd, the coming evil fhun:
Better not do the deed, than weep it done.
No penance can abfolve our guilty fame;
Nor tears, that wafh out fin, can wafh out fhame.
Then fly the fad effects of defp'rate love; [rove.
And leave a banish'd man through lonely woods to
Let Emma's haplefs cafe be falfely told By the rafh young, or the ill-natur'd old : Let ev'ry tongue its various cenfures choose; Abfolve with coldnefs, or with fpight accufe: Fair Truth at last her radiant beams will raife; And malice vanquish'd heightens virtue's praife. Let then thy favour but indulge my flight; O! let my prefence make thy travels light; And potent Venus fall exalt my name Above the rumours of cenforious Fame; Nor from that bufy demon's reftless pow'r Will ever Emma other grace implore, Than that this truth fhould to the world be known, That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but thee alone. HENRY.
But canft thou wield the fword, and bend the With active force repel the sturdy foc? [bow? When the loud tumult fpeaks the battle nigh, And winged deaths in whistling arrows fly; Wilt thou, tho' wounded, yet undaunted stay, Perform thy part, and fhare the dangerous day Then, as thy ftrength decays, thy heart will fail, Thy limbs all trembling, and thy cheeks all pale; With fruitless forrow, thou, inglorious maid, Wilt weep thy fafety by thy love betray'd: Then to thy friend, by foes o'ercharg'd, deny Thy little ufelefs aid, and coward fly: Then wilt thou curfe the chance that made thee A banish'dman condemn'd in lonely woods to rove.
Thofe limbs, in lawn and fofteft filk array'd,
From fun-beams guarded, and of winds afraid;
Can they bear angry Jove? Can they refift
The parching dog-ftar, and the bleak north-eaft?
When, chill'd by adverfe fnows, and beating rain,
We tread with weary steps the longsome plain;
When with hard toil we feek our ev'ning food,
Berries and acorns from the neighb'ring wood;
And find among the cliffs no other houfe,
But the thin covert of fome gather'd boughs;
Wilt thou not then reluctant fend thine eye
(Tho' then, alas! that trial be too late) Around the dreary wafte; and weeping try To find thy father's hofpitable gate,
To ftop the wounds my fineft lawn I'd tear, Wafh them with tears, and wipe them with my hair:
Bleft, when my dangers and my toils have shown, That I, of all mankind, could love but thee alone.
But canf thou, tender maid, canft thou fuftain Afflictive want, or hunger's preffing pain?
And feats, where Eafe and Plenty brooding fate?
Thofe feats, whence long excluded thou muft
That gate, for ever barr'd to thy return: [mourn;
Wilt thou not then bewail ill-fated love,
And hate a banish'd man condemn'd in woods
Thy rife of fortune did I only wed, From its decline determin'd to iecede? Did I but purpose to embark with thee On the fmooth furface of a fummer's sea, While gentle Zephyrs play in profp'rous gales, And Fortune's favour fills the fwelling fails; But would forfake the fhip, and make the thore, When the winds whistle, and the tempefts roar? No, Henry, no one facred oath has ty'd Our loves; one deftiny our life fhall guide; Nor wild nor deep our common way divide.
When from the cave thou rifeft with the day,
To beat the woods, and roufe the bounding pres;
The cave with mofs and branches I'll adorn,
And cheerful fit, to wait my lord's return:
And, when thou frequent bring'ft the smitten deer
(For feldom, archers fay, thy arrows err),
I'll fetch quick fuel from the neighb'ring wood,
And ftrike the fparkling flint, and dress the food;
With humble duty, and officious hafte,
I'll cull the furtheft mead for thy repast:
The choiceft herbs I to thy board will bring;
And draw thy water from the freshest spring:
And when, at night, with weary toil oppreft,
Soft flumbers thou enjoy'ft, and wholesome reft;
Watchful I'll guard thee, and with midnight
Weary the gods to keep thee in their care;
And joyous afk, at morn's returning ray,
If thou haft health, and I may blefs the day.
My thoughts fhall fix, my lateft with depend
On thee, guide, guardian, kinfman, father, friend:
By all thefe facred names be Henry known
To Emma's heart: and grateful let him own,
That fhe, of all mankind, could love but him
Or fit behind thy head, an ample round,
In graceful braids with various ribbon bound:
No longer fhall the boddice, aptly lac'd
From thy full bofom to thy flender waift,
That air and harmony of fhape exprefs,
Fine by degrees, and beautifully lefs:
Nor fhall thy lower garments artful plait,
From thy fair fide dependent to thy feet,
Arm their chafte beauties with a modeft pride,
And double ev'ry charm they feek to hide.
Th' ambrofial plenty of thy thining hair,
Cropt off and loft, fcarce lower than thy ear,
Shall ftand uncouth: a horfeman's coat fhall hide
Thy taper fhape and comeliness of fide :
The fhort trunk-hofe fhall fhew thy foot and knee
Licentious, and to common eye-fight free:
And, with a bolder ftride, and loofer air,
Mingled with men, a man thou must appear.
Triumphant Conftancy has fix'd her feat:
In vain the fyrens fing, the tempefts beat:
For thee alone thefe little charms I dress'd;
Condemn'd them, or abfolv'd them, by thy teft.
In comely figure rang'd, my jewels fhone,
Or negligently plac'd, for thee alone :
For thee again they fhall be laid afide;
The woman, Henry, fhall put off her pride
For thee: my clothes,my fex,exchang'd for thee,
I'll mingle with the people's wretched lee;
O line extreme of human infamy!
Wanting the fciffars, with thefe hands I'll tear
(If that obftructs my flight) this load of hair.
Black foot or yellow walnut fhall difgrace
This little red and white of Emma's face.
Thefe nailswith fcratches fhalldeform my breast,
Left by my look or colour be exprefs'd
The mark of aught high-born, or ever better
Nor folitude, nor gentle peace of mind,
Miftaken maid, fhalt thou in forests find:
'Tis long fince Cynthia and her train were there;
Or guardian gods made innocence their care.
Vagrants and outlaws fhall offend thy view;
For fuch must be my friends; a hideous crew
By adverfe fortune mix'd in focial ill,
Train'd to affault, and difciplin'd to kill:
Their common loves, a lewd abandon'd pack,
The beadle's lash still flagrant on their back :
By floth corrupted, by diforder fed,
Made bold by want, and proftitute for bread:
With fuch muft Emma hunt the tedious day,
Affift their violence, and divide their prey :
With fuch the must return at fetting light,
Tho' not partaker, witnefs of their night.
Thy ear, inur'd to charitable founds,
And pitying love, muft feel the hateful wounds
Of jeft obfcene and vulgar ribaldry,
The ill-bred queftion, and the lewd reply ;
Brought by long habitude from bad to worse,
Must hear the frequent oath, the direful curfe,
That latest weapon of the wretches war;
And blafphemy, fad comrade of defpair.
Now, Emma, now the last reflection make,
What thou wouldst follow,what thou must forfake;
By our ill-omen'd stars, and adverse heav'n,
No middle object to thy choice is given.
Or yield thy virtue, to attain thy love;
Or leave a banish'd man condemn'd in woods to
Yet in this commerce, under this disguise,
Let me be grateful ftill in Henry's eyes;
Loft to the world, let me to him be known:
My fate I can abfolve; if he shall own,
That, leaving all mankind, I love but him alone.
O wildest thought of an abandon'd mind!
Name, habit, parents, woman, left behind,
Ev'n honour dubious, thou preferr'ft to go
Wild to the woods with me: faid Emma fo?
Or did I dream what Emma never faid?
O guilty error! and O wretched maid!
Whofe roving fancy would refolve the fame
With him, who next shouldtempt her cafy fame;
And blow with empty words the fufceptible
O grief of heart! that our unhappy fates
Force thee to fuffer what thy honour hates;
Mix thee amongst the bad; or make thee run
Too near the paths which virtue bids thee thun.
Yet with her Henry ftill let Emma go;
With him abhor the vice, but share the woe:
And fure my little heart can never err
Amidst the worst; if Henry still be there.
Our outward act is prompted from within;
And from the finner's mind proceeds the fin:
By her own choice free Virtue is approv'd;
Nor by the force of outward objects mov'd.
Who has affay no danger gains no praise.
In a small ifle, amidst the wideft feas,
Now why should doubtful terms thy mind perplex?
Confefs thy frailty, and avow thy fex:
No longer loofe defire for conftant love
Miftake; but fay, 'tis man with whom thou long'ft
Are there not poisons, racks, and flames and fwords;
That Emma thus muft die by Henry's words?
Yet what could fwords or poifon, racks or flame,
But mangle and disjoint this brittle frame?
More fatal Henry's words: they murder
And fall these fayings from that gentle tongue,
Where çivil fpeech and foft perfuafion hung;
Whofe artful Tweetnefs and harmonious ftrain,
| Courting my grace, yet courting it in vain,
Call & fighs, and tears, and withes, to its aid;
And, whilft it Henry's glowing flame convey'd,
Still blam'd the coldnets of the Nut-brown Maid?
Let envious jealoufy and canker'd spite
Produce my actions to fevereft light,
And tax my open day, or fecret night.
Did e'er my tongue fpeak my unguarded heart
The leaft inclin'd to play the wanton's part?
Did e'er my eye one inward thought reveal,
Which angels might not hear, and virgins tell?
And haft thou, Henry, in my conduct known One fault, but that which I must never own, That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but thee alone?
Vainly thou talk'ft of loving me alone:
Each man is man; and all our fex is one.
Falfe are our words, and fickle is our mind:
Nor in Love's ritual can we ever find
Vows made to laft, or promifes to bind.
By nature prompted, and for empire made,
Alike by krength or cunning we invade:
When, arm'd with rage, we march against the foe,
We lift the battle-ax, and draw the bow:
When, fir'd with paffion, we attack the fair,
Delufive fighs and brittle vows we bear:
Our falfehood and our arms have equal ufe;
As they our conqueft or delight produce.
The foolish heart thou gav'it again receive,
The only boon departing love can give.
To be lefs wretched, be no longer true;
What ftrives to fly thee why fhouldst thou
Forget thy prefent flame, indulge a new. Single the loveliest of the am'rous youth; Afk for his vow; but hope not for his truth. The next man (and the next thou shalt believe) Will pawn his gods, intending to deceive; Will kneel, implore, perfift,o'ercome, and leave. Hence let thy Cupid aim his arrows right; Be wife and falfe, fhun trouble, feek delight;
Why shouldit thou weep? let Nature judge our cafe ;
I faw thee young and fair; purfu'd the chafe
Of youth and beauty: I another faw
Fairer and younger: yielding to the law
Of our all-ruling mother, I purfued
More youth, more beauty: bleft viciffitude!
My active heart ftill keeps its pristine flame;
The object alter'd, the defire the fame.
This younger fairer pleads her rightful charms;
With prefent power compels me to her arms.
And much I fear, from my fubjected mind
(If beauty's force to conftant love can bind),
That years may roll, ere in her turn the maid
Shall weep the fury of my love decay'd;
And weeping follow me, as thou dost now,
With idle clamours of a broken vow.
Nor can the wildnefs of thy withes err So wide, to hope that thou mayft live with her. Love, well thou know'ft, no partnership allows: Cupid averfe rejects divided vows: Then from thy foolish heart, vain maid, remove An ufelefs forrow, and an ill-ftarr'd love; And leave me with the fair at large in woods
Are we in life through one great error led? Is each man perjur'd, and each nymph betray'd? Of the fuperior fex art thou the worit? Am I of mine the moft completely curft? Yet let me go with thee; and going prove, From what I will endure, how much I love.
This potent beauty, this triumphant fair, This happy object of our diff'rent care, Her let me follow; her let me attend,
A fervant (the may fcorn the name of friend):
What the demands, inceffant I'll prepare:
I'll weave her garlands; and I'll plait her hair:
My bufy diligence fhall deck her board
(For there at least I may approach my lord);
And, when her Henry's fofter hours advife
His fervant's abfence, with dejected eyes
Far I'll recede, and fighs forbid to rife.
Yet, when increafing grief brings flow difcafe;
And ebbing life, on terms fevere as thefe,
Will have its little lamp no longer fed;
When Henry's miftrefs fhews him Emma dead;
Refcue my poor remains from vile neglect:
With virgin honours let my hearse be deck'd,
And decent emblem; and at least perfuade
This happy nymph, that Emma may be laid
Where thou, dear author of my death, where the,
With frequent eye my fepulchre may fee.
The nymph amidst her joys may haply breathe
One pious figh, reflecting on my death,
And the fad fate which the may one day prove,
Who hopes from Henry's vows eternal love.
And thou forfworn, thou cruel, as thou art,
If Emma's image ever touch'd thy heart;
Thou fure muft give one thought and drop one tear
To her, whom love abandon'd to despair;
To her, who, dying, on the wounded stone
Bid it in lafting characters be known,
That, of mankind, the lov'd but thee alone.
Hear, folemn Jove! and, confcious Venus, hear! And thou, bright maid, believe me, whilft I fwear; No time, no change, no future flame, fhall move The well-plac'd bafis of my lafting love. O powerful virtue! O victorious fair! At least excufe a trial too fevere: Receive the triumph, and forget the war.
No banish'd man condemn'd in woods to rove Entreats thy pardon, and implores thy love : No perjur'd knight defires to quit thy arms, Fairest collection of thy fex's charms, Crown of my love, and honour of my youth! Henry, thy Henry, with eternal truth, As thou may'it with, fhall all his life employ, And found his glory in his Emma's joy.
In me behold the potent Edgar's heir, Illuftrious earl: him terrible in war Let Loyre confefs; for fhe has felt his fword, And trembling fled before the British lord. Him great in peace and wealth fair Deva knows; For the amidst his fpacious meadows flows; Inclines her urn upon his fatten'd lands; And fees his num'rous herd imprint her fands. And thou, my fair, my dove, fhalt raise thy thought
To greatness next to empire; fhalt be brought
With folemn pomp to my paternal feat;
Where peace and plenty on thy word fhall wait.
Mufic and fong fhall wake the marriage-day :
And, whilft the priests accufe the bride's delay,
Myrtles and rofes fhall obftruct her way.