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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.
Fair 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 heard a hollow sound. "Come, sister, come!" it said or seemed 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 weep; "Ev'n Superstition loses every fear: "For God, not man, absolves our frailties here."
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bow'rs,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flow'rs.
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphic glow. 320
Thou, Abelard, the last sad office pay,
And smooth my passage to the realms of day;
See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll,
Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul!
Ah, no; in sacred vestments mayst thou stand, 325
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Present the cross before my lifted eye,
Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Ah then, thy once lov'd Eloisa see;
It will be then no crime to gaze on me;
See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
'Till ev'ry motion, pulse, and breath be o'er,
And ev❜n my Abelard be lov'd no more.
Oh Death, all-eloquent! you only prove
What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love.
Then too, when Fate shall thy fair frame destroy, (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy,) In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd, Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round; From op'ning skies may streaming glories shine, 341 And saints embrace thee with a love like mine.
May one kind grave unite each hapless name,
And graft my love immortal on thy fame!
Then, ages hence, when 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,
"Oh 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 sad relics lie,
Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heaven,
One human tear shall drop, and be forgiv❜n.
And sure if Fate some future bard ́shall join
In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well,
Let him our sad, our tender story tell;
The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost;
He best can paint 'em who shall feel them most.
TO THE TRAGEDY OF BRUTUS.
YE shades, where sacred truth is sought;
Groves, where immortal sages taught;
Where heav'nly visions Plato fir'd,
And Epicurus' lay inspir'd!
In vain your guiltless laurels stood
Unspotted long with human blood.
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
And steel now glitters in the Muses' shades.
O heav'n-born sisters! source of art!
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart; 10
Who lead fair Virtue's train along,
Moral Truth and mystic Song!
To what new clime, what distant sky,
Forsaken, friendless, shall ye fly?
Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore?
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more?
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
When wild barbarians spurn her dust,
Perhaps e'en Britain's utmost shore
Shall cease to blush with strangers' gore:
See arts her savage sons controul,
And Athens rising near the pole !
"Till some new tyrant lifts his purple hand,
And civil madness tears them from the land.
Ye Gods! what justice rules the ball?
Freedom and arts together fall
Fools grant whate'er Ambition craves,
And men, once ignorant, are slaves.
Oh curst effects of civil hate,
In ev'ry age, in ev'ry state!
Still, when the lust of tyrant pow'r succeeds,
Some Athens perishes, some Tully bleeds.