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CELADON and AMELIA.
'Tis list'ning fear, and dumb amazement all :
When to the startled eye the sudden glance
Appears far south, eruptive, thro' the cloud;
And following slower, in explosion vast,
The Thunder raises his tremendous voice.
At first heard solemn o'er the verge of heaven,
The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes,
And rolls its awful burden on the wind,
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise astounds: till over head a sheet
Of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts,
And opens wider; shuts and opens still
Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze.
Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deepening, mingling; peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulsing heaven and earth.
Guilt hears appall'd, with deeply-troubled thought,
And yet not always on the guilty head
Descends the fated flash. Young CELADON
And his AMELIA were a matchless pair;
With equal virtue form'd, and equal grace,
The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone:
Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn,
And his the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd but such their guileless passion was, As in the dawn of time inform'd the heart Of innocence, and undissembling truth. Twas friendship heightened by the mutual wish, Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow, Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all To love, each was to each a dearer self; Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades, Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart, Or sigh'd, and look'd unutterable things.
So pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
But care unruffled: till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far, and where its mazes stray'd,
While, with each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Presaging instant fate, her bosom heav'd
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look
Tow'rds the big gloom, on CELADON her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In heav'n, repress'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict, and, as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumin'd high. "Fear not," he said,
"Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence,
"And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves
"In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
"With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
"That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
"Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice,
"Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart,
"With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
"'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus
"To clasp perfection!" From his void embrace
(Mysterious heav'n!) that moment to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent, and for ever sad.
JUNIO and THEANA.
SOON as young reason dawn'd in Junio's breast,
His father sent him from these genial isles,
To where old Thames with conscious pride surveys
Green Eton, soft abode of every muse.
Each classic beauty soon he made his own;
And soon fam'd Isis saw him woo the Nine,
On her inspiring banks: Love tun'd his song;
For fair Theana was his only theme,
Acasto's daughter, whom, in early youth,
He oft distinguish'd; and for whom he oft
Had climb'd the bending cocoa's airy height,
To rob it of its nectar; which the maid,
When he presented, more nectareous deem'd.—
The sweetest sappadillas oft he brought;
From him more sweet ripe sappadillas seem'd.-
Nor had long absence yet effac'd her form;
Her charms still triumph'd o'er Britannia's fair.
One morn he met her in Sheen's royal walks;
Nor knew, till then, sweet Sheen contain'd his all.
His taste mature approv'd his infant choice.
In colour, form, expression, and in grace,
She shone all perfect; while each pleasing art,
And each soft virtue that the sex adorns,
Adorn'd the woman. My imperfect strain
Can ill describe the transports Junio felt
At this discovery: He declar'd his love;
She own'd his merit, nor refus'd his hand.
And shall not Hymen light his brightest torch
For this delighted pair? Ah! Junio knew
His sire detested his Theana's house!-
Thus duty, reverence, gratitude, conspir'd
To check their happy union. He resolv'd
(And many a sigh that resolution cost)
To pass the time, till death his sire remov'd,
In visiting old Europe's letter'd climes:
While she (and many a tear that parting drew)
Embark'd, reluctant, for her native isle.
Tho' learned, curious, and tho' nobly bent, With each rare talent to adorn his mind, His native land to serve; no joys he found.— Yet sprightly Gaul; yet Belgium, Saturn's reign; Yet Greece, of old the seat of ev'ry muse, Of freedom, courage; yet Ausonia's clime, His steps explor'd; where painting, music's strains, Where arts, where laws (philosophy's best child), With rival beauties, his attention claim'd.
To his just-judging, his instructed eye,
Th' all-perfect Medicean Venus seem'd
A perfect semblance of his Indian fair :
But, when she spoke of love, her voice surpass'd
Th' harmonious warblings of Italian song.
Twice one long year elaps'd, when letters came, Which briefly told him of his father's death. Afflicted, filial, yet to Heav'n resign'd, Soon he reach'd Albion, and as soon embark'd,
Eager to clasp the object of his love.
Blow, prosperous breezes; swiftly sail, thou Po:
Swift sail'd the Po, and happy breezes blew.
In Biscay's stormy seas an armed ship,
Of force superior, from loud Charente's wave
Clapt them on board. The frighted flying crew
Their colours strike; when dauntless Junio, fir'd
With noble indignation, kill'd the chief,
Who on the bloody deck dealt slaughter round.
The Gauls retreat; the Britons loud huzza;
And touch'd with shame, with emulation stung,
So plied their cannon, plied their missile fires,
That soon in air the hapless thunderer blew.
Blow, prosperous breezes; swiftly sail, thou Po: May no more dangerous fights retard thy way Soon Porto Santo's rocky heights they 'spy, Like clouds dim rising in the distant sky. Glad Eurus whistles; laugh the sportive crew; Each sail is set to catch the favouring gale, While on the yard-arm the harpooner sits, Strikes the boneta, or the shark insnares. The little nautilus with purple pride Expands his sails, and dances o'er the waves: Small winged fishes on the shrouds alight; And beauteous dolphins gently play'd around.
Tho' faster than the Tropic-bird they flew, Oft Junio cried, ah! when shall we see land? Soon land they made: and now in thought he clasp'd His Indian bride, and deem'd his toils o'erpaid.
She, no less auxious, every evening walk'd On the cool margin of the purple main, Intent her Junio's vessel to descry.
One eve (faint calms for many a day had rag'd) The winged dæmons of the tempest rose ; Thunder, and rain, and lightning's awful power, She fled could innocence, could beauty claim Exemption from the grave; th' ethereal bolt, That stretch'd her speechless, o'er her lovely head Had innocently roll'd.
Meanwhile, impatient Junio leapt ashore,
Regardless of the dæmons of the storm.
Ah, youth what woes, too great for man to bear,
Are ready to burst on thee? Urge not so
Thy flying courser. Soon Theana's porch
Receiv'd him at his sight, the ancient slaves
Affrighted shriek, and to the chamber point
Confounded, yet unknowing what they meant,
He enter'd hasty
Ah! what a sight, for one who lov'd so well!
All pale and cold, in every feature death,
Theana lay; and yet a glimpse of joy
Play'd on her face, while with faint, faultering voice,
She thus address'd the youth, whom yet she knew.
"Welcome, my Junio, to thy native shore !
"Thy sight repays the summons of my fate :
"Live, and live happy; sometimes think of me:
By night, by day, you still engag'd my care;
"And, next to God, you now my thoughts employ :
Accept of thisMy little all I give;
"Would it were larger"- -Nature could no more ;
She look'd, embrac'd him, with a groan expir'd.
But say, what strains, what language can express The thousand pangs which tore the lover's breast: Upon her breathless corse himself he threw, And to her clay-cold lips, with trembling haste, Ten thousand kisses gave. He strove to speak; Nor words he found: he clasp'd her in his arms; He sigh'd, he swoon'd, look'd up, and died away.
One grave contains this hapless, faithful pair; And still the cane-isles tell their matchless love!
The SPLENDID SHILLING.
AN IMITATION OF MILTON,
HAPPY the man, who, void of cares and strife,
In silken or in leathern
A Splendid Shilling: He nor hears with pain
New oysters cry'd, nor sighs for cheerful ale ;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
To Juniper's Magpye, or Town-Hall repairs ;
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye
Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe, or Phillis; he each circling glass
Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile he smoaks and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,