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These rites, as Fate permits, I shall survey
With
eyes illumined by celestial day,

And, every cloud from my pure spirit driven,
Joy in the bright beatitude of Heaven!

ON THE DEATH OF DAMON.

THE ARGUMENT.

Thyrsis and Damon, shepherds and neighbours, had always pursued the same studies, and had, from their earliest days, been united in the closest friendship. Thyrsis, while travelling for improvement, received intelligence of the death of Damon, and, after a time, returning and finding it true, deplores himself, and his solitary condition, in this poem. By Damon is to be understood Charles Deodati, connected with the Italian city of Lucca by his father's side, in other respects an Englishman; a youth of uncommon genius, erudition, and virtue.

YE nymphs of Himera, (for ye have shed
Erewhile for Daphnis, and for Hylas dead,
And over Bion's long-lamented bier,
The fruitless meed of many a sacred tear,)
Now through the villas laved by Thames, rehearse
The woes of Thyrsis in Sicilian verse,

What sighs he heaved, and how with groans profound
He made the woods, and hollow rocks resound,
Young Damon dead; nor even ceased to pour
His lonely sorrows at the midnight hour.

The green wheat twice had nodded in the ear,
And golden harvest twice enrich'd the year,

Since Damon's lips had gasp'd for vital air
The last, last time, nor Thyrsis yet was there;
For he, enamour'd of the Muse, remain'd
In Tuscan Fiorenza long detain'd,

But, stored at length with all he wish'd to learn,
For his flock's sake now hasted to return;
And when the shepherd had resumed his seat
At the elm's root, within his old retreat,

Then 'twas his lot, then, all his loss to know,
And, from his burthen'd heart, he vented thus his woe.

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due To other cares, than those of feeding you. Alas! what deities shall I suppose

In heaven, or earth, concern'd for human woes,
Since, oh
my Damon their severe decree
So soon condemns me to regret of thee!
Depart'st thou thus, thy virtues unrepaid
With fame and honour, like a vulgar shade?
Let him forbid it, whose bright rod controls
And separates sordid from illustrious souls,
Drive far the rabble, and to thee assign
A happier lot, with spirits worthy thine!

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due
To other cares, than those of feeding you.
Whate'er befall, unless by cruel chance
The wolf first give me a forbidding glance,
Thou shalt not moulder undeplored, but long
Thy praise shall dwell on every shepherd's tongue;
To Daphnis first they shall delight to pay,
And, after him, to thee the votive lay,
While Pales shall the flocks and pastures love,
Or Faunus to frequent the field or grove,

At least, if ancient piety and truth,
With all the learned labours of thy youth,
May serve thee aught, or to have left behind
A sorrowing friend, and of the tuneful kind.
"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due
To other cares, than those of feeding you.
Yes, Damon! such thy sure reward shall be;
But ah, what doom awaits unhappy me?
Who now my pains and perils shall divide,
As thou wast wont, for ever at my side,
Both when the rugged frost annoy'd our feet,
And when the herbage all was parch'd with heat;
Whether the grim wolf's ravage to prevent,

Or the huge lion's, arm'd with darts we went?
Whose converse, now, shall calm my stormy day,
With charming song, who now beguile my way?

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due To other cares, than those of feeding you.

In whom shall I confide? whose counsel find
A balmy medicine for my troubled mind?
Or whose discourse, with innocent delight,
Shall fill me now and cheat the wintry night,
While hisses on my hearth the pulpy pear,
And blackening chestnuts start and crackle there,
While storms abroad the dreary meadows whelm,
And the wind thunders through the neighbouring elm?
"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due
To other cares, than those of feeding you.
Or who, when summer suns their summit reach,
And Pan sleeps hidden by the sheltering beech,
When shepherds disappear, nymphs seek the sedge,
And the stretch'd rustic snores beneath the hedge,

S. C.-10.

N

Who then shall render me thy pleasant vein
Of Attic wit, thy jests, thy smiles again?

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due
To other cares, than those of feeding you.
Where glens and vales are thickest overgrown
With tangled boughs, I wander now alone,

Till night descend, while blustering wind and shower Beat on my temples through the shatter'd bower.

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due To other cares, than those of feeding you. Alas! what rampant weeds now shame my fields, And what a mildew'd crop the furrow yields! My rambling vines, unwedded to the trees, Bear shrivell'd grapes, my myrtles fail to please, Nor please me more my flocks; they, slighted, turn Their unavailing looks on me, and mourn.

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due To other cares, than those of feeding you. Ægon invites me to the hazel grove, Amyntas, on the river's bank to rove, And young Alphesibous to a seat

Where branching elms exclude the mid-day heat.
Here fountains spring,-here mossy hillocks rise;
Here Zephyr whispers, and the stream replies.'
Thus each persuades, but, deaf to every call,
I gain the thickets, and escape them all.

"Go, seek your home, my lambs; my thoughts are due To other cares, than those of feeding you. Then Mopsus said, (the same who reads so well The voice of birds, and what the stars foretell, For he by chance had noticed my return,) 'What means thy sullen mood, this deep concern?

Ah Thyrsis! thou art either crazed with love,
Or some sinister influence from above;
Dull Saturn's influence oft the shepherds rue;
His leaden shaft oblique has pierced thee through.'
"Go, go, my lambs, unpastured as ye are,
My thoughts are all now due to other care.
The nymphs amazed, my melancholy see,

And Thyrsis!' cry, what will become of thee?

What would'st thou, Thyrsis? such should not appear
The brow of youth, stern, gloomy, and severe;
Brisk youth should laugh, and love,-ah shun the fate
Of those, twice wretched mopes! who love too late!'
"Go, go, my lambs, unpastured as ye are,
My thoughts are all now due to other care.
Ægle with Hyas came to soothe my pain,
And Baucis' daughter, Dryope the vain,
Fair Dryope, for voice and finger neat
Known far and near, and for her self-conceit;
Chloris too came, whose cottage on the lands,
That skirt the Idumanian current, stands;
But all in vain they came, and but to see
Kind words, and comfortable, lost on me.

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"Go, go, my lambs, unpastured as ye are,
My thoughts are all now due to other care.
Ah blest indifference of the playful herd,
None by his fellow chosen, or preferr'd!
No bonds of amity the flocks enthrall,
But each associates, and is pleased with all;
So graze the dappled deer in numerous droves,
And all his kind alike the zebra loves;

The same law governs where the billows roar,
And Proteus' shoals o'erspread the desert shore;

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