« AnteriorContinua »
And left those climes with steps sedate and flow; While sad AURORA, kerchief'd in a cloud,
With drizzly vapours hung the mountain's brow;
The wretched bird, from hapless PERDIX sprung,
With trembling wings forsook the furrow'd plain, And, calling round her all her listening young,
In faultering accents sung this plaintive strain :
- Unwelcome morn! too well thy lowering mien
· Foretels the slaughters of the approaching day; · The gloomy sky laments with tears the scene,
• Where rage and terror reassume their sway.
Ah, luckless train! ah, fate.devoted race!
· The dreadful tale experience tells believe; • Dark heavy mists obfcure the morning's face,
< But blood and death shall close the dreary eve.
This day fell man, whose unrelenting hate
• No grief can soften, and no tears assuage,
« Pours dire destruction on the feather'd state,
• While pride and rapine urge his savage rage.
· I, who fo oft have 'scap'd the impending snare,
Ere night arrives, may feel the fiery wound; • In giddy circles quit the realms of air,
· And stain with streaming gorethe dewy ground."
She said, when lo! the pointer winds his prey,
The rustling stubble gives the fear'd alarm, The gunner views the covey fleet away,
And rears the unerring tube with skilful arm.
In vain the mother wings her whirring flight,
The leaden deaths arrest her as she flies;
Her scatter'd offspring swim before her fight,
And, bath'd in blood, she flutters, pants, and
Quit the light reed for forrow's sober strain,
And hang thy flowerets on my DELIA's herse.
Oft by yon silver fountain's fedgy side,
Or through the twilight shade I us'd to rove,
Have sung her beauties to the listening tide,
And filld with notes like these the echoing grove:
Ye fragrant roses, bow your blooming heads;
.:. For canyour sweetness with her breath compare?
"Ye envious lilies, wither in your beds,
• Fur is your boasted whiteness half so fair?"
Vain was the lay; for O! heart-breaking thought!
Those heavenly features ne'er again must charm, That form divine, with each perfection fraught,
Is struck by Fate's inexorable arm.
Thus far, 0 Death, thy cruel reign extends !
Before thy fickle falls each blushing flower;
But Virtue on ethereal wings ascends,
And smiles disdainful on thy boasted power.
Guided by her—(for Virtue's sacred lore
Was ever dear to Delia's gentle breast) She to the endless realms of peace shall foar,
The sacred manfions of eternal reft.
Nor these the wreaths that love and fancy twine
Around the tomb, where rests some flatter'd maid; But honors, due to merit's hallow'd shrine,
By faithful truth with unfeign'd sorrow paid.