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Thou, to whose eyes I bend; at whose command (Tho' low my voice, tho' artless be my hand) I take the sprightly reed, and sing, and play; Careless of what the censuring world may say: Bright Chloe, object of iny constant vow, Wilt thou a while unbend thy serious brow? Wilt thou with pleasure hearthy lover's strains, And with one heav'nly simile o'erpay his pains? No longer shall the Nut-Brown Maid be old; Tho' * youth three hundred years have roll'd, At !" desire, she shall again be rais'd; And her oirs charnis in lasting verse be prais'd. o No longer man of woman shall complain, That he may love and not be lov'd again : That we in vain the fickle sex pursue, . Who change the constant lover for the new. . Whatever has been writ, whatever said, Qf female passion feign'd, or faith decay’d: Henceforth shall in my verse refuted stand, e said to winds, or writ upon the sand. And, while my notes to future times proclaim onconquer'd love and ever-during flaine; 9 fairest of the sex be thou my Muse: eign on my work thy influence to diffuse :
Let me partake the blessings I rehearse,
And grant nic love, the just reward of verse.
As beauty's potent queen, with ev'ry grace,
That once was Emma's, has adorn'd thy face;
And as her son has to my bosom dealt
That constant flame, which faithful Henry felt:
O let the story with thylise agree:
Let men once more the bright example see;
What Emma was to him, be thou to me.
Nor send me by thy frown frou her I love,
Distant and sad, a banish'd man to rove. *
But oh! with pity long-entreated crown -
My paius and hopes; and, when thou say's
that one - [alone.
Of all mankind thou lov'st, oh! think on me o
WITERE beauteous Isis and her husband Tame
With mingled waves for ever flow the same,
In times of yore an antient baron liv'd;
Great gifts bestow'd, and great respect receiv'd.
When dreadful Edward with successful care
Led his free Britons to the Gallie war;
This lord had headed his appointed bands,
In firm allegiance to the king's commands;
And (all due honors faithfully discharg'd)
Had brought back his paternal coat, enlarg'd
With a new mark, the witness of his .
And no inglorious part of foreign spoil. f,
From the loud camp retir'd and noisy court
In honorable ease ...}rural sport,
The remnant of his days he safely pass'd ; , ,
Nor found they lagg'd too slow, norflew too fast.
He made his wish with his estate comply,
Joyful to live, yet not afraid to die. -
One child he had, a daughter chaste and fair,
is age's comfort, and his fortune's heir.
They call'd her Euma; for the beauteous dame,
Who gave the virgin birth, had borne the name:
The name th' indulgent father doubly lov'd :
For in the child the mother's charms improv'd.
Yet as when little round his knees she play'd,
He call'd her of, in sport, his Nut-BrownMaid;
The friends and tenants took the fondling wo
(As still they please, who imitate their lord);
Usage confirm'd what fancy had begun;
The mutual terms around the lands were
AndEmuna and the Nut-Brown Maid were one.
As with her stature, still her charms increas'd,
Thro' all the isle her beauty was confess'd. . .
Qh ! what perfections inust that virgin share,
Who fairest is esteem’d, where all are fair!
From distantshires repair the noble youth,
And find report, for once, had lessened truth.
By wonder first, and then by passion mov’d,
#. came; they saw; they marvell'd; and the
By public praises, and by secret sighs, [lov’d.
#. own'd the gen'ral power of Emma's eyes.
In tilts and tournaments the valiant strove, " ."
By glorious deeds to purchase Emma's love.
In gentle verse, the witty told their flame,
Andgrac'duheirchoicestsongswith Emma's name.
In vain they combated, in vain they writ:
Useless their strength, and impotent their wit.
Great Venus only must direct the dart,
Which else will never reach the fair one's
Spite of th’ attempts of force, and soft effects
Great Venus must prefer the happy one :
In Henry's cause her favor must be shown :
And Emma, of mankind, inust love but him
While these in public to the castle came,
And by their grandeur justify'd their flame;
More secret ways the careful Henry takes;
His squires, his arms, and equipage forsakes:
In borrow'd name and false attire array'd,
Oft he finds means to see the beauteous maid.
When Emma hunts, in huntsman's habit
drest, - -
Henry on foot pursues the bounding beast.
In his right hand his beechen pole he bears:
And graceful at his side his horn he wears.
Still to the glade, where she has bent her way,
With knowing skill he drives the future prey;
Bids her decline the hill, and shun the brake;
And shows the path her steed may safely take;
Directs her spear to fix the glorious wound;
Pleas'd, in his toils, to have her triumph
crown'd ; -
And blowsher praises with no common sound.
A falconer Henry is, when Funma hawks:
With her of tarsels and of lures he talks.
Upon his wrist the tow'ring merlin stands,
Practis'd to rise, and stoop, at her commands.
And when superior now the bird has flown,
And headlong brought the tumbling quarry
down ; -
With humble rev'rence he accosts the fair,
And with the honor'd feather decks her hair.
Yet still, as from the sportive field he goes,
His downcast eve o his inward woes ;
And by his look and sorrow is exprest,
A nobler game pursued than bird or beast.
A shepherd now along the plain he roves;
And, with his jolly pipe, delights the groves.
The neighb'ring swains around the stranger
o throng, - -
Or to admire or emulate his song: -
While, with soft sorrow, he renews his lays,
Nor heedful of their envy, nor their praise.]
But, soon as Emma's eyes adorn the plain,
His notes he raises to a nobler strain; ,
With dutiful respect, and studious fear,
Lest any careless sound offend her ear.
A frantic gipsy, now the house he haunts,
And in wild phrases speaks dissembled wants.",
With the fond maids in palmistry he deals: ,
They tell the secret first, which he reveals’.....
wos who shall wed, aná who shall be beguild;
That she shall prove as fortunate as fair,
And Hymen's choicest gifts are all reserv'd for
Now oft had Henry chang'd his sly disguise,
Unmark'd by all but beauteous Emma's eyes;
Ost had found means alone to see the dame,
And at her fect to breathe his am’rous flaune;
And oft, the pangs of absence to remove
By letters, soft interpreters of love:
Till time and industry, the mighty two
That bring our wishes 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 Emma's heart a share of floo,
whi. Cupid smil'd, by kind occasion blest,
And, with the secret kept, the love increas'd :
The amorous youth frequents the silent 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?
Euma with smiles receives his present flame;
But, smiling, will she ever be the same? ..
Beautiful looks are rul’d by fickle minds;
And summer seas are turn'd by sudden winds.
Another love may gain her easy youth :
Time changes thought; and flatt'ry conquers
O impotent estate of human life!
Where hope and fear maintain eternal strife:
Where fleeting joy does lasting doubt inspire;
And most we question what we most desire.
Amongst thy various gifts, great heaven, bestow
Our cup of love unmix'd; forbear to throw
Bitter ingredients in; nor pall the draught
With nauseous grief: for our ill-judging thought
Hardly enjoys the pleasurable taste;
Or o it not sincere; or fears it cannot
With wishes rais'd, with jealousies opprest,
(Alternate tyrants of the human breast)
By one great trial he resolves to prove
The faith of women, and the force of love.
If scanning Emma's virtues, he may find
That beauteous frame inclose a steady mind,
He'll fix his hope, of future joy secure;
And live a slave to Hymen's happy pow'r,
If, pois'd aright in reason's equal scale,
Light fly her merits, and her faults prevail;
His mind he vows to free from an’rous care, ;
But if the fair one, as he fears, is frail : ;
The latent mischief from his heart to tear,
Resume his azure arms,and shine again in war.
South of the castle, in a verdant glade,
A spreading beech extends her friendly shade:
Here o ific nymph his breathing vows had
heard ; ' ' -
Here aft her silence had her heart declar'd,
As active spring awak'd her infant buds,
And ...}}}. inform'd the verdant woods;
|Upon the tree; and, as the tender mark . .
Grew with the year, and widen'd with the bark,
Venus had heard the virgin's soft address,
That as the wound, the passion might increase.
As potent nature shed her kindly show'rs,
And deck'd the various mead with op'ning
Upon the tree the nymph's obliging care
liad left a frequent wreath for Henry's hair;
Which as with gay delight the lover found,
Pleas'd with his conquest, with her present
Glorious thro' all the plains he oft had gone,
And to each swain the mystic honor shown ;
The gift still prais'd, the giver still unknown.
His secret note the troubled Henry writes;
To the known tree the lovely maid invites:
Imperfect words and dubious terms express,
That unforeseen mischance disturb’d his peace;
That he must something to her ear commend,
On which her conduct and his life depend.
Soon as the fair one had the note receiv'd,
The remnant of the day alone she griev'd :
For diff'rent this from ev'ry former note,
Which Venus dictated, and Henry wrote;
Which told her all his future hopes were laid
On the dear bosom of his Nut-brown Maid;
Which always bless'd her eyes, and own'd her
. . . pow'r; And bid her ostadieu, yet added more: [laid; Now night advanc'd. The house in sleep were The nurse experienc'd, and the prying maid: At last that sprite, which does incessant haunt The lover's steps, the antient maiden aunt. To her dear Henry Emma wings her way, With quicken'd pace repairing forc'd delay; For Love, fantastic power, that is afraid To stir abroad till watchfulness be laid, Undaunted then, o'er cliffs and valleys strays, And leads his vothies safe thro’ pathless ways Not Argus with his hundred eyes shall fin Where Cupid goes; tho' he, poor guide, is blind.
The maiden, first arriving, sent her eye To ask, if yet its chief delight were nigli: With fear, and with desire, with joy and pain, She sces, and runs to meet him on the plain. Hut oh! his steps proclaim no lover's haste; On the low ground his fix'd regards are cast; His artful bosom heaves dissembled sighs; And tears suborn'd fall copious from his eyes.
With case, alas! we credit what we love : His painted grief does real sorrow move In the afflicted fair; adown her cheek Trickling, the genuine tears their current break; Attentive stood the mournful nymph: the man Broke silence first : the tale alternate ran :
Sincere, O tell me, hast thou felt a pain, Finma, beyond what woman knows to feign Has thy uncertain bosom ever strove With the first tumults of a real love? Hast thou now dreaded, and now.blest his sway, By turns averse and joyful to obey . *ā; virgin softness hast thou e'er bewail'd, As reason yielded, and as love prevail'd?
And wept the potent göd's resistless dart,
His killing pleasure, his ecstatic smart, :
And heav'nly poison thrilling thro' thy heart:
If so, with pity view my wretched state;
At least deplore, and then forget my fate:
To some unore happy knight reserve thy charms,
By fortune favor'd, and successful arms:
And only, as the sun's revolving ray,
Brings back each year this melancholy day,
Permit one sigh, and set apart one tear,
To an abandon'd exile's endless care.
Fer me, alas! out-cast of human race,
Love's anger only waits, and dire disgrace;
For lo! these hands in murder are imbru'd
These trembling feet by justice are pursu'd :
Fate calls aloud, and hastens me away;
A shameful death attends my longer stay;
And I this night must fly from thee losive,
Condemn'd in louely woods a banish'd man to
What is our bliss that changeth with the moon;
And day of life, that darkens ere 'tis noon :
What is true passion, if unblest 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 false one feign'd,
The flames which long have in my bosom reign'd:
The god of love himself inhabits there, [care,
With all his rage, and dread, and grief, and ;
His compliment of stores, and total war.
O! cease then coldly to suspect my love;
And let my deed, at least, my faith approve.
Alas! no youth shall my jo share;
Nor day nor night shall interrupt my care;
No future story shall with truth upbraid -
The cold indifference of the Nut-brown Maid ..
Nor to hard banishment shall Henry run;
While careless Emma sleeps on j. of aown.
View me resolv'd, where-e'er thou lead'st, to go,
Friend to thy pain, and partner of thy woe:
For I attest, fair Venus and her son, -
That I, of all mankind, will love but thee alone.
HENRY. - -
Let prudence yet obstruct thy ventorous way;
And take good heed, what men will think and say:
That beauteous Emma vagrant courses took ;
Her father's house and civil life forsook ;
That, full of youthful blood, and fond of man,
She to the wood-land with an exile ran.
Reflect, that lessen'd fame is ne'er regain'd;
And virgin honor once, is always stain'd :
Timely advis'd, the coming evis shun :
Better not do the deed, than weep it done.
No penance can absolve our guilty fame;
Nortears, that wash outsin, can wash out shame
Then fly the sad effects of despirate love; [rove.
And leave abanish'd manthrough lonely woodsto
Let Emma's hapless case be falsely told
By the rash young, or the ill-natur'd old :
Let ev'ry tongue its various censures choose; .
Absolve with coldness, or with spite accuse :
Fair Truth at last her radiant beams will raise ;
And malice vanquish'd heightens virtue's praise.
Let then thy favor but indulge my flight;
? ! let my presence make thy travels light;
nd potent Venus shall exalt my name
Above the rumors of censorious Fame ;
Nor from that busy denou's restless pow'r ,
Will ever Emma other grace implore, [known,
Than that this truth should to the world be
That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but unce alone.
But canst thou wield the sword, and bend the With active force repel the sturdy foe 2 (bow : When the loud tumult speaks the battle high, And winged death in whistling arrows fly; Wilt thou, tho' wounded, yet undaunted stay, Perform thy part, and share the dangerous day? Then, as thy strength decays, thy heart will fail, Thy limbs all trembling, and thy checks all pale; With fruitless sorrow, thou, inglorious maid, Wilt weep thy safety by thy love betray'd : "Then to ū, riend, by foes ... deny Thy little useless aid, and coward fly : [love Then wilt thou curse the chance that made thee A banish'd man condemn'd in loitely woods to
With fatal certainty Thalestris knew
To send the arrow from the twanging yew :
And, great in arms, and foremost in the war,
Bonduca brandish'd high the British spear.
Could thirst of vengeance and desire of fame
Excite the female breast with martial flame 2 .
And shall not love's diviner pow'r inspire
More hardy virtue, and more generous fire 2
Near thee, mistrust not, constant I'll abide, And fall, or vanquish, fighting by thy side. Though my inferior strength may not allow, That I should bear or draw the warrior bow; With ready hand I will the shaft supply, And joy to see thy victor arrows fly. Touch'd in the battle by the hostile reed, Should'st thou (but Heav'n avert it!) should'st
thou bleed; -
To stop the wounds my finest lawn I'd tear, Wash them with tears, and wipe them with my
Wilt thou not then reluctant send thine eye
Around the dreary waste; and weeping try
(Tho' then, alas ! that trial be too late)
To find thy father's hospitable gate,
And seats, where Ease and Plenty broodingsate:
Those seats, whence long excluded thou must
That gate, forever barr'd to thy return: [mourn;
Wilt thou not then bewail ill-fated love,
And hate a banish'd man condemn'd in woods
to rove :
Thy rise of fortune did I only wed,
From its decline determin'd to recede 2
Did I but purpose to embark with thee
On the smooth surface of a summer's sea, -
While 2entle Zephyrs play in proporous gales,
And Fortune's favor ño. the swelling sails :
But would forsake the ship, and make the shore,
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roor?
Our loves; one destiny our life shall guide;
Nor wild nor decp our common way divide
When from the cave thou risest with the day,
To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey;
The cave with moss and branches I'll adorn,
And cheerful sit, to wait uny lord's return :
And, when thou frequent bring'st the smitten
(For seldom, archers say, thy arrows erry,
I'll fetch quick fuel from the neighboring wood,
And strike the sparkling flint, and dress the
With humble duty, and officious haste, [food:
I'll cull the furthest mead for thy repast:
The choicest herbs I to thy board will bring;
And draw thy water from the freshest spring:
And when, at night, with weary toll opprest,
Soft slumbers thou enjoy'st, and wholesome rest:
Watchful I'll guard tilee, and with midnight
Weary the gods to keep thce in their care;
And joyous ask, at morn's returning ray,
If thou hast health, and I may bless the day.
My thoughts shall fix, my latest wish depend,
On thee, guide, guardian, kinsman, father, friend:
|By all these sacred names be Henry known
Vainly thou tell'st me, what the woman's cart Shall in the wildness of the wood prepare. Thou, ere thougoest, unhappiest of thy kind, Must leave the habit and the sex behind. , No longer shall thy comely tresses break o
| In flowing ringlets on thy snowy neck :
Or sit behind thy head, an ample round.
In graceful braids with various ribbon bound :
No longer shall the boddice, aptly lac'd
From thy full bosom to o, slender waist,
That air and harmony of shape express,
Fine by degrees, and beautifully less:
| Nor shall thy lower garments' artful plair,
From thy fair side dependent to thy feet, A: H.
Arm their chaste beauties with a modest pride, And double ev'ry charm they seek to hide. Th'ambrosial plenty of thy shining hair, Cropt off and i. scarce sower than thy ear, Shallstand uncouth: a horseman's coat shall hide Thy taper shape and comeliness of side : [knec The short trunk-hose shall show thy foot and Jicentious, and to common eye-sight free, And, with a bolder stride, and looser air, Mingled with unen, a inan thou must appear. Nor solitude, nor gentle peace of mind, Mistaken maid, shalt thou in forests find : 'Tis long since Cynthia and her train were ther : Or guardian gods made innocence their care. Vagrants and outlaw shall offend thy view; For such must be my friends; a hideous crew By adverse fortune mix'd in social ill, Train'd to assault, and disciplin'd to kill Their common loves, a lewd abandon'd pack, The beadle's lash still flagrant on their back : By sloth corrupted, by disorder fed, Made bold by want, and prostitute for bread: With such must Emma hunt the tedious day, Assist their violence, and divide their orey : . With such she must return at setting sight, Tho' not partaker, witness of their night. Thy ear, inur'd to charitable sounds, And pitying love, must feel the hateful wounds of jest obscene and vulgar ribaldry, The ill-bred question, and the lewd reply; Bought by long habitude from bad to worse, Must hear the frequent oath, the direful curse, The latest weapon of the wretches war; And blasphemy, sad comrade of despair. Now Emma now the last reflection make, Whatthouwouldstfollow,whatthoumustforsake: By our ill-omen'd stars, and adverse heav'n, Xo middle object to thy choice is given. Ør yield thy virtue, to attain thy love; [rove. or leave a banish'd man condemn'd in woods to EM. M.A. 0 grief of heart! that our unhappy sates Force thee to suffer what thy honor hates; Mix thee amongst the bad; or make thee ran Too near the paths which virtue bids three shun. Yet with her Henry still let Fmma go; With him abhor the vice, but share the woe: And sure my little heart can never crt Amidst the worst ; if Henry still be there. Our outward act is prompted from within; And from the sinner's mind proceeds the sin: By her own choice free Virtue is approv’d; Not by the force of outward objeet; mov’d. Who has assay’d no danger gains no praise, is a small isle, amidst the widest seas, Triumphant Constancy has fix'd her seat: In vain the syrens sing, the tempests beat: ; Their flattery she rejects, nor fears their threat. For thee alone these little charms I dress'd : Condemn'd them, or absolv'd them by thy test. !!! conisly figure rang'd, my jewels shong, or negligently plac'd, for the alone: or thee again they shall be laid hide; ! he woman, Henry, shall put of her pride
For thee, my clothes, my sex, exchang'd for
I'll mingle with the people's wretched lee;
O line extreme of hunan intainv :
Wanting the scissars, with these ind, I'll tear"
(If that obstructs my flight) this load of hair.
Black soot or yellow walnut shall disgrace.
This little red and white of Einma's face.
These nails with scratches shall deform Inyo -
Lest by my look or color be express'd
The mark of aught high-born, or ever better
dress'd. - -
Yet in this commerce, under this disguise,
Let me be grateful still in Henry's eyes;
Lost to the world, let me to him be known :-
My fate I can absolve; if he shall own,
That, leaving all mankind, I love but him
O wildest thought of an abandon'd mind ;
Name, habit, parents, woman, est behind,
Ev’n honor dubious, thou preferr'st to go
Wild to the woods with me : said Emma so?
Or did I dream what Emma never said :
O guilty error and O wretched maid :
Whose roving fancy would resolve the same n
With him, who next should tempt her easy }
And blow with empty words the susceptiblej
Now why should ...i terms thy mind per-
Confess thy frailty, and avow thy sex: [plex:
No longer loose desire for constant love
Mistake : but say, 'tis man with whom thou
longst to rove.
Are there not poisons, racks, and flames, and
That Emma this must die by Henry's words
Yet what could swords or poison, racks or
But mangle and disjoint this brittle frame?
Miore fatal Henry's words: they murder Em-
And fall these sayings from that gentle tongue,
Where civil speech and soft persuasion hung;
Whole artful sweetness and harmonious stain,
Courting my grace, yet courting it in vain, .
Call'd sighs, and tears, and wishes, to its aid :-)
And, whilst it Henry's glowing flame convey'd
Sill blan'd the coldness of the Nut-brown maid?
Let envious jealousy and canker'd spite
Produce iny actions to severest light, }
And tax my open day, or secret night.
Did o'er my tongue speak my unguarded heart
The least inclin'd to play the wanton's part :
Dide'er Iny eye one inward thought reveal,