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Dull goddess, from whose seat and barren plain
Fly all the nymphs, and all the sylvan train ;
Yet, pleas'd even here, we'll own sweet friendship's
Smiling in converse o'er the social hour;
Here patient o'er the dreary desert toil,
Cheer'd with the prospect of a happier soil!
THE hero who to Smyrna bay
From Easton, Hants, pursu'd his way,
Who travers'd seas, and hills and vales,
To fright his Sisters with his tales,
Sing, heavenly Muse; for what befel
Thou saw'st, and only thou canst tell.
Say first (but one thing I premise,
I'll not be chid for telling lyes;
Besides, my grannum us'd to say
I always had a knack that way;
So, if the love of truth be in ye,
Read Strabo, Diodorus, Pliny-
But like some authors I could name,
Wrapt in myself I lose my theme.)
Say first, those very rocks we spy'd,
But left 'em on the starboard side,
Where Juno urg'd the Trojan's fate :
Shield us, ye Gods! from female hate!
Then how precarious was the doom
Of Caesar's line, and mighty Rome,
Snatch'd from the very jaws of ruin,
And sav'd, poor Die, for thy undoing.
What saw we on Sicilian ground?
(A soil in ancient verse renown'd.)
The self-same spot, or Virgil ly'd,
On which the good Anchises dy'd:
The fields where Ceres' daughter sported,
And where the pretty Cyclops courted.
The nymph, hard-hearted as the rocks,
Refus'd the monster, scorn'd his flocks,
And took a shepherd in his stead,
With nought but love and mirth to plead :
An instance of a generous mind
That does much honor to your kind,
But in an age of fables grew,
So possibly it mayn't be true.
While on the summit Aetna glows,
His shivering sides are chill'd with snows.
Beneath, the painted landskip charms;
Here infant Spring in Winter's arms
Wantons secure in youthful pride
Stands Summer laughing by her side;
Ev'n Autumn's yellow robes appear,
And one gay scene discloses all the year.
Hence to rude Cerigo we came, Known once by Cytherea's name; When Ocean first the goddess bore,
She rose on this distinguish'd shore.
Here first the happy Paris stopp'd,
When Helen from her lord elop'd.
With pleas'd reflection I survey'd
Each secret grott, each conscious shade;
Envy'd his choice, approv'd his flame,
And fondly wish'd my lot the same.
O were the cause reviv'd again!
For charming Queensbury liv'd not then,
The radiant fruit, had she been there,
Would scarce have fall'n to Venus' share;
Saturnia's self had wav'd her claim,
And modest Pallas blush'd for shame ;
All had been right: the Phrygian swain
Had sigh'd for her, but sigh'd in vain ;
The fair Oenone joy'd to find
The pains she felt repaid in kind;
No rape revengʼd, no room for strife,
Atrides might have kept his wife,
Old Troy in peace and plenty smil❜d-
But the best poem had been spoil'd.
How did my heart with joy run o'er, When to the fam❜d Cecropian shore, Wafted by gentle breezes, we Came gliding through the smooth still sea! While backward rov'd my busy thought On deeds in distant ages wrought; On tyrants gloriously withstood; On seas distain'd with Persian blood;
On trophies rais'd o'er hills of slain
In Marathon's unrival'd plain.
Then, as around I cast my eye,
And view'd the pleasing prospect nigh,
The land for arms and arts renown'd,
Where wit was honor'd, poets crown'd;
Whose manners and whose rules refin’d
Our souls, and civiliz’d mankind;
Or (yet a loftier pitch to raise
Our wonder, and complete its praise)
The land that Plato's master bore-
How did my heart with joy run o'ert
Now coasting on the eastern side, We peep'd where Peneus rolls his tide : Where Arethusa came t' appease The shepherd that had lost his bees, And led him to Cyrene's grott; 'Tis a long tale, and matters not, Dryden will tell you all that past; See Virgil's Georgics, book the last. I speak on't, but to let you know This grott still stands in statu quo; Of which, if any doubt remain, I've proof, as follows, clear and plain. Here, sisters, we such honours met ! Such honors I shall ne'er forget. The Goddess (no uncommon case), Proud, I suppose, to shew her place, Or piqu'd perhaps at your renown,