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You give us torment, and you give us ease, And vary our affections as you please ; Is not a heart so kind as yours in pain, To load your friends with cares you only feign; Your friends in grief, compos’d yourself, to leave? But 'tis the only way you 'll e'er deceive. Then still, great Sir, your moving power employ, To lull our sorrow, and correct our joy.
AUTHOR OF CLARISSA.
JOHN DUNCOMBE, A. M.
IF, ʼmid their round of pleasure, to convey
gay ; To swell their eyes with pearly drops, and share, With cards and dress, the converse of the fair: If, with the boasted bards of classic age, Th’attention of the learned to engage, And in the bosom of the rake to raise A tender, social feeling-merit praise ; The gay, the fair, the learn’d, even rakes, agree To give that praise to nature, truth, and thee.
Transported now to Harlowe-Place, we view Thy matchless maid her godlike tasks pursue ; Visit the sick or needy, and bestow Drugs to relieve, or words to soften woe ; Or, with the pious Lewen, hear her soar
Heights unattain’d by female minds before.
Now (direful contrast !) in each gloomy shade Behold a pitying swain, or weeping maid ! And hark! with sullen swing, the tolling bell Proclaims that loss which language fails to tell. In awful silence soon a sight appears, That points their sorrows, and renews their tears : For, lo! far-blackening all the verdant meads, With slow parade, the funeral pomp proceeds: Methinks even now I hear th' encumber'd ground, And pavement, echo with a rumbling sound : And see the servants' tearful eyes declare With speaking look, the herse, the herse, is here!
But, O thou sister of Clarissa's heart, Can I the anguish of thy soul impart, When, from
chariot flown with breathless haste,
By shame and sorrow equally opprest,
And you, ye fair, the wish of every heart,
The griesly king : in vain the tyrant tried
You too, ye libertines, who idly jest With virtue wrong'd, and innocence distrest; Who vainly boast of what should be your shame, And triumph in the wreck of female fame ; Be warn’d, like Belford, and behold, with dread, The hand of vengeance hovering o'er your head ! If not, in Belton's agonies you view What dying horrors are reserv'd for you.
In vain even Lovelace, healthy, young, and gay, By nature form’d to please, and to betray, Tried from himself, by change of place, to run ; For that intruder, Thought, he could not shun. Tasteless were all the pleasures that he view'd In foreign courts ; for conscience still pursu'd: The lost Clarissa each succeeding night, In starry garment, swims before his sight; Nor ease by day her shrill complaints afford, But far more deeply wound than Morden's sword.
O! if a sage
had thus on Attic plains Improv’d at once and charm’d the listening swains ; Had he, with matchless energy of thought, Great truths like these in antient Athens taught: On fam'd Ilyssus' banks in Parian stone His breathing bust conspicuous would have shone;