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ADVERTISEMENT. The Editor presents to his Fair Patronesses this little piece, rather as a specia
men of that species of poetry he wishes to see cultivated by persons of fuperior genius and learning, than as a production in itself compleat: he is fully sensible he has much to fear, if judged by the strict rules of severe criticism; though he cannot relinquish the flattering hope, that this little Story, and it's intended Moral, may in some degree contribute to the entertainment of his kind Friends--the only idea under which he will attempt to jur. tify the insertion of any performance of his own, in a Collection to truly
respectable. The Editor begs leave to add, that his Story has, at least, the claim of NOVEL
TY-and, if it should be found to meet with the general approbation of his numerous friends, be means to lay before them, at the commencement of each future volume, somewhat of a different kind, the best he may be able to produce.
E British Fair, whose gentle bosoms know
To fhare luxurious in another's woe ;
Whose radiant orbs; when black misfortunes lour;
Refresh with Pity's dew the drooping fow'r ;
And, Phoebus like, thro' wat'ry clouds lament
The wasteful tempest which ye can't prevent :
Approach your Poet-fain would he relate,
(To guard from ills like her’s) Albina's fate.
And o ye
British Youths, unskill'd to rove
In the dark lab'rinths of illicit love ;
Whose gen'rous fouls permit not to despise
The pearly drops that glide from Pity's eyes ;
Ye too, draw near-and, plac'd by Virtue's fide,
Dare to indulge those griefs the scorns to hide:
Nor let the moral tale my muse supplies,
No more instruct when Time hath wip'd your eyes;
But, to compleat the purpose of these rhymes,
And shun Lothario's woes-avoid his crimes !
-Not far remov'd from that sequester'd bow'r,
Where once fecurely dwelt earth's fairest flow'r;
Till the vindi&tive queen with rage pursu'd,
And drench'd her cruel hands in injur'd blood;
High on a hill Earl Elwin's manfion stood,
In part secreted by a neighb’ring wood,
Which down the flope thro’ secret mazes leads,
To where the Iris laves her fav’rite meads:
Hither the earl would oft at dawn repair,
To breathe the fragrance of the vernal air ;
To hear the warblers of the vocal grove,
And join their strains of gratitude and love.
It chanc'd, one morning, while the earl thus stray'd,
A wretched fair at distance he furvey'd;
Whose careless tresses floating in the wind,
And various gestures, spoke her anguilli'd mind.
Sometimes she stepp'd with hafte among
Look'd wildly round, and dropp'd upon her knees-
Now rose again; and, with uplifted eyes,
Seem'd to implore compassion from the skies-
Then downward bent them, smote her heaving breast,
And with her snowy hand her temples press’d
Thus, in despair, a moment's space the stood,
Then ruh'd impetuous tow'rds the chryfal flood:
But ever as she reach'd the river's fide,
Sudden she stopp'd, and gaz'd upon the tide ;
Glancing from thence, quick ey'd the little grove,
And backward flew, as on the wings of Love.
This scene the earl beheld her twice repeat;
And wonder'd much the cause of her retreat.
When now, approaching secretly behind,
He saw Albina on the ground reclin'd;
And inftant knew her for the daughter fair
Of old Ernesto, tutor to his heir :
But O how high Earl Elwin's wonder rose,
To see her cireling arms a babe inclose!
Down her pale cheeks unnumber'd streams descend,
And broken fighs her lab’ring bosom rend :
In vain she stops the torrent of her eyes,
Her beating breast continues it's supplies !
The tender infant, delug'd o’er with woe,
Bids with her tears his streams of sorrow flow:
As if to heal her poignant grief he strove,
And felt, instinctively, maternal love!
The anxious mother wip'd his cherub face, And closely ftrain'd him in a fond embrace: Then, while she lull?d his infant griefs to reft, Her own fad tale in words like these express’d.
Ah, loft Albina! wretched, ruin'd fair!• Happ'ly, my babe, thou know'st not her despair; • Else wouldst thou mix, indeed, thy tears with mine, • And let a mother's woes be truly thine ! • For sure thy form angelick beauty wears, ' And human woes are wept with angels tears !-• But thou art man-and might, unmov’d, survey « The saddest scene misfortune can display!-• Yet have I known-too soon to be renew'd! • A father's feeling heart by grief fubdu'd; « Yet have I known an husband's streaming eyes • Mock the vain pomp which pageantry supplies :
" When noble Elwin mourn'd his Ella's doom,
• And follow'd weeping to her filent tomb;
• When good Ernesto fear'd Albina’s fate,
And on her bed of sickness mournful fate !
• O cruel death, to plunge thy keenest dart
* In happy Ella's breast, nor touch Albina's heart !*
A pause of woe here stopp'd the pow'rs of speech,
But still her fighs the earl's soft bosom reach:
The casual mention of his Ella's name,
Ernefto's daughter's obvious loss of fame,
Join'd with the great respect he bore her fire,
First swell his breast with sorrow—then with ire ;
Nor does he mourn her ills with idle grief,
But bends his thoughts, how hest to bring relief:
Resolves th' accursed cause with speed to find,
And let resentment follow close behind ;
Till his base heart, who dar'd her honour stain,
Should make a large amends, or suffer equal pain.
And now, while gen'rous Elwin penfive stands,
He hears Albina clasp her iv'ry hands;
A deep-drawn figh's unwelcome found succeeds,
Follow'd by words—at which his bofom bleeds.
• How vainly once, Albina, didit thou dream,
« That thou shouldīt baik in Fortune's brightest beam
! Enjoy each pleasure of exalted life,
And be fatal charm-Lothario's wife !
Alas! perfidious youth, he only strove
: 'To veil his purpose in the garb of love !
• Each specious art too well the faithless knew,
• Practis’d by false ones to ensnare the true:
« Too well he knew the pow'r affection gave,
And basely ruin'd her he swore to save !
• And thou, unhappy offspring of my shame,
✓ Thou too muft feel a mother's loss of fame!
« For soon-too soon !-thy blighted youth shall know,
✓ The child of Nature is the child of Woe!