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The tender father kindly smil'd
With fulness of content,
Who, bashful, blush'd confent.
O then to paint the vast delight
That fill'd Sir ELDRED's heart, To tell the transports of the Knight,
Wou'd mock the Muse's art.
But every kind and gracious foul,
Where gentle passions dwell, Will better far conceive the whole, Than
Muse can tell.
The more the Knight his BirTHA knew,
The more he priz'd the maid ; Some worth each day produc'd to view, Some grace
cach hour betray'd.
The virgin too was fond to charm
The dear accomplish'd Youth ; His fingle breast she ftrove to warm,
And crown'd, with, love his truth,
Unlike the dames of modern days,
Who general homage claim, Who court the universal gaze,
And pant for public fame.
Then Beauty but on merit smild,
Nor were her chatte smiles sold ; No. venal father
his child For grandeur or for gold.
The ardour of young ELDRED's flame
But ill cou'd brook delay,
A speedy nuptial day.
The fond impatience of his breast
'Twas all in vain to hide, But she his eager fuit represt
With modeft, maiden pride.
When oft Sir ELDRED press'd the day
Which was to crown his truth,
“ O happy state of youth!
16 It little recks the woes which wait
6. To scare its dreams of joy, " Nor thinks to-morrow's alter'd fate
“ May all those dreams destroy.
6. And tho' the flatterer, Hope, deceives,
6. And painted prospects shews; " Yet man, still cheated, still believes
“ Till death the bright scene clofe.
« So look'd my bride, so sweetly mild,
" On me her beauty's llave ; " But whilft she look'd, and whilft she smild, 66 She sunk into the
“ Yet, О forgive an old man's care,
Forgive a father's zeal : 1. Who fondly loves muft greatly fear,
" Who fears muft greatly feel.
« Once more in soft and facred bands
" Shall Love and Hymen meet ;
The rising sun inflam’d the fky,
The golden orient blush'd,
A brighter crimson Aush'd
The Priest, in milk-white vestments clad,
Perform'd the mystic rite ;
To Hymen's chaste delight.
How feeble language were to speak
Th’immeasurable joy That fir'd Sir ELDRED's ardent cheek,
And triumph'd in his eye!
Sir ARDOLPH's pleasure stood confeft,
A pleasure all his own ;
many a grief had known.
'Twas such a sober sense of joy
As Angels well might keep; Ajoy chastis'd by piety,
Ajoy prepar'd to weep.
To recollect her scatter'd thought,
And sun the noon-tide hour, The lovely bride in secret fought
The coolness of her bower.
Long she remaind-th' enamour'd Knight,
Impatient at her stay,
When BIRTHA was away.
Betakes him to the secret Bower ;
His footsteps foftly move ; Impellid by every tender power,
He steals upon his love.
0 horror ! horror! blafting fight!
He sees his Birtha's charms, Reclin'd with melting fond delight,
Within a stranger's arms.
Wild frenzy fires his frantic hand,
Distracted at the fight,
And ftabs the stranger Knight.
“. Die traitor, die, thy guilty flames
“ Demand th' avenging íteel" “ It is my brother, the exclaims,
“ 'Tis EdwY-Oh farewell !
An aged peasant, Edwy's guide,
The good old ARDOLPH fought; He told him that his bofom's pride,
His Edwy, he had brought.
O how the father's feelings melt!
How faint and how revive !
To find his son alive.
“ Let me behold my darling's face,
“ And bless him ere I die! Then with a swift and vigorous pace,
He to the the Bower did hie.
O sad reverse !-funk on the ground
His Naughter'd son he view'd, And dying Birtha close he found
In brother's blood imbru'd.
Cold, fpeechless, senselefs ELDRED near
Gaz'd on the deed he'd done : Like the blank ftatue of Despair,
Or Madness grav'd in stone.
The father faw-fo Jepthah ftoad,
So turn'd his woe-fraught eye,
His zeal had doom'd to die.
He look'd the woe he could not speak,
And on the pale corse prelt
And filent, sunk to reft.
Then Birtha faintly rais'd her eye,
Which long had ceas'd to stream, On Eldred fix'd with many a figh
Its dim, departing beam.
The cold, cold dews of haftening death
Upon her pale face stand;
And tremulous her hand.