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Confound so many sacred Names in one,
Thy Brother's Mother ! Sister to thy Son!
And fear'st thou not to see th'Infernal Bands,
Their Heads with Snakes, with Torches arm'd
Full at thy Face, th’avenging Brands to bear,
And shake the Serpents from their hissing Hair?
But thou in time th’increasing Ill controul,
Nor first debauch the Body by the Soul ;
Secure the sacred Quiet of thy Mind,
And keep the Sanctions Nature has design'd.
Suppose I shou'd attempt, th’ Attempt were vain,
No Thoughts like mine his finless Soul profane;
Observant of the Right; and O, that he
Cou'd cure my Madness, or be mad like me!
Thus she: But Cinyras, who daily fees
A Crowd of Noble Suitors at his Knees,
Among fo.many, knew not whom to chuse,
Irresolute to grant, or to refuse.
But having told their Names, enquir’d of her,
Who pleas’d her best, and whom she would prefer
The blushing Maid stood silent with Surprize,
And on her Father fix'd her ardent Eyes,
And looking sigh’d, and as she sigh’d, began Round Tears to shed, that scalded as they ran. The tender Sire, who saw her blush, and cry, Ascrib'd it all to Maiden-modesty, And dry'd the falling Drops, and yet more kind, He stroak'd her Cheeks, and holy Killes join'd. She felt a secret Venom fire her Blood, And found more Pleasure than a Daughter shou’d; And, ask'd again, what Lover of the Crew She likod the best, she answer'd, One like you. . Mistaking what she meant, her pious. Will He prais'd, and bad her so continue still: The Word of Pious heard, she blush'd with shame Of secret Guilt, and cou'd not bear the Name.
'Twas now the mid of Night,whenSlumbers close Our Eyes, and sooth our Cares with soft Repose; But no Repose cou'd wretched Myrrha find, Her Body rouling, as she rould her Mind: Mad with Desire, she ruminates her Sin, And wishes all her Wishes o'er again: Now she despairs, and now resolves to try; Wou'd not, and wou'd again, she knows not why;
Stops, and returns, makes and retracts the Vow;
Fain wou'd begin, but understands not how.
As when a Pine is hew'd upon the Plains,
And the last mortal Stroke alone remains,
Lab'ring in Pangs of Death, and threatning all,
This way and that she nods, consid’ring where to
So Myrrha’s Mind, impellid on either Side, (fall:
Takes ev'ry Bent, but cannot long abide:
Irresolute on which the shou'd relie,
At last unfix'd in all, is only fix'd to die;
On that fad Thought she refts, resolv'd on Death,
She rises, and prepares to chgak her Breath:
Then while about the Beam her Zone fhe ties,
Dear Cinyras, farewell, fhe softly cries;
For thee I die, and only wish to be
Not hated, when thou know'l I die for thee:
Pardon the Crime, in pity to the Cause:
This said, about her Neck the Noose she draws.
The Nurse, who lay without, her faithful Guard,
Though not the Words, the Murmurs overheard,
AndSighs,and hollowSounds:Surpriz’d withFright,
She starts, and leaves her Bed, and springs a Light;
Unlocks the Door, and entring out of Breath,
The Dying faw, and Instruments of Death;
She shrieks, the curs the Zone with trembling hafte,
And in her Arms her fainting Charge embrac'd;
Next, (for she now had leisure for her Tears)
She weeping ask'd, in these her blooming Years,
What unforeseen Misfortune caus'd her Care,
To loath her Life, and languish in Despair !
The Maid, with down-cast Eyes, and mute with
For Death unfinish’d, and ill-tim'd Relief, [Grief
Stood sullen to her Suit: The Beldame press’d
The more to know, and bar'd her wither'd Breaft,
Adjur'd her by the kindly Food she drew
From those dry Founts, her secret Ill to show.
Sad Myrrha sigh’d, and turn'd her Eyes aside;
The Nurse still urg'd, and would not be deny’d:
Nor only promis'd Secresie; but pray'd
She might have leave to give her offer'd Aid.
Good-will, she faid, my want of Strength supplies,
And Diligence shall give, what Age denies:
If strong Desires thy Mind to Fury move,
With Charms, and Medcines, Ican cure thy Love:
If envious Eyes their hurtful Rays have caft,
More pow'rful Verse shall free thee from the Blaft:
If Heav'n offended sends thee this Disease,
Offended Heav'n with Pray’rs we can appease.
What then' remains, that can these Cares procure?
Thy House is flourishing, thy Fortune sure:
Thy careful Mother yet in Health survives,
And, to thy Comfort, thy kind Father lives.
The Virgin started at her Father's Name,
And sigh'd profoundly, conscious of the Shame :
Nor yet the Nurse her impious Love divind;
But yet surmis'd, that Love disturb’d her Mind:
Thus thinking, the pursu'd her Point, and laid
And lulld within her Lap the mourning Maid;
Then softly sooth'd her thus, I guess your Grief:
You love, my Child ; your Love shall find Relief.
My long-experienc'd Age shall be your Guide;
Relie on that, and lay Distrust aside:
No Breath of Air shall on the Secret blow,
Nor shall (what most you fear) your Father know.
Struck once again, as with a Thunder-clap,
The guilty Virgin bounded from her Lap,