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The pride of ev'ry grove I chose,
The violet sweet, and lilly fair, The dappl'd pink, and blushing rose,
To deck my charming Cloe's hair.
At morn the nymph vouchsaft to place
Upon her brow the various wreath ; The flow'rs less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath.
The flow'rs she wore along the day :
And ev'ry nymph and shepherd said, That in her hair they lookt more gay,
Than glowing in their native bed. Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odours lost, their colours past; She chang'd her look, and on the ground
Her garland and her eye she cast.
That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
As any Muse's tongue cou'd speak; When from it's lid a pearly tear
Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek. Dissembling what I knew too well,
My love, my life, said I, explain
This change of humour: pr’ythee tell :
That falling tear- -What does it means
She sigh’d; she smil'd : and to the flow'rs
Pointing, the lovely moralist said :
See! friend, in some few fieeting hours,
See yonder, what a change is made.
Ah me! the blooming pride of May,
And that of beauty are but one:
At morn both flourish bright and gay,
Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.
At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung;
The am'rous youth around her bow'd: At night her fatal knell was rung ;
I saw, and kiss'd her in her shrowd.
Such as she is, who dy'd to day ;
Such I, alas? may be to morrow : Go, Damon, bid thy muse display
The justice of thy Cloe's sorrow.
When poets wrote, and painters drew,
As Nature pointed out the view :
E’er Gothic forms were known in Greece,
To spoil the well-proportion'd piece:
And in our verse e'er monkish rhimes
Had jangl’d their fantastic chimes :
E’er on the flow'ry lands of Rhodes
Those knights had fix'd their dull abodes,
Who knew not much to paint or write,
Nor car'd to pray, nor dar'd to fight :
Protogenes, historians note,
Liv'd there, a burgess scot and lot;
And, as old Pliny's writings show,
Apelles did the same at Co.
Agreed these points of time and place,
Proceed we in the present case.
Picqu'd by Protogenes's fame,
From Co to Rhodes Apelles came;
To see a rival and a friend,
Prepar'd to censure, or commend,
Here to absolve, and there object,
As art with candor right direct.
He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings :
His servants follow with the things:
Appears the governante of th' house:
For such in Greece were much in use:
If young or bandsom, yea or no,
Concerns not me, or thee to know.
Does 'squire Protogenes live here?
Yes, sir say she with gracious air,
And curt’sey low; but just call d out
By lords peculiarly devout;
Who came on purpose, sir, to borrow
Our Venus, for the feast to-morrow,
To grace the church : 'tis Venus' day :
I hope, sir, you intend to stay,
To see our Venus : 'tis the piece
The most renown'd throughout all Greece,
So like th' original, they say :
But I have no great skill that way.
But, sir, at six ('tis now past three)
Dromo must make my master's tea :
At six, sir, if you please to come,
You'll find my master, sir, at home.
Tea, says a critic big with laughter,
Was found some twenty ages after :
Authors, before they write, shou'd read.
'Tis very true ; but we'll proceed.
And, sir, at present wou'd you please
To leave your name
-fair maiden, yes :
Reach me that board. No sooner spoke
But done. With one judicious stroke,
On the plain ground Apelles drew
A circle regularly true :
And will you please, sweet-heart, said he,
To shew you master this from me?
By it he presently will know,
How painters write their names at Co.
He gave the pannel to the maid.
Sniiling and curt’sing, sir, she said,
I shall not fail to tell my master :
And, sir, for fear of all disaster,
I'll keep it my own self; safe bind,
Says the old proverb, and safe find.
So, sir, as sure as key or lock
Your servant sir- -at six a clock.
Again at six Apelles came;
Found the same prating civil dame.
Sir, that my master has been here,
Will by the board it self appear.
If from the perfect line he found,
He has presum'd to swell the ronnd,
Or colors on the draught to lay:
'Tis thus (he order'd me to say)
Thus write the painters of this isle :
Let those of Co remark the style.
She said ; and to his hand restor'd
The rival pledge, the missive board.
Upon the happy line were laid
Such obvious light, and easie shade ;
That Paris' apple stood confest,
Or Leda's egg, or Cloe's breast.
Apelles view'd the finish'd piece ;
And live, said he, the arts of Greece !
Howe'er Protogenes and I
May in our rival talents vie ;
Howe,er our works may bave express’d,
Who truest drew, or color'd best;
When he beheld my flowing line ;
He found at least I cou'd design :
And from his artful round, I grant,
That he with perfect skill can paint.
The dullest genius cannot fail
To find the moral of my tale :
That the distinguish'd part of men,
With compass, pencil, sword, or pen,
Shou'd in life's visit leave their name,
In characters, which may proclaim,
That they with ardor strove to raise
At once their arts, and countrey's praise ;
And in their working took great care,
That all was full, and round, and fair.
Once on a time, in sunshine weather,
Falsehood and Truth walked out together,
The neighb’ring woods and lawns to view,
As opposites will sometimes do.
Through many a blooming mead they past,
And at a brook arriv'd at last.
The purling stream, the margin green,
With flowers bedeck’d, a vernal scene,
Invited each itinerant maid,
To rest awhile beneath the shade.
Under a spreading beech they sat,
And pass'd the time with female chat ;
Whilst each her character maintain'd;
One spoke her thoughts, the other feign'd.--
At length, quoth Falsehood, sister Truth,
(For so she call’d her from her youth.)
What if, to shun yon' suntry beam,
We bathe in this delightful stream;
The bottom smooth, the water clear,
- And there's no prying Shepherd near ?--
With all my heart, the nymph reply'd,
And threw her snowy robes aside,
Stript herself naked to the skin,