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William Collins (Уильям Коллинз)


Abra; or, The Georgian Sultana


  ORIENTAL ECLOGUE

  SCENE, A forest.
  TIME, The evening.


  In Georgia's land, where Tefflis' towers are seen,
  In distant view, along the level green,
  While evening dews enrich the glittering glade,
  And the tall forests cast a longer shade,
  What time 'tis sweet o'er fields of rice to stray,  
  Or scent the breathing maize at setting day;
  Amidst the maids of Zagen's peaceful grove,
  Emyra sung the pleasing cares of love.

    Of Abra first began the tender strain,
  Who led her youth with flocks upon the plain. 
  At morn she came those willing flocks to lead,
  Where lilies rear them in the watery mead;
  From early dawn the livelong hours she told,
  Till late at silent eve she penn'd the fold.
  Deep in the grove, beneath the secret shade,  
  A various wreath of odorous flowers she made:
  Gay-motley'd pinks and sweet jonquils she chose,
  The violet blue that on the moss-bank grows;
  All sweet to sense, the flaunting rose was there;
  The finish'd chaplet well adorn'd her hair.  

    Great Abbas chanced that fated morn to stray,
  By love conducted from the chase away;
  Among the vocal vales he heard her song,
  And sought, the vales and echoing groves among;
  At length he found, and woo'd the rural maid; 
  She knew the monarch, and with fear obey'd.
    'Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
    'And every Georgian maid like Abra loved!'

    The royal lover bore her from the plain;
  Yet still her crook and bleating flock remain: 
  Oft, as she went, she backward turn'd her view,
  And bade that crook and bleating flock adieu.
  Fair, happy maid! to other scenes remove,
  To richer scenes of golden power and love!
  Go leave the simple pipe and shepherd's strain; 
  With love delight thee, and with Abbas reign!
    'Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
    'And every Georgian maid like Abra loved!'

    Yet, 'midst the blaze of courts, she fix'd her love
  On the cool fountain, or the shady grove; 
  Still, with the shepherd's innocence, her mind
  To the sweet vale, and flowery mead, inclined;
  And oft as spring renew'd the plains with flowers,
  Breathed his soft gales, and led the fragrant hours,
  With sure return she sought the sylvan scene,  
  The breezy mountains, and the forests green.
  Her maids around her moved, a duteous band!
  Each bore a crook, all rural, in her hand:
  Some simple lay, of flocks and herds, they sung;
  With joy the mountain and the forest rung.
    'Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
    'And every Georgian maid like Abra loved!'

    And oft the royal lover left the care
  And thorns of state, attendant on the fair;
  Oft to the shades and low-roof'd cots retired,  
  Or sought the vale where first his heart was fired:
  A russet mantle, like a swain, he wore,
  And thought of crowns, and busy courts, no more.
    'Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
    'And every Georgian maid like Abra loved!' 

    Blest was the life that royal Abbas led:
  Sweet was his love, and innocent his bed.
  What if in wealth the noble maid excel?
  The simple shepherd girl can love as well.
  Let those who rule on Persia's jewel'd throne 
  Be famed for love, and gentlest love alone;
  Or wreathe, like Abbas, full of fair renown,
  The lover's myrtle with the warrior's crown.
  O happy days! the maids around her say;
  O haste, profuse of blessings, haste away!  
    'Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
    'And every Georgian maid like Abra loved!'



William Collins's other poems:
  1. Selim; or, The Shepherd's Moral
  2. Ode to Simplicity
  3. Agib and Secander; or, The Fugitives
  4. Ode on the Grave of Thomson
  5. Ode to Fear


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