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Poem by Janet Little
JOIN now Apollo the harmonious strain, O Muses, Graces, all ye gentle train; Once more conspire to aid my humble lays, And wake my harp to fam'd Lothario's praise. A comedy youth, young Cupid's favourite care, Handsome in shape, and graceful in his air: In all respects he's form'd the fair to please, Can sigh, and talk, and laugh, and love with ease. But O what words, what numbers can express, What muse can paint Lothario's late distress? This I'll essay, although the task's severe, While Delia drops a sympathetic tear. And thus it happen'd, on a fatal morn, Rous'd with the sound of hound and echoing horn, This charming youth, on rural sports intent, With some companions to the field he went: Each hound he summons, they attend him there, With eager steps pursue the timid hare. Pleas'd with their toil, o'er various heights they went, Nor did the craggy cliffs their speed prevent. Too soon Lothario gain'd the wish'd for prize, While horns and hounds re-echo to the skies. The chase now past, their late inspiring toil, Our jovial sportsman led to rest a while. To the next inn with hasty steps they pass, And quaff with social hearts the cheerful glass. In foaming goblets pleasing draughts went round; In sparkling liquors ev'ry care was drown'd. But ah! the fumes affect Lothario's brain; Once more he tries for pleasure on the plain. The scene is chang'd, his pleasure now is gone, Lost and forlorn he wanders all alone. With weari'd steps, o'er barren heaths he past, And in Bane's moss, alas! he lands at last. His trembling hand, which held the lifeless hare, Now casts it from him as not worth his care. Three times he drops, three times he lifts his plaid, Hope and despair by turns his breast invade: He look'd for help, alas! no help was nigh, And in the dreary moss he's forc'd to lie. 'Am I to Death become an easy prey,' With quiv'ring lips methought he thus did say, 'Now farewell hope, my much lov'd friends, adieu; 'My dear companions, charming Delia too, 'O wert thou near to heave a tender sigh, 'Upon thy breast I would contented die: 'With ravish'd eyes I'll view thy charms no more; 'My race is run, life's fleeting vision o'er.' Thus did the sad Lothario vent his grief, Till balmy sleep bestow'd a short relief. On mossy pillows rests his drooping head, While azure curtains hang around his bed, All night expanded on the turf he lay, Nor op'd his eyes till dawning of the day: The chilling frost his tender form had seiz'd, But Phoebus' beams the captive swain releas'd, Abash'd, confounded, being thus confin'd, To free himself part of his coat resign'd; With tardy pace the plains he wander'd o'er, Some cot or village wish'd to see once more. Kind fortune now did her assistance lend, And led him safely to a gen'rous friend. Lothario view'd the mansion with delight, And at the door he knock'd with all his might. Impatience, by repeated strokes, confest, Till they with joy receiv'd the welcome guest, Who seem'd as one from mortals long estrang'd, His lost address and comely visage chang'd: His clothes by nauseous mud bespatter'd o'er; His hair dishevell'd, and his ruffles tore. Struck with amaze, they view'd his dismal case, Nor were they slow in rend'ring him solace, Unto the parlour fire he first is led, From thence into Matilda's downy bed; Then with assiduous care they kindly soothe And cheer the lonely, wand'ring, helpless youth. Each friendly aid conspir'd to ease his pain, And bring Lothario to himself again. Ye lovely nymphs, now sing in softest strains Lothario's praise, the pride of Scotia's plains; Ye charming youths, blest with his company, Pray that Bane Moss he never more may see.
Janet Little's other poems:
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