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Grant, O grant me, gods! the power to express my transports and my gratitude, in hymns worthy of you! Full-blown nature now shines forth in all her charms; her riches she profusely pours around; mirth and festivity reigns throughout the plains. The prosperous year smiles in our vines and orchards. How beautiful appears this vast campaign! How delightful the variegated dress of autumn!
“ Happy the man whose heart feels no remorse ; who, with his lot contented, frequently enjoys the delight of doing good. The serenity of the morning invites him to new joy: his days are full of happiness; and night finds him in the arms of the sweetest slumbers: his mind is for ever open to the impressions of pleasure! The various beauties of the seasons enchant him; and he alone enjoys all the bounties of nature.
“ But doubly bless'd is he who shares his happiness with a companion form’d by virtue and the graces: with one like thee, my belov'd DAPHNE. Since HYMEN has united our destinies, there is no felicity that is so delightful to me. Yes, since HYMEN has united our destinies, they are like the concord of two flutes, whose pure and sweet accents repeat the same air. Whoever hears them is penetrated with joy. Did my eyes ever express a desire that thou didst not accomplish? Have I ever tasted any happiness that thou didst not augment? Did any care ever pursue me to thy arms, that thou didst not dispel, as the vernal sun dispels the fogs?
Yes, my spouse, the day that I conducted thee to my cottage, I saw all the joys of life attend thy train, and join themselves to our houshold gods, there for ever to remain. Domestic order and elegance, fortitude and joy, preside over all our labours, and the gods vouchsafe to bless thy undertakings.
“ Since thou hast been the felicity of my heart, since thou hast been mine, O DAPHNE! all that surrounds me is become more pleasing to my sight; prosperity has rested on my cottage, and dwells among my flocks, my plantations, and my harvests. Each day's labour is a new pleasure, and when I return, fatigued, to this peaceful roof, how delightfully am I solaced by thy tender assiduity! Spring now appears more joyous, summer and autumn more rich; and, when winter covers our habitation with its hoary frost, then, before the glowing fire, seated by thy side, I enjoy, in the midst of the most tender cares and pleasing converse, the delicious pleasure of domestic tranquillity. Let the north wind rage,
and let storms of snow hide the face of all the country from my view—shut up with thee, my DAPHNE! I feel, I more sensibly feel, that thou art all to me: and you, my lovely infants ! crown my felicity; adorned with all the graces of
your mother, you are to us an earnest of heaven's unbounded favours. The first words that DAPHNE taught you to lisp, was—that you loved me: health and gaiety smile in all your features, and sweet complacency shines already in your eyes : you are
the joy of our youth, and your prosperity will be the comfort of our latter days. When returning from the labours of the field, or from guarding my flocks, you meet me at the cottage-door with cries of joy ; when, hanging on my knees, you receive, with the transports of innocence, the trifling presents of fruits that I have gathered, or the little instruments that I have made, while tending my flocks, to form your hands, as yet too feeble, to culture the garden, or the field: gods! how does the sweet simplicity of your joys delight me !—In my transport, O DAPHNE, I rush to thy arms, that are open to embrace me; then, with what an enchanting grace you kiss away the tears of joy that flow from my eyes!”
While he thus sung, DAPHNE entered, holding in each arm an infant, more beautiful than love himself. The morning, bathed in resplendent dew, is not so charming as was DAPHNE, while tears of joy ran down her cheek.-0, my love! she sighing said, how happy am I! We are come we are come, to thank thee for thy tender love. At these words, he clasp'd the lovely infants and their mother in his arms: lost in delight, they could not speak. Ah, he who at that instant had seen them, must sure have felt, at the bottom of his heart, that the virtuous man alone is happy.
GRANT, O nymphs! grant that the waters of your spring may lave my wounded side. Give to this fountain a salutary power; for it was not rage or enmity that caused this blood to flow. The tender son of AMINTAS, assailed by a wolf, made the woods resound with his cries; when, at once, thanks to the immortal powers! I flew to his aid. While the ravenous beast was struggling under my blows, with his keen teeth he tore my side. O nymphs! be not offended that the blood which flows from my wound pollute your crystal waters. To-morrow, with the early dawn, I will sacrifice to you, on this bank, a kid, white as the snow just fallen from the skies.
WHY dost thou thus idly flutter among these rose-trees? Come, let us fly together to the center of yonder valley. Those shades conceal the nymphs who bathe in the transparent waters of the lake.
SECOND ZEPHYR. I shall not follow thee. Go, frisk about the nymphs; a more delightful task detains me here. I shall imbrue my wings in the dew that bathes these Aowers, and gather their delicious perfumes.
FIRST ZEPHYR. Is that a more delightful task than to mingle with the sportive nymphs, who gaiety for ever breathe ?
SECOND ZEPHYR. A tender virgin, beauteous as the youngest of the GRACES, will presently pass by this place. With each returning dawn, bearing on her arm a well-stored basket, she repairs to the cottage on the summit of yon hill. Dost thou not see it? 'Tis that whose mossy roof reflects the first rays of the morning. Thither MELINDA bears relief to indigence. A woman virtuous, but infirm and poor, dwells in that humble cot. Two infants, in the opening flower of innocence, wou'd weep of hunger by the bed of their unfortunate mother, were not MELINDA their guardian angel. Transported with having administered consolation to