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Arcadius And Sepha - Poem by William Bosworth

Near to the Caspian streights, where Dolphins sing,
Hippobatos, a verdant Meadow lay,
Along which Meadow ran a silver Spring,
Winding her streams as careless of her way,
Here would she stay, and seem returning home,
Till with her self, her self was overcome.

Down by which brook there sate a little Ladd,
A little Ladd nam'd Epimenides,
Close to his foot a little Dog he had,
Whose Masters face Character'd his disease,
Sighing he said, and to the Powers above,
Make me (ô Gods) immortall for my love.

Snatch hence my soul, the better part I have,
And him of his detested life deprive,
Who vows to live obscurely in a Cave,
Shall Sepha die, and I remain alive?
Satyres goe weep, and when ye hear her name,
Blow forth my Loves inevitable fame.

Let swiftest thoughts possess my Sepha's name,
And sound her praise as swift as Eagles flie,
Let Marble be proud to preserve the same,
Lest rotten time out-slip her memorie,
Lest Trumpets cease to sound, and so forbear it,
Let Ecchoe's learn to dictate when they hear it.

Ye sliding streams, that pass so gently by,
Winding your waves, and do not faster flee,
Ioy you to hear my Sepha's Elegy?
Or doe you linger to condole with me?
'Tis to condole, since such is my estate,
Your bubling streams do murmur at my fate.

Ye little Birds that us'd to sit and sing,
While Driades with Musicks nimble touch,
(When woods and valleys did of Sepha ring)
Present harmonious tunes, to make her couch,
A nest of Heav'nly raptures, sweeter far,
With purer notes, than earthly noises are.

Why doe you now my Sepha's tunes forbear?
Why doe you cease to tune my Sepha's layes?
Why do'n't you now to wonted trees repair?
Why do'n't you sit and sing my Sepha's praise?
Ye warbling Chanters that such Musick bred,
Are ye grown weary, or is Sepha dead?

Or Sepha dead? is, Heav'nly Sepha dead?
No more shall earth be happy with her sweet,
No more shall eyes be with her beauty fed,
No more shall flowers be proud to kiss her feet,
No more shall Phoebus court her in a shower,
No more shall Bee's mistake her for a flower.

In blessed times when vertuous Sepha liv'd,
The happy earth was with her beauty drest,
Each greedy eye, that saw not Sepha, griev'd,
Each flower was proud, to be by Sepha prest,
Love-showring Phoebus spar'd no am'rous time,
And Bees on her did think to gather Thyme.

Blest be the season, and the hower blest,
When first my eyes in Sepha's eyes were seen,
When first my hopes began to build their nest,
When first I saw her walking on yon Green,
When first my lips silpt Nectar from her brest,
Blest be the season, and the hower blest.

Ye stately Pines that dwell on lofty Hils,
Stoop down your heads with a dejected fall,
Let Boreas go sport with whom he wills,
And though you knew her not, nor never shall,
Sob forth her plaints with a bewailing eye,
And say 'twas Sepha's death that made you dye.

Smilax, and Crocus, little blushing flowers,
Hence cease your red, and let your pale begin,
And, say you want those sweet distilling showers,
That Phoebus us'd to Court fair Sepha in,
Lillies forbear to stoop your drooping heads;
For now your shame, the fairest Lillie's dead.

That Lillie's dead in whom all graces been,
That Lillie's dead, the fairest of the Nine;
That Lillie's dead, where Natures art was seen,
That Lillie's dead, whose odours were divine.
That Lower, than whom more fairer there was none;
Is pluck't away, the fairest Lillie's gone.

She was the fairest, and the sweetest creature,
That ever yet was subject to the Gods,
For they resolv'd she was the only feature,
In whom they joy'd, the Powers delight in odds,
To deck their tents, Fair Sepha 'twas that mov'd
My soul to bless, thee Sepha whom I lov'd.

Some Poets feign there is a Heav'n on Earth,
Earth hath its joyes to make a happy time,
Admired odors giving a new birth,
And sweetning joyes, with Malli-Flora's thyme;
'Tis not a feigned, but Heav'n rightly fam'd,
For I enjoy'd the Heav'n the Poets nam'd.

Jove was propitious when I first begun
To Court fair Sepha, Eccho's nimble charm:
Rose-cheek't Adonis, fairer than the Sun,
Had not a sweeter choice, nor kinder harm;
Rough-footed Satyres, Satyres, Nymphs and Fauns,
Scatter'd her praise throughout Diana's lawns.

If I but walk't in Tempe, or the Groves,
To meditate my melancholly layes,
I was saluted with the murm'ring loves
Of shady Pines, repining at her praise,
Griev'd at her praise, when they her name did hear,
They sigh for want of her sweet presence there.

Or if, (weary of sighs) I left the bowers,
To recreate me in the whispring Air,
I was saluted with distilling showers,
That brought me tidings of my sweetest fair.
Coming from Heav'n they told me news of this,
Iove had prepar'd already for her bliss.

If to the Mountains I a voyage took,
Mountains with Roses, and with Pinks adorn'd,
There lay Adonis by his silver hook,
Courted by Venus, Venus by him scorn'd,
Venus with tears presents young Cupid's letter,
He hates her vows, and loves fair Sepha better.

If to the Garden Flora me invited,
Where all the dainty flowers are said to lye,
Those dainty flowers, that so much once delighted,
Are now abasht, and in their beauty dye,
Lillies and Roses startle at her name,
One pale for fear, the other red for shame.

If to the Woods perswaded by my Muse,
Even there were Ecchoes of sair Sepha's glory,
The warbling Chanters made a fine excuse,
For her delay; and chanted forth the story
Of her best praise; by which I understood,
They striv'd with tunes to tell her to the wood.

If I but chanc'd to walk unto the springs,
There sate the Muses warbling forth her story,
Wanton Thalia with sweet raptures sings,
Folding her name in Heav'ns immortall glory,
With Hymnes, and layes, they prattle forth delight,
And count her name the pen with which they write.

Yet sad Melpomine rejoyceth not,
Nor ought but imprecations 'stows upon her,
She saith her beauty is to her a blot,
Whose so much goodness robs them of their honor,
Help then Melpomine with thy sad verse,
To tell her fate, and houl upon her Herse.

These were the plaints the Cretan Lad bestow'd
The funeralls of his fair Sepha's death,
Behold said he, the service that I ow'd,
And vow'd to pay (Sepha) shall be my breath,
When heard by Ladies of renowned glory.
They urg'd him to relate his Sepha's story.

Ladies (said he) if your unhappy ears,
Admit such sad disasters to have room,
I by your looks your inward thoughts appears,
You'l Elegize this story that shall come.
You'l sigh to hear my Sepha's hap, while I,
Bend all my power to tell her fate, and dye.

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