[Page [94]]



1 DIREFUL indeed are thy effects, O love!
2 When Reason's voice deserts thy frantic shrine;
3 Platonic lessons no asylum prove;
4 His dictates must obsequious yield to thine.
5 Religion, in majestic form array'd,
6 Attempts to soothe the wild, disorder'd breast,
7 Alas! too often fails the promis'd aid,
8 Nor can procure one tranquil moment's rest.
9 The wise, subdu'd by thy tyrannic sway,
10 Thy cruel and malignant influence feel;
11 Compell'd to act by thy delusive ray,
12 As humble vot'ries at thine altars kneel.
[Page 95]
13 The Prince, the Peasant, drag an equal chain,
14 Nor high, nor low, thy subtle darts can brave.
15 Lucina felt the agonizing pain,
16 Then hopeless sunk amid the rapid wave.
17 She was of Annon's lovely nymphs the grace,
18 Of charms superior to the crowd possess'd:
19 Her shape was faultless, matchless fair her face,
20 Her virtues bright, by Envy's self confest.
21 Of all the sprightly youths that sought to gain
22 The envi'd conquest of her virgin heart,
23 Philander prov'd the dear distinguish'd swain,
24 Arm'd with the cruel, unrelenting dart.
25 He in soft accents urg'd his ardent flame,
26 And when Lucina would his suit deny,
27 Her beating bosom would assert his claim
28 Her modest blush, and more expressive eye.
29 At last her tongue, the purpose of her heart
30 Unto the youth convey'd, in tender strain:
31 Then mutual joy each whisper did impart,
32 So great the transport neither dream'd of pain.
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33 But Ah! their joys were soon for ever lost,
34 Her sire, enrag'd, forbid the nuptial tie,
35 Because Philander no rich stores could boast:
36 Charms most attractive to a parent's eye.
37 The injur'd youth was by resentment sway'd;
38 To this his softer passion soon gave way:
39 Too rash, alas! he sought another maid,
40 And left Lucina to despair a prey.
41 From ev'ry hope, from all her wishes torn,
42 Depriv'd of what alone could give relief,
43 The lovely fair, dejected and forlorn,
44 Some time in heavy sighs did vent her grief.
45 The nymphs assembling us'd their utmost art,
46 The sad Lucina's sorrows to beguile:
47 Vain was th' attempt to ease her bleeding heart,
48 Or from her eye extort a cheerful smile.
49 At latest hour, when each auspicious light
50 Seem'd hid in chaos Cynthia's silver beam
51 Withdrew its lustre on that fatal night,
52 Nor bless'd the shade nor wanton'd in the stream.
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53 Her auburne locks the mournful maiden tore,
54 Her downy pillow could afford no rest;
55 She wander'd where the swelling surges roar,
56 In wild despair she beat her snowy breast!
57 From Annon's cliff, she view'd the breaking wave;
58 Philander was her last, her darling theme;
59 No hand was near the frantic maid to save,
60 And, Sappho-like, love's victim she became!
61 Ye rigid parents, with attentive ear,
62 Instruction learn from this sad tale of wo:
63 Ye heedless maids, in time the danger fear,
64 That wrought Lucina's fatal overthrow.


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Title (in Source Edition): LUCINA: AN ELEGY.
Genres: heroic quatrain; elegy

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Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [94]-97.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Janet Little (later Richmond)