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Pray madam give my duty to my unkle and
my good Ant, and my love to my Ingenious
Cousin and humble service to good Mrs.
Dwight.

Some of these letters are indorsed with the
dates in Henry Gascoigne's hand " Dick
Steele."

Always Dick from the beginning!

PERVIGILIUM VENERIS.
(PARAPHRASED.)

THIS poem, commonly printed amongst the verses
''attributed to Gallus," was asserted by Erasmus to
have been written by Catullus, and by Saumasius to be
the work of some unknown poet of the middle ages.
The supposition, however, which attributes the authorship
of the poem to Annæus Florus, has been sanctioned
by Wernsdorf: and certainly, whatever be the period
which produced the Pervigilium Veneris, it would seem
to have been a period of literary decadence, such as the
age of Hadrian. That which has tempted to a paraphrase
of this little poem is the essentially modern
character of it. Its defects have the sort of charm
which belongs to features the most faulty, if those features
strengthen the family likeness in the countenance
of a kinsman.

       LOVE, to-morrow! love, to-morrow,
          Ye that never have loved before!
       And to-morrow, again to-morrow,
          Ye that have loved, love once more!

       New is now the song I sing,
       As the freshness of the morn
       In the sweetness of the Spring,
       When the old world is new-born.
       In the Spring the loves assemble,
       And the birds in budded bowers;
       In the Spring the young leaves tremble
       To wet kissings of sun showers.
       'Tis the Spring time, and to-morrow,
       All among the leafy groves,
       Shall divine Dione borrow,
       To make cradles for her Loves,
       Myrtle branches glad and green.
       And, to-morrow, lord and king
       Love shall be, from morn to e'en,
       Of the kingdoms of the Spring,
       And Love's Mother, lady and queen,
       These shall rule the world, I ween.

       Love, to-morrow! love, to-morrow,
          Ye that never have loved before!
       And to-morrow, again to-morrow,
          Ye that have loved, love once more!

       Form'd from out the white sea foam
       And pure ichor all divine,
       'Mid those azure flocks that roam
       Pastured on the breezy brine,
       When the Spring was on the earth,
       And the Spring's warmth in the water,
       Did old Ocean's joy give birth
       To his wave-born wanton daughter,
       Therefore to Dione dear
       Is the birth-time of the year.

       Love, to-morrow! love, to-morrow,
          Ye that never have loved before!
       And to-morrow, again to-morrow,
          Ye that have loved, love once more.

       She it is, with gemmy blossoms,
       That doth paint the purple year.
       She, from whose abundant bosoms
       (While the amorous atmosphere
       Hums for joy) fresh-bubbled showers
       Brim the milk-pails warm and white.
       She, at morning, decks the flowers
       With the lucid tears of night:
       Dewy drops, whose downward brightness,
       Pausing, trembling, seems to fall,
       Yet, sustained by its own lightness,
       Cannot leave those petals small!
       Silver drops, from stars distill'd
       By the balmy night serene:
       Silent, sliding touches, skill'd
       To unloose that clinging green
       Woven the warm buds around
       With such quaint concealing care;
       Which their sweet breasts, yet unbound,
       Do, for virgin vesture, wear;
       Till the maiden flowers, at morn,
       Blushing meet the enamoured sun
       For whose kisses they were born;
       Trembling, glowing, one by one
       (Timorous and naked brides!)
       Each from out her secret bower,
       Where no more chill April hides
       What to find the wistful shower,
       Sighing low, the leaves divide,
       Flower peeps forth after flower.
       O that blush of maiden woo'd,
       When her virgin love is won!
       What is like it? Cypris' blood
       And the kiss of Cypris' Son,
       And the morning's purple wings,
       And the ruby's burning heart,
       These, and all delicious things,
       Of its beauty are but part!
       Yesterday, O trembling maid,
       Buried those ripe blushes lay
       Under virgin snows, afraid
       Of the tale they tell to-day:
       Yesterday, that little breast,
       Happy bride, hid joy, like sorrow,
       Fearful, in its flutter'd vest.
       Love shall loose the strings to-morrow.

       Love, to-morrow! love, to-morrow,
          Ye that never have loved before!
       And to-morrow, again to-morrow,
          Ye that have loved, love once more!

       She, their gentle Deity,
       Calls the nymphs in myrtle grove.
       But their leader? Who is he,
       If he be not armèd Love?
       No. To-day is holiday.
       Lore hath laid his arms aside.
       Naked will he sport and play,
       All the amorous Spring-tide,
       Lest his bow and arrows trim,
       Or his torch, should do some ill.
       Yet, O nymphs, beware of him!
       Naked Love is weapon'd still.

       Love, to-morrow! love, to-morrow,
          Ye that never have loved before!
       And to-morrow, again to-morrow,
          Ye that have loved, love once more!

       Maidens, chaste and pure as thou,
       Virgin Delia, to thee
       Venus sends us. Prithee now
       To our revels welcome be.
       Leave our pleasant grove unstain'd
       By the blood of savage beast,
       And, by maiden prayers constrain 'd,
       Deign to grace our jocund feast.
       Nights of azure weather three,
       Dancing these dim woods of thine,
       Thou our merry troops shalt see
       Crown'd with roses and myrtle twine.
       Ceres will not be away;
       Nor the tippling Bacchus, Lady;
       Nor the Lord of lyric lay;
       All along the leafage shady
       (If thou wilt not say us nay)
       Thee to charm, the sweet night long,
       We will chaunt our roundelay;
       And thyself shalt praise our song.
       Prithee, Delia, do not stay
       From Dione's court to-day.

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