Cymon and Iphegenia
Near a thick grove whose deep embow'ring shade
Seem'd most for love and contemplations made,
A crystal stream with gentle murmur flows,
Whose flow'ry banks are formed for soft repose.
Thither retired from Phoebus' sultry ray
And lulled in sleep, fair Iphigenia lay.
Cymon, a clown who never dreamt of love,
By chance was stumping to a neighb'ring grove:
He trudg'd along unknowing what he thought
And whistled as he went for want of thought.
But when he first beheld the sleeping maid,
He gap'd, he star'd, her lovely form survey'd,
And while with artless voice he softly sung,
Beauty and Nature thus informed his tongue:
The stream that glides in murmurs by,
Whose glassy bosom shews the sky,
Completes the rural scene.
But in thy bosom, charming maid,
All heav'n itself is sure displayed,
Too lovely Iphigene.
She wakes and starts,
Poor Cymon trembling stands,
Down falls the staff from his unnerved hands.
"Bright excellence", said he, "Dispel all fear,
Where honour's present sure no danger's near."
Half rais'd, with gentle accent she replies,
"O Cymon, if it's you I need not rise,
Thy honest heart no wrong can entertain.
Pursue thy way, and let me sleep again."
The clown, transported, was hot silent long,
But thus with extasy pursued his song
Thy jetty locks that careless break
In wonton ringlets down thy neck,
Thy love inspired mien.
Thy swelling bosom, skin of snow
And taper shape enchant me so.
I die for Iphigene.
Amazed she listens, nor can trace from whence
The former clod is thus inspired with sense;
She gazes, finds him comely tall and straight,
And thinks he might improve his awkward gait;
Bids him be secret, and next day arttend
At the same hour to meet his faithful friend.
Thus mighty Love can teach a clown to plead,
And Nature's language surest will succeed.
Love's a pure, a sacred fire,
Kindling gentle chaste desire,
Love can rage itself control,
And elevate the human soul.
Depriv'd of that our wretched state
Had made our lives of too long date.
But blest with beauty and with love
We taste what angels do above.
Fall asleep or hearing die.
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text),
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Text added to the website: 2009-11-16.
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