"All these Pleasures of his Breast should die, / The Beams of Science from his Soul retire / And fade, extinguish'd by a nobler Fire, / As kindled Wood, howe'er its Flames may rise, / When the bright Sun appears, in Embers dies."
— Whaley, John (bap. 1710, d. 1745)
Whate'er might please a Knowledge-loving Mind,
Or where the Columns rose with beauteous Wreath,
Or Sculpture seem'd to speak, or Paint to breath;
And tho' each Day increas'd his curious Store
Thought his capacious Soul had room for more;
And little deem'd the Moment was so nigh,
When all these Pleasures of his Breast should die,
The Beams of Science from his Soul retire
And fade, extinguish'd by a nobler Fire,
As kindled Wood, howe'er its Flames may rise,
When the bright Sun appears, in Embers dies.
Minerva sudden from his Soul was fled,
And Venus reign'd successive in her stead.
A thousand fair ones of her frolick Train,
Long at the Youth had aim'd their Shafts in vain;
Lanc'd from the wanton Eye they sought his Heart,
But Virtue's Temper still repuls'd the Dart,
Nor all their Force nor Poison need he fear,
Virtue must tip the Point that enter'd there;
As Diamonds scorn the Pow'r of keenest Steel,
And touch'd alone by Fellow-Gems can feel.
One Glance at last an easy Passage found,
And undirected made the deeper Wound;
From Modesty's bright Quiver it was sent,
Nor knew its beauteous Owner where it went.
From chaste Delphina's pow'rful Eye it came,
Malta to Venice lent the charming Dame;
Malta, blest Isle! Whose Daughters all are fair,
Whose Sons to Manly Fortitude are dear,
So properly do Love and Glory meet,
And Valour still with Beauty holds his Seat.
Soon as his Breast receiv'd the potent Ray,
Whate'er possest it, instantly gave way;
As in the Wood before the Lightning's Beam,
Perish the Leaves, and the whole Tree is Flame.
Text from A Collection of Original Poems and Translations. By John Whaley (London: Printed for the Author, and Sold by R. Manby, and H. S. Cox, 1745). <Link to ESTC>
Note, attribution issues. Found in George Parker's Humorous Sketches (1782) and Life's Painter (1790), and in A Select Collection of Poems (1780).