The Story of Phœbus and Daphne, Applied

Thyrsis, a youth of the inspired train,
Fair Sacharissa lov’d, but lov’d in vain;
Like Phœbus sung the no less amorous boy;
Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy;
With numbers he the flying nymph pursues,
With numbers such as Phœbus’ self might use;
Such is the chase when Love and Fancy leads,
O’er craggy mountains, and through flow’ry meads;
Invok’d to testify the lover’s care,
Or form some image of his cruel fair:
Urg’d with his fury, like a wounded deer,
O’er these he fled; and now approaching near,
Had reach’d the nymph with his harmonious lay,
Whom all his charms could not incline to stay.
Yet what he sung in his immortal strain,
Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain;
All but the nymph that should redress his wrong,
Attend his passion, and approve his song.
Like Phœbus thus, acquiring unsought praise,
He catch’d at love, and fill’d his arm with bays.

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