Chorus of Youths and Virgins -

SEMICHORUS

O H Tyrant Love! hast thou possest
The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast?
Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,
And Arts but soften us to feel thy flame.
Love, soft intruder, enters here,
But entring learns to be sincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves.
Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire,
Which Nature has imprest?
Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire
The mild and gen'rous breast?

CHORUS

Love's purer flames the Gods approve;
The Gods and Brutus bend to love:
Brutus for absent Portia sighs,
And sterner Cassius melts at Junia's eyes.
What is loose love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust,
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wand'ring, self-consuming fire.
But Hymen's kinder flames unite;
And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light,
Productive as the Sun.

SEMICHORUS

Oh source of ev'ry social tye,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother, husband, friend?
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise;
Or meets his spouse's fonder eye;
Or views his smiling progeny;
What tender passions take their turns,
What home-felt raptures move?
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,
With rev'rence, hope, and love.

CHORUS

Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmizes,
Hence false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprizes;
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine:
Purest love's unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure;
Sacred Hymen! these are thine.
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