From the German of Solomon Gessner.
It flies—the gilded vessel flies,
That wafts my Daphnis o’er the main,
A lovelier sun, to distant isles.
O, may no stormy blasts arise,
But zephyr skim the curling plain,
And Cupids wanton in her smiles!
Ye waves, that on your bosom bear
The happy bark that shrines my love,
Float smooth and sparkle round her sides!
Gods! when my Daphnis’ looks you share,
Her thoughts to me will homeward rove
Swifter than roll your billowy tides.
Ye shores, amid whose citron groves
A thousand little warblers sing,
Bid them for her their notes attune!
Ye fairy bow’rs, where Flora loves
To bind the earliest wreaths of spring,
Invite her from the beam of noon!
Sea, be thy surface ever bright,
And bid eternal calm preside!
My lovely Daphnis is thy care;
Thy orb, refulgent source of light,
Reflected in the lucid tide,
Is not so spotless, not so fair!
Fly forth my song, and bid the plain—
The grove—the vale—the mossy stream—
Resound celestial Daphnis’ praise!
Tell them, ‘when, from the frothy main,
‘Resplendent rose the Cnidian queen,
She own’d not half so soft a grace.’
Thus, while I sing the nymph I love
And vainly hope to paint her charms,
Pierced with the pangs of doubt I burn,
Then Ah, my fair, no longer rove;
Come and dispel these dire alarms;
Return, my angel, O return!
© Charles Tompson