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Voltaire

Azolan

At village lived, in days of yore,
A youth bred in Mahomet's lore;
His well-turned limbs were formed with grace,
With blooming beauty glowed his face;
His name was Azolan, with care
The Koran he had written fair;
Was on its study ever bent,
To get it all by heart he meant.
From the most early youth his breast
By zeal for Gabriel was possessed;
This minister of the most high
Descended to him from the sky.
'The zeal that in thy bosom glows,'
Said he, 'thy guardian Gabriel knows:
To Gabriel gratitude is dear,
To make your fortune I'm come here;
You'll in short time as first divine
Of Medina and Mecca shine;
This, next to his place who is chief
Of all who hold the true belief,

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The Padlock

I triumphed, love's victorious power
Prevailed, and near approached the hour
Which should have crowned our mutual flame,
Just then your tyrant husband came.
That hoary Jailer was too hard,
To love he all access has barred,
And all our wishes to defeat,
Secures the key of pleasure's seat;
For such strange matters to account,
Our tale to ancient days should mount;
Ceres must to you sure be known,
Ceres one daughter had alone,
Who much resembled you in face,
Beauteous, adorned with every grace,
To the soft passion much inclined,
And guided by a Cupid blind.
Hymen, a god as blind as he,
Treated him as he treated thee;
Pluto, the rich and old, in hell
Made her his wife, and forced to dwell;

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Thelema and Macareus

Thelema's lively, all admire
Her charms, but she's too full of fire;
Impatience ever racks her breast,
Her heart a stranger is to rest.
A jocund youth of bulky size
This nymph beheld with tender eyes,
From hers his humor differed quite,
Black does not differ more from white.
On his broad face and open mien
There dwelt tranquility serene;
His converse is from languor free
And boisterous vivacity.
His sleep was sound and sweet at night,
Active he was at morn like light;
As day advanced he pleased still more,
Macareus was the name he bore.
His mistress void of thought as fair
Tormented him with too much care:
She adoration thought her due,
And into fierce reproaches flew;

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The Temple of Friendship

Sacred to peace, within a wood's recess,
A blest retreat, where courtiers never press,
A temple stands, where art did never try
With pompous wonders to enchant the eye;
There are no dazzling ornaments, nor vain,
But truth, simplicity, and nature reign:
The virtuous Gauls raised erst the noble shrine,
And sacred vowed to Friendship's power divine.
Mistaken mortals who believed their race,
Would never cease to crowd to such a place!
Orestes' name, and Pylades' appear,
Wrote on the front, names still to Friendship dear:
Pirithous' medal of uncommon size,
Those of soft Nisus and Achates wise.
All these are heroes, and as friends renowned,
These names are great, but still in fable found;
The power to this remote retreat retired,
Nor Tripod boasts, nor priests with truth inspired;
She miracles but seldom can effect,
No popish saint e'er met with such neglect.

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