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And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;

Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.

Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought

The close recesses of the virgin's thought:

As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,

He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind',

Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,

An earthly lover lurking at her heart.

Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expir'd,

Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir'd.

The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring forfex wide,
T' enclose the lock; now joins it to divide.
E'en then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched sylph too fondly interpos'd;
Fate urg'd the sheers, and cut the sylph in twain,
(But airy substance soon unites again)

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The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!

Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs, breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels, fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring dust and painted fragments lie!

'Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,' The victor cry'd, ' the glorious prize is mine! While fish in streams, or birds delight in air, Or in a coach and six the British fair, As long as Atalantis shall be read, Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed, While visits shall be paid on solemn days, When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,

While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live!'

What time would spare, from steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound,
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hair should feel
The conqu'ring force of unresisted steel?

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