« ZurückWeiter »
Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside,
A constant vapour o'er the palace flies;
Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen, Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen. Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held out, One bent; the handle this, and that the spout: A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod, walks; Here sighs a jar, and there a goose-pie talks; Men prove with child, as powerful fancy works, And maids, turp'd bottles, call aloud for corks.
Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic band,
If e'er with airy horns I planted heads,
The goddess with a discontented air
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found, Her eyes dejected, and her hair unbound. Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent, And all the furies issued at the vent. Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. • wretched maid !' she spread her hands, and cried
, (While Hampton's echoes, wretched maid !' ree
Already see you a degraded toast,
She said ; then raging to sir Plume repairs,
devil ? .Z----ds ! damn the lock! 'fore Gad, you must be
civil ! Plague on't 'tis past a jest--nay pr’ythee, pox! Give her the hair'...he spoke, and rapp'd his box.
• It grieves me much (replied the peer again) Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain; But by this lock, this sacred lock, I swear (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its hononrs shall renew, Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That while my nostrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear.' He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so; He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow. Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears; Ou her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said:
For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my favourite curl away; Happy! ah ten times happy had I been, If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! Yet am not I the first mistaken maid By love of courts to numerous ills betray'd. Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd In some lone isle, or distant northern land: Where the gilt chariot never marks the way. Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die. What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam? Oh had I staid, and said my prayers at home! 'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell; Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; The tottering china shook without a wind, Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of fate, In mystic visions, now believ'd too late! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! My hand shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: These in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; The sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own; Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal sheers demands, And tempts, once more, thy sacrilegious hands. Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!'
SHE said: the pitying audience melt in tears; But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the baron's
ears. In vain Thalestris with reproach assails, . For who can move when fair Belinda fails? Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain, While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain. Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan; Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began : : “Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford, Why angels call's, and angel-like ador'd ? Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd
+ beaux ? Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains : That men may say, when we the front-box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face! Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day, Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away, Who would not scorn what housewife's cares pro
duce, Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? To patch, nay ogle, may become a saint; Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint. But since, alas ! frail beauty must decay; Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to grey; Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade, And she who scorns a man must die a maid; What then remains but well our power to use, And keep good-humour still, whate'er we lose? .