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But see! each musė, in Leo's golden days, sake to consent to the publication of one more corStarts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays; rect. This I was forced to, before I had executed Rome's ancient genius, o'er its ruins spread, Thalf my design; for the machinery was entirely
wantShakes off the dust, and rears his reverend head. 700 ing to complete it. Then sculpture and her sister-arts revive;
The machinery, madam, is a term invented by the Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live: - critics, to signify that part which the deities, angels, With sweeter notes each rising temple rung; for demons, are made to act in a poem: for the ancient, A Raphael painted, and a Vida sung.
poets are, in one respect, like many modern ladies : Immortal Vida! on whose honour'd brow
let an action be never so trivial in itself, they always The poet's bays and critic's ivy grow:.
make it appear of the utmost importance. These Cremona now shall ever boast thy name,
machines I determined to raise on a very new and As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
odd foundation, the Rosicrusian doctrine of spirits. But soon by impious arms from Latium chased, I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hard Their ancient bounds the banish'd muses pass'd : 710 words before a lady; but it is so much the concern of Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance, a poet to have his works understood, and particularly But critic-learning flourish'd most in France: by your sex, that you must give me leave to explain The rules a nation born to serve obeys,
two or three difficult terms. And Boileau still in right of Horace sways." The Rosicrucians are a people I must bring you But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd, acquainted with. The best account I know of them And kept unconquer'd and unciviliz'd;
Jis in a French book called Le Compte de Gabalis, Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
which, both in its title and size, is so like a novel, We still defied the Romans, as of old.
that many of the fair sex haye read it for one by misYet some there were among the sounder few... take. According to these gentlemen, the four eleOf those who less presum'd, and better knew, 720ments are inhabited by spirits, which they call Sylphs, Who durst assert the juster ancient cause,
Gnomes, Nymphs, and Salamanders, The Gnomes, And here restor'd wit's fundamental laws.
or demons of earth, delight in mischief; but the Such was the muse, whose rule and practice tell, Sylphs, whose habitation is in the air, are the best * Nature's chief master-piece is writing well.' conditioned creatures imaginable; for they say, any Such was Roscommon, not more learn'd'than good, mortal may enjoy the most intimate familiarities With manners generous as his noble blood; with these gentle spirits, upon a condition very easy To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, to all true adepts—an inviolate preservation of chasAnd every author's merit but his own.
tity. Such late was Walsh, the muse's judge and friend, As to the following cantos, all the passages of them Who justly knew to blame or to commend; 730 are as fabulous as the vision at the beginning, or the To failings mild, but zealous for desert; .
transformation at the end (except the loss of your The clearest head, and the sincerest heart. hair, which I always mention with reverence. The This humble praise, lamented shade! receive, human persons are as fictitious as the airy ones ; and This praise at least a grateful muse may give : the character of Belinda, as it is now managed, reThe muse, whose early voice you taught to sing, sembles you in nothing but in beauty. ., Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing. If this poem had as many graces as there are in (Her guide now lost,) no more attempts to rise, your person or in your mind, yet I could never hope But in low numbers short excursions tries;
it should pass through the world half so uncensured Content, if hence th' unlearn'd their wants may view, as you have done. But let its fortune be what it will, The learn'd reflect on what before they knew: 740 mine is happy enough to have given me this occasion Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame;
of assuring you that I am, with the truest esteem, is Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame:
Madam, A verse alike to flatter or offend;
Your most obedient humble servant, Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. MART.
WHAT dire offence from amorous causes springs, TO MRS. ARABELLA FERMOR.. What mighty contests rise from trivial things, MADAM,
,' I sing ;-this verse to Caryl, Muse ! is due : It will be in vain to deny that I have some regard for This e'en Belinda may vouchsafe to view : this piece, since I dedicate it to you; yet you may Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, bear me witness, it was intended only to divert a few If she inspire, and he approve my lays." young ladies, who have good sense and good humour Say what strange motive, goddess ! could compel enough to laugh not only at their sex's little unguard- A well-bred lord to assault a gentle belle ? ed follies, but at their own. But as it was commu- O say what stranger cause, yet unexplored, nicated with the air of a secret, it soon found its way Could make a gentle belle reject a lord? into the world. An imperfect copy having been of- In tasks so bold, can little men engage ? fered to a bookseller, you had the good nature for my And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ?
Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, These swell their prospects, and exalt their pride, And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day: When offers are disdain'd, and love denied : Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, 'Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: ' While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping train Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground And garters, stars, and coronets appear, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. And in soft sounds, your grace' salutes their ear. Belinda still her downy pillow pressid,
'Tis these that early taint the female soul, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest : Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll, 'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed
Teach infant cheeks a hidden blush to know, . The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head. And little hearts to flutter at a beau. A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau "Oft when the world imagine women stray, (That e'en in slumber caused her cheek to glow) The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way, Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
Through all the giddy circle they pursue, And thus in whispers said, or seem'd, to say: And old impertinence espel by new;
“Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care What tender maid but must a victim fall Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
To one man's treat, but for another's ball ? Ife'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought, When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught : If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand ? Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
With varying vanities, from every part, The silver token, and the circled green,
They shift the moving toy-shop of their heart; Or virging 'visited by angel-powers,
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers; strive, Hear, and believe ! thy own importance know, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches driye. Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. This erring mortals levity may call; Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd, Oh, blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all. To maids alone and children are reveal'd.
Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
Late, as I ranged the crystal wilds of air,
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Warn'd by thy Sylph, oh pious maid, beware! And view with scorn two pages and a chair. |This to disclose is all thy guardian can: As now your own, our beings were of old,
Beware of all, but most beware of man! And once enclosed in woman's beauteous mould; | He said ; when Shock, who thought she slept toc Thence, by a soft transition we repair,
long, From earthly vehicles to those of air.
Leap'd up, and waked his mistress with his tongue. Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled, 'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, That all her vanities at once are dead :
Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux; Succeeding vanities she still regards,
Wounds, charms, and ardour, were no sooner read, And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards. But all the vision vanish'd from thy head. Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And now unveil'd the toilet stands display'd, And love of ombre, after death survive.
Each silver vase in mystic order laid. For when the fair in all their pride expire,
First robed in white, the nymph intent adores, To their first elements their souls retire:
With head uncover'd, the cosmetic powers. The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
A heavenly image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
Trembling, begins the sacred rites of pride.
The various offerings of the world appear; The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
From each she nicely culls with curious toil, And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil:
Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
'Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their face, The busy sylphs surround their darling care :
Some fold the sleeve, while others plait the gown; Loose to the wind their airy garments flew,
Dipp'd in the richest tinctures of the skies,
Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes,
Where every beam new transient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings Not with more glories, in the ethereal plain, Amid the circle on the gilded mast The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Superior by the head, was Ariel placed ; Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams
His purple pinions opening to the sun, Launch'd on the bosom of the silver'd Thames. He raised his azure wand, and thus begun: Fair nymphs and well-dress'd youths around her shone, Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear. But every eye was fix'd on her alone.
i Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Demons, hear; On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Ye know the spheres, and various tasks assign'd Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
By laws eternal to the aërial kind. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Some in the fields of purest ether play, Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those':
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day; Favours to none, to all she smiles extends;
Some guide the course of wandering orbs on high, Oft she rejects, but never önce offends.
Or roll the planets through the boundless sky; Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, Some, less refined, teneath the moon's pale light And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.'
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main,
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Others on earth, o'er human race preside, Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide: In equal curls, and well conspired to deck
Of these the chief the care of nations own, With shining ringlets the smooth ivory neck.' And guard with arms divine the British throne. Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,
"Our humbler province is to tend the fair, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care; With hairy springes we the birds betray;
To save the powder from too rude a gale, Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey; Nor let țhe imprison'd essences exhale; Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare,
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flowers; And beauty draws us with a single hair.
To steal from rainbows, 'ere they drop in showers, The adventurous baron the bright locks admired; A brighter wash ; to curl their waving hairs, He saw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspired. Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs : Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way, . . Nay, oft in dreanis, invention we bestow, By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
To change a flounce or add a furbelow. For when ́success a lover's toil attends,
"This day, black omens threat the brightest fair Few ask if fraud or force attain'd his ends.
That e'er deserved a watchful spirit's care :
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law
Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade;
Or lose her heart or necklace at a ball; And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire. Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must fall Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Haste then, ye spirits ! to your charge repair; Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize : The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care ; The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer; The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign; The rest the winds dispersed in empty air.
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thines, But now secure the painted vessel glides, Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favourite lock; The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides : Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock. While melting music steals upon the sky,
"To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note, And soften'd sounds along the water die ;
We trust the important charge, the petticoat: Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gently play, Oft have we known that sevenfold fence to fail, Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay;
Though stiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale. All but the Sylph: with careful thoughts oppress'd, Form a strong line about the silver bound, The impending woe sat heavy on his breast : And guard the wide circumference around. . He summons straight his denizens of air ;
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, The lucid squadrons round the sails repair: His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Soft o'er the shrouds aërial whispers breathe, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins; That seem'd but zephyrs to the train beneath. Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins; Some to the sun their insect wings unfold,
Or plunged in lakes of bitter washes lie, Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold; Or wedged whole ages in a bodkin's eye; Transparent forms too fine for mortal sight, Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain, Their fluid bodies half dissolved in light.
| While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain;
Or alum styptics, with contracting power,
As many more Manillio forced to yield, Shrink his thin essence like a shriveld flower : And march'd a victor from the verdant field. Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard, The giddy motion of the whirling mill,
Gain'd but one trump, and one plebeian card. In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary majesty of Spades appears,
The rebel knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
And mow'd down armies in the fights, of Loo,
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the baron Fate inclines the field. .
The Club's black tyrant first her victim died, Which from the neighbouring Hampton takes its Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride name;
What boots the regal circle on his head,
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort, The embroider'd king who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent queen with powers combined, In various talk the instructive hours they passid, of broken troops an easy conquest find. Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen, One speaks the glory of a British queen,
With throngs promiscuous strew the level green And one describes a charming Indian screen ; Thus when dispersed a routed army runs, . A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes ;
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons, At every word a reputation dies.
With like confusion different nations fly, Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat, of various habit, and of various dye. With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that. The pierced battalions disunited tall,
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, In heaps on heaps ; one fate o'erwhelms them all. The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray:
The knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wins (oh shameful chance!) the queen of Hearts And wretches hang that jurymen may dine; .. At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, The merchant from the Exchange returns in peace, A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look ; And the long labours of the toilet cease.
She sees, and trembles at the approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin and Codille.
On one nice trick depends the general fate,
He springs tó vengeance with an eager pace, Soon as she spreads her hand, the aërial guard And falls like thunder on the prostrate ace. Descend, and sit on each important card :
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply
O thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate;
And cursed for ever this victorious day.
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower, The berries crackle, and the mill turns round: The expressive emblem of their softer power; On shining altars of Japan they raise Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band : The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze: Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide, And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide ; Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.
At once they gratify their scent and taste, The skilful nymph reviews her force with care: And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. 'Let spades be trumps !' she said, and trumps they Straight hover round the fair her airy band were.
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd; Now move to war her sable Matadores,
Some o'er her lap their carefui plumes display'd, In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors.
Trembling and conscious of the rich brocade. Spadillo first, unconquerable lord,
Coffee (which makes the politician wise, Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board. And see through all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the baron's brain
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss,
Not ancient ladies when refused a kiss,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair,
As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravish'd hair.
And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew,
Down to the central earth, his proper scene, Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen. He takes the gift with reverence, and extends
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome, The little engine on his fingers' ends;
And in a vapdur reach'd the dismal dome. This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows, As o'er the fragrant steams she bent her head. The dreadful east is all the wind that blows. Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair, Here in a grotto, shelter'd close from air, A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair!. And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear; She sighs for ever on her pensive bed, Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near. Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head. Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought,
Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in place, The closè recesses of the virgin's thought ; '. But differing far in figure and in face. As on the nosegay in her breast reclined,
Here stood Il-nature like an ancient maid, He watch'd the ideas rising in her mind,
Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd; Sudden he view'd in spite of all her art,
With store of prayers, for mornings, nights, and noons, An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Her hand is fill'd: her bosom with lampoons.
Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen,
On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe, A wretched Sylph too fondly interposed;
Wrapp'd in a gown, for sickness and for show Fate urged the shears, and cut the Sylph in twain; The fair ones feel such maladies as these, (But airy substance soon unites again ;)
When each new night-dress gives a new disease. The meeting points the sacred hair dissever,
A constant vapour o'er the palace flies; From the fair head, for ever, and for ever! : Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise;
Then flash'd the livid lightning from her eyes, Dreadful, as hermits' dreams in haunted shades, And streams of horror rend the affrighted 'skies. Or bright, as visions of expiring maids; Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast, Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires, When husbands, or when lap-dogs, breathe their last! Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires : Or when rich china vessels, fallen from high, Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes In glittering dust, and painted fragments lie. And crystal domes, and angels, in machines.
'Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine! | Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen, (The victor cried ;) the glorious prize is mine! Of bodies changed to various forms by Spleen. While fish in streams, or birds delight in air, Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held out, Or in a coach and six the British fair;
One bent; the handle this, and that the spout; As long as Atalantis shall be read,
A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod walks; Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed;
Here sighs a jar, and there a goose-pie talks ; While visits shall be paid on solemin days,
Men prove with child, as powerful fancy works, When numerous wax-lights in bright order blaze: And maids, turn'd bottles, call aloud for corks. While nymphs take treats, or assignations give, | Safe pass'd the Gnome through this fantastic band, So long my honour, name, and praise shall live! A branch of healing spleen-wort in his hand. What time would spare from steel receives its date, Then thus address'd the power; 'Hail, wayward queen, And monuments, like men, submit to fate:
Who rule the sex from fifty to fifteen : Steel could the labour of the gods destroy,
Parent of vapours, and of female wit,
Make some take physic, others scribble plays :
And send the godly in a pet to pray.
| But oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a grace CANTO IV.
Or raise a pimple in a beauteous face,