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Till Death unfelt that tender frame destroy,
In some soft Dream, or extasy of Joy,
Peaceful sleep out the Sabbath of the Tomb,
And wake to Raptures in a Life to come.






IN these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the Writer lives in ev'ry line;
His easy Art may happy Nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,

Who without flatt'ry pleas'd the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred :
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share,
His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle, Life, away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling Infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd, who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest Eyes:





Ver. 14. As smiling Infants, &c.] There is a beautiful passage of this sort in Temple's Essays:-" After all, life is like a froward child, that must be trifled with, and played with, till it falls asleep, and then the care is over."-Bowles.

The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,

But that for ever in his lines they breathe.


Let the strict life of graver mortals be

A long, exact, and serious Comedy;

In ev'ry scene some Moral let it teach,

And, if it can, at once both please and preach.

Let mine an innocent gay Farce appear,


And more diverting still than regular,
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Tho' not too strictly bound to time and place;
Critics in Wit, or Life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.
Too much your Sex is by their forms confin'd,
Severe to all, but most to Womankind;
Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By Nature yielding, stubborn but for fame;
Made Slaves by honour, and made Fools by shame.
Marriage may all those petty Tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater in their place:



Well might you wish for change by those accurst,
But the last Tyrant ever proves the worst.


Still in constraint your suff'ring Sex remains,
Or bound in formal, or in real chains:

Whole years neglected, for some months ador'd,

The fawning Servant turns a haughty Lord.

Ah quit not the free innocence of life,
For the dull glory of a virtuous Wife;


Nor let false Shows, nor empty Titles please:
Aim not at Joy, but rest content with Ease.


Ver. 19. The Smiles] Alluding to an elegant epitaph on Voiture: "Etrusca Veneres, Camoenæ Iberæ,

Hermes Gallicus, et Latina Siren;

Risus, Deliciæ, et Dicacitates,

Lusus, Ingenium, Joci, Lepores:
Et quidquid unquam fuit elegantiarum,
Quo Vecturius hoc jacent sepulcro.”—Warton.

The Gods, to curse Pamela with her pray'rs,

Gave the gilt Coach, and dappled Flanders Mares, 50
The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state,
And, to complete her bliss, a Fool for Mate.

She glares in Balls, front Boxes, and the Ring,

A vain, unquiet, glitt'ring, wretched thing!

Pride, Pomp, and State but reach her outward part; She sighs, and is no Duchess at her heart.

But, Madam, if the fates withstand, and you Are destin'd Hymen's willing Victim too;

Trust not too much your now resistless charms,
Those, Age or Sickness, soon or late, disarms:
Good-humour only teaches charms to last,
Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past;
Love, rais'd on Beauty, will like that decay,



Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day;

As flow'ry bands in wantonness are worn,
A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn;
This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.


Thus Voiture's early care still shone the same, And Monthausier was only chang'd in name: By this, ev'n now they live, ev'n now they charm, Their Wit still sparkling, and their flames still warm. Now crown'd with Myrtle, on th' Elysian coast, Amid those Lovers, joys his gentle Ghost:


Pleas'd, while with smiles his happy lines you view, 75
And finds a fairer Ramboüillet in you.

The brightest eyes of France inspir'd his Muse;
The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse;

And dead, as living, 'tis our Author's pride

Still to charm those who charm the world beside.



Ver. 69. Thus Voiture's early care] Mademoiselle Paulet.-P.






As some fond Virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the Town to wholesome Country air,
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh;
From the dear man unwilling she must sever,
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever:
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew;
Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent,
She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went. 10
She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashion'd halls, dull Aunts, and croaking rooks:
She went from Op'ra, Park, Assembly, Play,

To morning-walks, and pray'rs three hours a day;

To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,


To muse, and spill her solitary tea,

Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,

Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon:

Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,

Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire;

Up to her godly garret after sev❜n,


There starve and pray, for that's the way to heav'n.
Some Squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack;
Whose game is Whisk, whose treat a toast in sack;
Who visits with a Gun, presents you birds,
Then gives a smacking buss, and cries,-No Words!


Coronation.] Of King George the First, 1715.-P.


Ver. 7. Zephalinda] The assumed name of Teresa Blount, under which she corresponded for many years with a Mr. More, under the feigned name of Alexis.-Bowles.

Or with his hound comes hallooing from the stable; Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, tho' his jests are coarse, And loves you best of all things-but his horse.

In some fair ev'ning, on your elbow laid, You dream of Triumphs in the rural shade; In pensive thought recall the fancy'd scene, See Coronations rise on ev'ry green;

Before you pass th' imaginary sights




Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and garter'd Knights,
While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes;
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls!
So when your Slave, at some dear idle time,
(Not plagu'd with head-achs, or the want of rhyme)
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you;
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, Chairs, and Coxcombs rush upon my sight;
Vex'd to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a Tune, as you may now.




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