« ZurückWeiter »
Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
How many pictures of one nymph we view,
Come then the colours and the ground prepare! Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air ; Choose a firm cloud, before it fail, and in it Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute. 20
Rufa, whose eye, quick glancing o'er the park, Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark, Agrees as ill with Rufa studying Locke, As Sappho's diamonds with her dirty smock; Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, With Sappho fragrant at an evening mask : So morning insects, that in muck begun, Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting sun.
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend; The frail-one's advocate, the weak-one's friend, 30 To her, Calista proved her conduct nice; And good Simplicius asks of her advice. Sudden, she storms! she raves! You tip the wink, But spare your censure; Silia does not drink. All eyes may see from what the change arose, All eyes may see--a pimple on her nose.
Papilia, wedded to her amorous spark, Sighs for the shades—'How charming is a park ! A park is purchased, but the fair he sees All bathed in tears--'Oh odious, odious trees !'
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show, Tis to their changes half their charms they owe Fine by defect, and delicately weak, Their happy spots the nice admirer take. 'Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm’d, Awed without virtue, without beauty charm'd; Her tongue bewitched as oddly as her eyes; Less wit than mimic, more a wit tran wise : Strange graces still, and stranger ilights she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad; Yet ne'er so sure our passions to create, As when she touch'd the brink of all we hate.
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a wash would hardly stew a child ; Has e'en been proved to grant a lover's prayer, And paid a tradesman once to make him stare: Gave alms at Easter in a christian trim, And made a widow happy for a whim. Why then declare good-nature is her scorn, When 'tis by that alone she can be borne ? 66 Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name? A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame : Now deep in Taylor and the book of Martyrs, Now drinking citron with his grace and Chartres : Now conscience chills her, and now passion burns And atheism and religion take their turns; A very heathen in the carnal part, Yet still a sad good christian at her heart.
See sin in state, majestically drunk, Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk; Chaste to her husband, frank to all beside, A teeming mistress, but a barren bride What then? let blood and body bear the fault, Her head's untouch'd, that noble seat of thought ; Such this day's doctrine-in another fit She sins with poets through pure love of wit. What has not fired her bosom or her brain ? Cæsar and Tall-boy, Charles and Charlemagne
As Helluo, late dictator of the feast,
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray;
100 Turn then from wits, and look on Simo's mate; No ass so meek, no ass so obstinate: Or her that owns her faults but never mends, Because she's honest, and the best of friends : Or her whose life the church and scandal share, For ever in a passion or a prayer : Or her who laughs at hell, but (like her grace) Cries, 'Ah! how charming if there's no such place s' Or who in sweet vicissitude appears, Of mirth and opium, ratafie and tears, 110 The daily anodyne, and nightly draught To kill those foes to fair ones, time and thought. Woman and fool are two hard things to hit : For true no-meaning puzzles more than wit. But what are those to great Atossa's mind ? Scarce once herself, by turns all womankind;
Who, with herself, or others, from her birth,
Pictures, like these, dear madam, to design, 150
For how should equal colours do the knack?
Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot. -
With every pleasing, every prudent part, Say, what can Chloe want?-She wants a heart. 160 She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought; But never, never reach'd one generous thought Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour, Content to dwell in decencies for ever. So very reasonable, so unmoved, As never yet to love, or to be loved. She, while her lover pants upon her breast, Can mark the figures on an Indian chest; And when she sees her friend in deep despair Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair. 170 Forbid it, Heaven, a favour or a debt She e'er should cancel-but she may forget. Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear; But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear. Of all her dears she never slander'd one, But cares not if a thousand are undone. Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead ? She bids her footman put it in her head. Chloe is prudent-Would you too be wise? Then never break your heart when Chloe dies. 186
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen, Which Heaven has varnish'd out, and made a queen The same for ever! and described by all With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball. Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will, And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill. 'Tis well—but artists! who can paint or write, To draw the naked is your true delight. That robe of quality so struts and swells, None see what parts of nature it conceals: 190 The exactest traits of body or of mind, We owe to models of an humble kind.