Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

THE

RAPE OF THE LOCK.

CANTO III.

CL

Lofe by thofe meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rifing tow'rs,
There ftands a ftructure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft' the fall foredoom
Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great ANNA! whom three realms obey,
Doft fometimes counsel take-and fometimes Tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To tafte à while the pleafures of a Court;
In various talk th' inftructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.

Mean while declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely shoots his burning ray;
The hungry Judges foon the fentence fign,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the Toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirft of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two advent'rous Knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And fwells her breaft with conquefts yet to come.

0 2

5

IQ

15

20

25

Strait

Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the spreads her hand, th' aerial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card:
Firft Ariel perch'd upon à Matadore,

Then each, according to the rank he bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;
And four fair Queens whofe hands sustain a flow'r,
Th' expreffive emblem of their fofter pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs fuccinct, a trufty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.
The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care :
Let Spades be trumps! fhe faid, and trumps they were.
Now move to war her fable Matadores,

45

In fhow like leaders of the fwarthy Moors.
Spadillio firft, unconquerable Lord!

30

Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Bafto follow'd, but his fate more hard,
Gain'd but one trump and one Plebeian card.
With his broad fabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majefty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveal'd,
The reft, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'erthrew,
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Loo,
Sad chance of war! now deftitute of aid,
Falls undiftinguish'd by the victor Spade!

Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the Baron fate inclines the field.

35

50

55

бо

65

His

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

His warlike Amazon her hoft invades,
Th' imperial confort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black Tyrant firft her victim dy'd,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in ftate unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And, of all monarchs, only grafps the globe?

The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd,
Of broken troops an easy conqueft find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild diforder feen,
With throngs promifcuous ftrow the level green.
Thus when difpers'd a routed army runs,
Of Afia's troops, and Afric's fable fons,
With like confufion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions difunited fall,

In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

And wins (oh fhameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.
At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forfook,

A livid palenefs spreads o'er all her look ;
She fees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Juft in the jaws of ruin and Codille.

"

And now, (as oft' in fome diftemper❜d State)
On one nice Trick depends the genʼral fate.
An Ace of Hearts fteps forth: the king unfeen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen:
He fprings to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the proftrate Ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the fky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.

Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too foon dejected, and too foon elate!
Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.

[ocr errors]

95

100

For

[ocr errors][merged small]

For lo! the board with cups and fpoons is crown'd, 105
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On fhining altars of Japan they raise

The filver lamp; the fiery fpirits blaze:
From filver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoaking tide:
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Strait hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as the fipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and confcious of the rich brocade.
Coffee, (which makes the politician wife,
And fee thro' all things with his half-fhut eyes)
Sent up in
to the Baron's brain
New ftratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.
Ah ceafe, rafh youth! defift e'er 'tis too late,
Fear the juft Gods, and think of Scylla's Fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nifus' injur'd hair!

vapours

But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How foon they find fit inftruments of ill?
Juft then, Clariffa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her fhining cafe;
So Ladies in Romance affift their Knight,
Prefent the fpear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers ends;
This juft behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant fteams fhe bends her head.
Swift to the Lock a thoufand Sprites repair,
A thoufand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice fhe look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Juft in that inftant, anxious Ariel fought
The clofe receffes of the Virgin's thought;
As on the nofegay in her breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' Ideas rifing in her mind,

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

115

120

125

130

135

140

Sudden

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »