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It grieves me much (reply'd 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 honours 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.
140 But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not fo; He breaks the Vial whence the forrows flow. Then see! the Nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears ; On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head,
145 Which, with a sigh, she rais’d; and thus she said :
For ever curfed be this detested day,
Which snatch'd my best, my favorite 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 ille, or distant northern land;
Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way, 155
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my charms conceald from mortal eye,
Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful Lords to roam ?
Oh I had stay'd, 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 fat mute, and Shock was most unkind!
A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of Fate, 165
In mystic visions, now believ'd too late !
See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs !
My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares :
These in two fable ringlets taught to break,
Once gavé new beauties to the snowy neck; 170
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 facrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel ! been content to seize 175
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!
CANTO V. S
HE faid: 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 way'd her fan ;
Silence ensued, and thus the Nymph began,
Say, VARIATION. Ver. 7. Then grave Clarissa, &c.] A new Character introduced in the subsequent editions, to open more clearly the MORAL of the Poem, in a Parody of the speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus in Homer,
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’d 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, 15
Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains :
That men may fay, when we the front-box grace,
Behold the first in virtue as in face!
Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day,
Chaim'd the small-pox, or chac'd old age away;
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares pro-
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 thall fade,
And the 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 ?
80 And trust me, Dear! good-humour can prevail, When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding
fail. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
So spoke the Dame, but no applause ensued; 35 Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her Prude.
To arms, to arms! the fierce Virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
All side in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, filks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes and Heroines shouts confusedly rise,
And bass and treble voices strike the skies.
No common weapon in their hands are found,
Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage, 45
And heavenly breasts with human passions rage ;
'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms;
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms;
Jove's thunder roars, heaven trembles all around,
Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound: 50
Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives way,
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height
Clapp'd his glad wings, and fate to view the fight :
Prop'd on their bodkin-spears, the Sprites survey 55
The growing combat, or affift the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies,
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
A Beau and Witling perish'd in the throng,
One dy'd in metaphor, and one in fong.
60 « O cruel
Ver. 37. To arms, to arms!] From hence the first edition goes on to the Conclusion, except a very few short infertions added, to keep the Machinery in view to the end of the poem.
Ver. 53. Triumphant Umbriel] These four lines added, for the reason before-mentioned.
« O cruel Nymph! a living death I bear," Cry'd Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, « Those eyes are made so killing"
'-was his last.
Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies
Th' expiring Swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe step'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She smild to see the doughty hero lain,
But, at her smile, the Beau revived again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the Mens wits against the Lady's hair;
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side;
At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,
With more than usual lightning in her eyes :
Nor fear’d the Chief the unequal fight to try,
Who fought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold Lord with manly strength endued,
She with one finger and a thumb subdued :
Just where the breath of life his noftrils drew,
A charge of Snuff the wily virgin threw;
The Gnomes direct, to every atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating duft.
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o’erflows,
And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
Now meet thy fate, incens'd Belinda cry'd,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
(The same, his ancient personage to deck,
Her great-great-grandfire wore about his neck,