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RAPE OF THE LOCK.
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
What dire offence from am'rous causes springs What mighty contests rise from trivial things, I sing ---This verse to Caryl, muse! is due: This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsaie to view : Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, If she inspire, and he approve my lays.
Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel A well-bred lord to assault a gentle belle? O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd, Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ? In tasks so bold can little men engage, And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ?
Sol through white curtains shot a tim'rous ray. And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day. Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve awake: Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the
ground, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. Belinda still her downy pillow prest, Her guardian sylph prolong'd the balmy rest: 'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head: A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau, I'That e'en in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
long, Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue, "Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux; Wounds, charms, and ardours, were no sooner read, But all the vision vanish'd from thy head.
And now, unveil'd the toilet stands display'd,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;
Not with more glories in th' etherial plain, The son first rises o'er the purpled main, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames. Fair nymphs, and well-dress'd youths around her
shone, But every eye was fixed on her alone. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those : Favours to none, to all she smiles extends, Oft she rejects, but never once offends. Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide: If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck With shining ringlets the smooth ivory neck. Love in these labyrinths his slaves detaias, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. With hairy springes we the birds betray, Slight lines of hair surprise the findy prey, Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare, And beauty draws us with a single hair.
Th’adventurous baron the bright locks admir'd;
For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implor'd,
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves,
And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire
But now secure the painted vessel glides,
“Ye sylphs and sylphids to your chief give ear,.
Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main,
“Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
“This day black omers threat the briglitest fair That e'er deserv'd a watchfui spirit's care ; Some dire disaster, or by force ir slight; But what, or where, the fates have wrapp'd in
night. Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Or some frail china jar receive a flaw; Or slain ber honour, or her new brocade; Forget her pray'rs, or miss a masquerade ; Or lose her heart, or gecklace, at a bali; Or whether heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall. Haste then, ye spirits, to your charge repair : The fluttering fan be Zephyreuta's care; The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign; And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine; Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favourite Lock ; Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock. To fifty chosen sylphs, of special note, We trust th' important charge, the petiicoat; Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, Though stiff with hoops, and aru'd with ribs of
whale. Form a strong line about the silver bound, And guard the wide circumference around.
“Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake bis siers Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;