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O vers'd in arts! whose daring thoughts aspire, To kindle clay with never-dying fire ! Enjoy thy glory past, that gift was thine ; The next thy creature meets, be fairly mine : And such a gift, a vengeance so design d, As suits the counsel of a God to find ; A pleasing bosom-cheat, a fpecious ill, Which felt the curse, yet covets still to feel.
Hc said, and Vulcan ftrait the Sire commands, To temper mortar with ætherial hands; In such a shape to mold a rising fair, As virgin goddesies are proud to wear; To make her eyes with diamond-water shine, And form her organs for a voice. divine. 'Twas thus the Sire ordain'd; the Power obey'd; And work'd, and wonder'd at the work he made; 'The fairest, softefi, sweetest frame beneath, Now made to feem, now more than seem to breathe.
As Vulcan ends, the chearful Queen of Charms Clasp'd the new-panting creature in her arms : From that embrace a fine complexion spreaci, Where mingled whiteness glow'd with fofter red. Then in a kifs The breath'd her various arts, Of trifling prettily with wounded hearts; A mind for love, but still a changing mind; The lisp affected, and the glance design'd; The sweet confusing blush, the secret wink, The gentle swimming walk, the courteous sink The stare for ftrangeness fit, for scorn the frown.; For decent yielding, looks declining down;
The practis'd languish, where well-feign'd desire
Would own its melting in a mutual fire;
Gay smiles to comfort; April showers to move ;
And all the nature, all the art of love.
Gold scepter'd Juno next exalts the fair ;
Her touch endows her with imperious air,
Self-valuing fancy, highly-crcited pride,
Strong sovereign will, and some desire to chide;
For which, an eloquence, that aims to vex,
Withi native tropes of anger, arms the sex.
Minerva, skilful goddess, traind the maid
To twirle the spindle by the twisting thread;
To fix the loom, instruct the reeds to part,
Cross the long weft, and close the web with art,
An useful gift; but what profuse expence,
What world of fashions, took its rise from hence!
Young Hermes next, a close contriving God,
Her brows encircled with bis serpent rod;
Then plots and fair excuses fill'd her brain,
The views of breaking amorous vows for gain ;
The price of favours; the designing arts
That aim at riches in contempt of hearts ;
And, for a comfort in the marriage life,
The little pilfering temper of a wife.
Full on the fair his beams Apollo flung,
And fond perfuafion tipp'd her easy tongue;
He gave her words, where oily flattery lays
The pleasing colours of the art of praise;
And wit, to scandal exquisitely prone,
Which frets another's spleen to cure its owu.
Those sacred Virgins whom the Bards revere,
Tun'd all her voice, and shed a sweetness there,
To make her sense with double charms abound,
Or make her lively nonsense please by sound.
To dress the maid, the decent Graces brought
A robe in all the dies of beauty wrought,
And plac'd their boxes o’er a rich brocade,
Where pictur'd Loves on every cover play'd ;
Then spread those implements that Vulcan’s art
Had fram’d to merit Cytherea's heart;
The wire to curl, the close indented comb
To call the locks, that lightly wander, home;
And chief, the mirrour, where the ravish'd maid
Beholds and loves her own reflected fhade,
Fair Flora lent her stores ; the purpled Hours
Confin'd her treffes with a wreath of flowers ;
Within the wreath arose a radiant crown;
A veil pellucid hung depending down ;
Back rollid her azure veil with serpent fold,
The purfied border deck'd the floor with gold.
: Her robe (which closely by the girdle brac'd
Reveal'd the beauties of a slender waist)
Flow'd to the feet, to copy Venus' air,
When Venus' statues have a robe to wear.
The new-fprung creature, finish'd thus for harms,
Adjusts her habit, practises her charms,
.With blushes glows, or shines with lively similes,
Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles':
Then, .conscious of her worth, with easy pace
Glides by the glass, and turning views her face.
A finer flax than what they wrought before,
Through time's deep cave, the Sister Fates explore,
Then fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weave,
And thus their toil prophetic songs deceive.
Flow from the rock, my flax! and swiftly flow,
Pursue thy thread; the spindle runs below.
A creature fond and changing, fair and vain,
The creature woman, rises now to reign.
New beauty blooms, à beauty form’d to fly.;
New love begins, a love produc'd to die;
New parts distress the troubled scenes of life,
The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife.
Men born to labour, all with pains provide;
Women have time to facrifice to pride :
They want the care of man, their want they know,
And dress to please with lieart-alluring Mow;
The show prevailing, for the fway contend,
: And make a servant where they meet a friend.
Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts
A loitering race the painful bee fupports;
From fun to fun, from bank to bank he flies,
With honey loads his bag, with wax his thighs ;
Fly where he will, at home the race remain,
Prune the filk dress, and murmuring cat the gain.
Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride,
Whose temper betters by the father's side ;
Unlike the rest that double human care,
Fond to relieve, or resolute to share:
Happy the man whom thus his stars advance!
The curse is general, but the blesng chance.
Thus sung the Sisters, while the Gods admire Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire; The young Pandora shc, whom all contend To make too perfect not to gain her end: Then bid the winds, that fly to breathe the spring, Return to bear her on a gentle wing; With wafting airs the winds obsequious blow, And land the thining vengeance safe below. A golden coffer in her hand she bore, The present treacherous, but the bearer more; 'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain’d above, That gold should aid, and pangs attend on love.
Her gay defcent the man perceiv'd afar, Wondering he ran to catch the falling star : But so surpriz’d, as none but he can tell, Who lov'd so quickly, and who lov'd so well. O’er all his veins the wandering passion burns. He calls her Nymph, and every Nymph by turns. Her form to lovely Venus he prefers, Or swears that Venus' must be such as hers. She, proud to rule, yet strangely fram'd to teaze, Neglects his offers while her airs the plays, Shoots scornful glances from the bended frowi), In brisk disorder trips it up and down; Then hums' a careless tune to lay the storm, And fits, and blushes, smiles, and yields, in form,
“ Now take what Jove design’d, the softly cry'd, “ This box thy portion, and myself the bride." Fir'd with the prospect of the double charms, He snatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms.