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Of those who claim it more than half have none; And half of those who have it are undone.
Be still superior to your sex's arts, Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts: For you, the plainest is the wisest rule : A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame. Prudes rail at whores, as statesmen in disgrace At ministers, because they wish their place : Virtue is amiable, mild, serene; Without, all beauty; and all peace within : The honour of a prude is rage and storm, 'Tis ugliness in its most frightful form. Fiercely it stands, defying gods and men, As fiery monsters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great: A woman's noblest station is retreat ; Her fairest virtues fly from public sight, Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
To rougher man Ambition's task resign, 'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine, To labour for a sunk corrupted state, Or dare the rage of Envy, and be great. One only care your gentle breasts should move, The' important business of your life is love; To this great point direct your constant aim, This makes your happiness, and this your fame.
Be never cool reserve with passion join'd; With caution chuse! but then be fondly kind, The selfish heart, that but by halves is given, Shall find no place in Love's delightful heaven; Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless : The virtue of a lover is excess.
A maid unask'd may own a well.plac'd flame; Not loving first, but loving wrong, is shame.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain, Nor think that conquest justifies disdain. Short is the period of insulting power : Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour;
Soon will resume the empire which he gave,
Blest is the maid, and worthy to be blest,
But, lest harsh care the lover's peace destroy,
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain, Than sell your violated charms for gain ; Than wed the wretch whom you despise or hate, For the vain glare of useless wealth or state. The most abandon'd prostitutes are they, Who not to love, but avarice, fall a prey : Nor aught avails the specious name of wife; A maid so wedded is a whore for life. E'en in the happiest choice, where favouring
Heaven Has equal love, and easy fortune given, Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done: The prize of happiness must still be won: And oft, the careless find it to their cost, The lover in the husband may be lost;
The Graces might alone his heart allure ;
Let e'en your Prudence wear the pleasing dress
Thus I, Belinda, would your charms improve,
To the Memory of Lady Lyttelton. 1747.
Ipse cara solans ægrum testudine amorem,
T length escap'd from every human eye,
From every duty, every care, That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share, Or force my tears their flowing stream to dry; Beneath the gloom of this embowering shade, This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made,
I now may give my burden'd heart relief,
And pour forth all my stores of grief;
Can on the ennobled mind bestow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move Our gross desires, inelegant and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently-falling rills,
· Ye high o'ershadowing hills,
Oft have you my Lucy seen!
Nor will she now with fond delight,
Oft would the dryads of these woods rejoice
To hear her heavenly voice;
The sweetest songsters of the spring :
The nightingale was mute,
And every shepherd's flute
And thou, melodious Philomel,
Again tby plaintive story tell; For Death has stopt that tuneful tongue, Whose music could alone your warbling notes excel.
In vain I look around
O'er all the well-known ground,
Where oft we us'd to walk,
Where oft in tender talk
Nor by yon fountain's side,
Nor where its waters glide
No more my mournful eye
Can aught of her espy, But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie.
O shades of Hagley! where is now your boast?
Your bright inhabitant is lost.
To your sequester'd dales
And flower-embroider'd vales
The silent paths of wisdom trod,
But those, the gentlest and the best,
The virtuous heart enliven and improve, The conjugal and the maternal love.
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns, Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns
By yo delighted mother's side, Who now your infant steps shall guide ? Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care To every virtue would have form'd your youth, And strew'd with flowers the thorny ways of truth?
o loss beyond repair ! O wretched father ! left alone, To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken'd mind, oppress'd with woe,
And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave, Perform the duties that you doubly owe!
Now she, alas! is gone From folly and from vice their helpless age to save?