« PreviousContinue »
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
But fate and Jove had stopp'd the baron's ears.
“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 the 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, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains ; That men may say, when we the front:box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face! Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day, Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away ; Who would notscorn what housewife's cares produce, Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? To patch, nay ogle, might 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 gray ; Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade, And she who scorns a man must die a maid;
What then remains, but well our pow'r to use, And keep good-humour still whate'er we lose ? 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; Belinda frown'd, Thalestris calld her prude. "To arms, to arms!' the fierce virago cries, And swift as lightning to the combat flies. All side in parties, and begin the attack ; Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack; Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus’dly rise, And bass and treble voices strike the skies. No common weapons in their hands are found, Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, And heavenly breasts with human passions rage; 'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms ; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms; Jove's thunder roars, heav'n trembles all around, Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound; Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs, 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 sat to view the fight : Propp'd on their bodkin-spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist 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 died in metaphor, and one in song: "O cruel nymph! a living death I bear.' Cried 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 The' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the men's 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,
Now meet thy fate,' incens'd Belinda cry'd,
‘Boast not my fall (he cry'd) insulting foe!
• Restore the lock!' she cries; and all around
But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd,
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise, Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes : (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view) A sudden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright, The heav'ns bespangling with dishevell'd light. The sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.
This the beau monde shall from the mall survey,
For after all the murders of your eye,
ELOISA TO ABELARD.
Where heavenly-pensive contemplation dwells,
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveald,
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose, That well-known name awakens all my woes.