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The goddess with a discontented air Seems to reject him, though she grants his prayer. A wonderous bag with both her hands she binds, Like that where once Ulysses held the winds; There she collects the force of female lungs, Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues. A vial next she fills with fainting fears, Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears. The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to day.
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found, Her eyes dejected, and her hair unbound. Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent, And all the Furies issued at the vent. Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. (cry'd, “ O wretched maid !” she spread her hands, and (While Hampton's echoes, wretched maid ! reply'd) “ Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence, to prepare ? For this your locks in paper durance bound, For this with torturing irons wreath'd around ? For this with fillets strain’d your tender head, And bravely bore the double loads of lead ? Gods ! shall the ravisher display your hair, While the fops envy, and the ladies stare ! Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine Ease, pleasure, virtue, all our sex resign. Methinks already I your tears survey, Already hear the horrid things they say, Already see you a degraded toast, And all your honour in a whisper lost !
How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend ?
She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
devil ? 2-ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be
civil ! Plague on 't! 'tis past a jest - nay prythee, pox! Give her the hair" - he spoke, and rapp'd his box.
“ 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.
But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so; He breaks the vial whence the sorrows 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, Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said:
“ For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my favourite 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 isle, or distant northern land ; Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
that in deserts bloom and die. What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam ? Oh had I 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 sat mute, and Shock was most unkind ! A Sylph too warn’d me of the threats of Fate, In mystic visions, now believ'd too late ! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! My hand shall rend what ev’n thy rapine spares: These in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; The Sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own ;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears demands,
She said : the pitying audience melt in tears ;
“Say, why are beauties prais'dand honour'd most,
But since, alas, frail beauty must decay;
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll ;
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued :
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage,
Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight :