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The practis’d languith, where well-feign'd desire
Wou'd own its melting in a mutual fire ;
Gay smiles to comfort: April show'rs 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-crested pride,
Strong fou'reign will, and some desire to chide:
For which, an eloquence, that aims to vex,
With native tropes of anger, arms the sex.
Minerva, skilful Goddess, train'd the maid.
To twirl the fpindle 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 rife from hence!
Young Hermes next, a close contriving God, Her brows encircled with his serpent rod : Then plots and fair excuses fill'd her brain, The views of breaking am'rous vows for gain..
The price of favors; the designing arts
That aim at riches in contempt of hearts;
And for a comfort in the marriage life,
The little, pilf'ring temper of a wife.
Full on the Fair his beams Apollo Alung,
And fond persuasion tip'd her easy tongue;
He gave her words, where oily flatt'ry lays
The pleasing colours of the art of praise ;
And wit, to scandal exquisitely prone,
Which frets another's spleen to cure its own.
Those sacred virgins whom the Bards revere, Tund all her voice, and shed a sweetness there, To make her sense with double charms abound, Or make her lively nonsense pleafe by found.
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 ev'ry cover plaid; 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 ravilh'd maid
Beholds and loves her own reflected shade.
Fair Flora lent her stores, the purpled Hours
Confin'd her tresses with a wreath of Aow'rs;
Within the wreath arose a radiant crown;
A veil pellucid hung depending down;
Back roll'd her azure veil with serpent fold,
The purfled border deck'd the floor with gold.
Her robe (which closely by the girdle brac't
Reveal'd the beauties of a slender waist)
Flow'd to the feet; to copy Venus' air,
When Venus' ftatues have a robe to wear.
The new-sprung creature finish'd thus for harms,
Adjusts her habit, practises her charms,
With blushes glows, or shines with lively smiles,
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 fax than what they wrought before, Thro' 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 fax! 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, a Beauty form’d to Ay; 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 heart-alluring show, The show prevailing, for the sway contend, And make a servant where they meet a friend.
Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts A loitering race the painful bee supports,
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 silk dress, and murm’ring eat 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 gen'ral, but the blessing chance.
Thus sung the Sisters, while the Gods admire
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire;
The young Pandora she, whom all contend
To make too perfect not to gain her end :
Then bid the winds that fly to breathe the fpring,
Return to bear her on a gentle wing';
With wafting airs the winds obsequious blow,
And land the shining vengeance safe below. !
A golden coffer in her hand she bore,
The present treach'rous, but the bearer more,