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Pleased the green lustre of the scales survey,
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness roid of pride, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide; Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem, rise ! If to her share some female errors fall, Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes !
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all. See a long race thy spacious courts adorn!
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, See future sons and daughters yet unborn,
Nourished two locks, which graceful hung behind In crowding ranks on every side arise,
In equal curls, and well conspired to deck, Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
With shining ringlets, the smooth ivory neck. See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Lore in these labyrinths his slaves detains, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend !
And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings, With hairy springes we the birds betray, And heaped with products of Sabean springs. Slight lives of hair surprise the finny prey ; For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare, And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. And beauty draws us with a single hair. See heaven its sparkling portals wide display, The advent’rous baron the bright locks admired ; And break upon thee in a flood of day!
He saw, he wished, and to the prize aspired. No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Resolved to win, he meditates the way, Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray; But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
For when success a lover's toil attends, One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
Few ask if fraud or force attained his ends. O’erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine For this, ere Phoebus rose, he had implored Revealed, and God's eternal day be thine !
Propitious heaven, and every power adored ; The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay, But chiefly Love--to Love an altar built, Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away; Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt. But fixed his word, his saving power remains; There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves, Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reignis! And all the trophies of his former lores;
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre, [The Toilet.]
And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire.
Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes [From The Rape of the Lock.')
Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize; And now, unveiled, the toilet stands displayed, The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer, Each silver vase in mystic order laid ;
The rest the winds dispersed in empty air. First, robed in white, the nymph intent adores,
But now secure the painted vessel glides, With head uncorered, the cosmetic powers.
The sunbeams trembling on the floating tides: A heavenly image in the glass appears,
While melting music steals upon the sky, To that she bends, to that her eye she rears;
And softened sounds along the waters die; The inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gently play, frembling begins the sacred rites of pride.
Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay., Unnumbered treasures ope at once, and here
All but the Sylph, with careful thoughts opprest, The various offerings of the world appear;
The impending wo sat heavy on his breast. From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
He summons straight his denizens of air; And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil. The lucid squadrons round the sails repair. This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
Soft o'er the shrouds aðrial whispers breathe, And all Arabia breathes from yonder box :
That seemed but zephyrs to the train beneath. The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Some to the sun their insect wirgs unfold, Transformed to combs, the speckled and the white.
Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold; Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sight, Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Their Auid bodies half dissolved in light, Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;
Loose to the wind their airy garments flew, The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Thin glittering textures of the filmy dew, Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace,
Dipped in the richest tincture of the skies, And calls forth all the wonders of her face;
Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes; Sees by degrees a purer blush arise,
While every beam new transient colours flings, And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings The busy sylphs surround their darling care,
Amid the circle on the gilded mast, These set the head, and those divide the hair; Superior by the head was Ariel placed ; Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown, His purple pinions opening to the sun, And Betty's praised for labours not her own.
He raised his azure wand and thus begun :
Ye sylphs and sylphids, to your chief give ear; [Description of Belinda and the Sylphs.) Fays, fairies, genii, elves, and dæmons, hear!
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks assigned [From the same.)
By laws eternal to the aërial kind. Not with more glories, in the ethereal plain,
Some in the fields of purest ether play, The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day; Than issuing forth, the rival of his beams
Some guide the course of wandering orbs on high, Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames. Or rolĩ the planets through the boundless sky; Fair nymphs and well-drest youths around her shone, Some, less refined, beneath the moon's pale light But every eye was fixed on her alone.
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night, On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Or suck the mists in grosser air below, Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow, Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main, Quick as her eyes, and as unfixed as those.
Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain. Favours to none, to all she smiles extends;
Others on earth o'er human race preside, Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide : Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike,
Of these the chief the care of nations own, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
And guard with arms divine the British throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
Shrines, where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep! Not a less plcasing, though less glorious care ; And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep! To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Though cold like you, unmored and silent grown, Nor let the imprisoned essences exhale;
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain, Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs;
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain. Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes
Still breathed in sighs, still ushered with a tear! Some dire disaster, or by force or flight;
I tremble, too, where'er my own I find, But what, or where, the fates have wrapped in night. Some dire misfortune follows close behind. Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow, Or some frail China-jar receive a flaw,
Led through a sad variety of wo: Or stain her honour, or her new brocade,
Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom, Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade;
Lost in a convent's solitary gloom ! Or lose her heart or necklace at a ball;
There stern religion quenched the unwilling flame, Or whether heaven has doomed that Shock must fall. There died the best of passions, love and famc. Haste, then, ye spirits ! to your charge repair :
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care ;
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine ! The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
Nor foes nor fortune take this power away; And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
And is iny Abelard less kind than they ? Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favourite Lock;
Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare ; Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.
Love but demands what else were shed in prayer To fifty chosen sylphs, of special note,
No happier task these faded eyes pursue ;
Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid, And guard the wide circumference around.
Some banished lover, or some captive maid ; Whatever spirit, careless of his charge,
They live, they speak, they breathe what lore inspires His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires. Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, The virgin's wish without her fears impart, Be stopped in vials, or transfixed with pins ;
Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, Or plunged in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul, Or wedged whole ages in a bodkin's eye :
And waft a sigh from Indus to the pole. Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain, Ah, think at least thy flock deserves thy care, While clogged he beats his silken wings in vain; Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer; Or alum styptics with contracting power
From the false world in early youth they fled, Shrink his thin essence like a shrivelled flower : By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led. Or, as Ixion fixed, the wretch shall feel
You raised these hallowed walls; the desert smiled, The giddy motion of the whirling mill;
And paradise was opened in the wild. In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
No weeping orphan saw his father's stores And tremble at the sea that froths below!
Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors; He spoke ; the spirits from the sails descend : No silver saints, by dying misers given, Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ; Here bribed the rage of ill-requited heaven : Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair,
But such plain roofs as piety could raise, Some hang upon the pendants of her ear :
And only vocal with the Maker's praise. With beating hearts the dire event they wait, In these lone walls (their day's eternal bound) Anxious, and trembling for the birth of fate. These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crowr.ed,
Where awful arches make a noon-day night,
And the dim windows shed a solemn light; [Prom the Epistle of Eloisa to Abelard.] Thy eyes diffused a reconciling ray,
And gleams of glory brightened all the day. In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
But now no face divine contentment wears, Where heavenly-pensive contemplation dwells, 'Tis all blank sadness or continual tears. And ever-musing melancholy reigns,
See how the force of others' prayers I try,
O pious fraud of amorous charity!
Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend ! Yet, yet I lovel-From Abelard it came,
Ah, let thy handmaid, sister, daughter, move, And Eloisa yet must kiss the name,
And all those tender names in one, thy love! Dear, fatal name! rest ever unrevealed,
The darksome pines that o'er yon rocks reclined, Nor pass these lips in holy silence sealed :
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind; Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise, The wand'ring streams that shine between the hills, Where, mixed with God's, his loved idea lies : The grots that echo to the tinkling rills, 0, write it not, my hand—the name appears
The dying gales that pant upon the trees, Already written-wash it out, my tears !
The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze; In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays,
No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to rest the visionary maid.
Long sounding isles, and intermingled graves,
Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
Oh death, all-eloquent ! you only prove
Then, too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy And breathes a browner horror on the woods.
(That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy), What scenes appear where'er I turn my view ? În trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drowned, The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue,
Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round, Rise in the grove, before the altar rise,
From opening skies thy streaming glories shine, Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes.
And saints embrace thee with a love like mine! I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee;
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, Thy image steals between my God and me;
And graft my love immortal on thy fame! Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear,
Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er,
When this rebellious heart shall beat no more,
To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs,
Oh may we never love as these have loved !
Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady.
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ? Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes 'Tis she !--but why that bleeding bosom gored I Blot out each bright idea of the skies ;
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword? Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those tears; O ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell, Take back my fruitless penitence and prayers; Is it, in heaven, a crine to love too well? Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode ; To bear too tender, or too firm a heart, Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God!
To act a lorer's or a Roman's part !
Is there no bright reversion in the sky
Why bade ye else, ye powers ! her soul aspire Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Above the vulgar flight of low desire ? Thy nuths I quit, thy memory resign;
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes; Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine.
The glorious fault of angels and of gods : Fair eyes, and tempting looks (which yet I view!) Thence to their images on earth it flows, Long lored, adored ideas, all adieu !
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows. Oh grace serene! Oh virtue heavenly fair!
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage :
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres ;
Like eastern kings, a lazy state they keep, Receive, and wrap me in eternal rest !
And close confined to their own palace sleep.
From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die)
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And separate from their kindred dregs below; Here, as I watched the dying lamps around,
So flew the soul to its congenial place, From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound.
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race. * Come, sister, come! (it said, or seemed to say) But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thy place is here; sad sister, come away;
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood! Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and prayed, See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid : These cheeks now fading at the blast of death; But all is calın in this eternal sleep;
Cold is that breast which warmed the world before, Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. Even superstition loses every fear;
Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball, For God, not man, absolves our frailties here.'
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall: I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers, On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers ;
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates : Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
There passengers shall stand, and, pointing, say Where dames refined in breasts seraphic glow : (While the long funerals blacken all the way), Thou, Abelard ! the last sad office pay,
Lo! these were they, whose souls the furies steeled, And smooth my passage to the realms of day. And cursed with hearts unknowing how to yield. See my lips tremble, and my eyeballs roll,
Thus unlamented pass the proud away
For others' good, or melt at others' wo.
What can atone (O ever injured shade !) Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid ? Ah then, thy once-loved Eloisa see!
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier : See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed, See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed, Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er,
By foreigu hands thy humble grave adorned, And even my Abelard be loved no more.
By strangers honoured, and by strangers mourned!
What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, To midnight dances and the public show!
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest.
For ills or accidents that chance to all.
Was this their virtue, ou conteinpt of life?
Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave? While angels with their silver wings o'ershado Tell me, if virtue made the son expire ? The ground now sacred by thy relics made.
Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire ! So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath, What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. When nature sickened, and each gale was death? How loved, how honoured once, avails thee not, Or why so long (in life if long can be) To whom related, or by whom begot;
Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me? A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
What makes all physical or moral ill ? 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be !
'There deviates nature, and here wanders will.
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease.
Think we, like some weak prince, the Eternal Cause [Happiness Depends, not on Goods, but on Virtue.] Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws ?
Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, [From the • Essay on Man.')
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ? Order is Heaven's first law; and this confessed, On air or sea new motions be impressed, Some are, and inust be, greater than the rest,
Oh blameless Bethell to relieve thy breast? More rich, more wise ; but who infers from hence When the loose mountain treinbles from on high, That such are happier, shocks all common sense. Shall gravitation cease, if you go by? Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, If all are equal in their happiness :
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall! But mutual wants this happiness increase;
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) All nature's difference kceps all nature's peace. Contents us not. A better shall we have ! ('ondition, circumstance, is not the thing :
A kingdom of the just then let it be: Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
But first consider how those just agree. In who obtain defence, or who defend,
The good must merit God's peculiar care ; In him who is, or him who finds a friend :
But who, but God, can tell us who they are? Hearen breathes through every member of the whole One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell ; One common blessing, as one common soul
Another deems himn instrument of hell; But fortune's gifts, if each alike possessed,
If Calvin feel Heaven's blessing, or its rod, And each were equal, must not all contest?
This cries there is, and that there is no God. If then to all men happiness was meant,
What shocks one part will edify the rest, God in externals could not place content.
Nor with one system can they all be blest. Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
The very best will rariously incline,
And what rewards your virtue, punish mine.
And which more blest? who chained his country, say But future views of better, or of worse.
Or he whose virtue sighed to lose a day? Oh, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
‘But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed.' By mountains piled on mountains, to the skies? What then? Is the reward of virtue bread ? Ileaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys, That vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil ; And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil; Know, all the good that individuals find,
The knare deserves it, when he tempts the main, Or God and nature meant to mere mankind,
Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain ;
But grant him riches, your demand is o'er?
"No shall the good want health, the good want power ? The good or bad the gifts of fortune gain;
Add health and power, and every earthly thing;
Nay, why external for internal given ?
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? God gives enough, while he has more to give ; Count all the advantage prosperous vice attains, Immense the power, immense were the demand; 'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains :
Say at what part of nature will they stand ! And grant the bad what happiness they would, What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, Oue they must want, which is, to pass for good. The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
ad virtue's prize: a better would you fix !
Alike or when or where they shone or shine, Then give Ilumility a coach and six,
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine. Justice a conqueror's sword, or Truth a gown,
A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod; Or Public Spirit its great cure, a crown.
An honest man's the noblest work of God.
When what to oblivion better were resigned,
All fame is foreign but of true desert;
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart: As well as dream such trities are assigned,
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs As toys and empires, for a godlike mind.
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas; Rewards, that either would to virtue bring
And more true joy Marcellus exiled feels, No joy, or be destructive of the thing;
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels. How oft by these at sixty are undone
In parts superior what advantage lies ? The virtues of a saint at twenty-one!
Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise? To whom can riches give repute or trust,
"Tis but to know how little can be known; Content, or pleasure, but the good and just ?
To see all other faults, and feel our own : Judges and senates have been bought for gold; Condemned in business or in arts to drudge, Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Without a second, or without a judge: Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind, Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land ? The lover and the love of humankind,
All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Painful pre-eminence! yourself to view Because he wants a thousand pounds a-year.
Above life's weakness, and its comforts too. Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Bring then these blessings to a strict account; Act well your part, there all the honour lies. Make fair deductions; see to what they 'mount: Fortune in men has some small difference made, How much of other each is sure to cost; One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade ;
How each for other oft is wholly lost; The cobbler aproned, and the parson gowned,
How inconsistent greater goods with these; The friar hooded, and the monarch crowned.
How sometimes life is risked, and always ease: •What differ more (you cry) than crown and cowl !' Think, and if still the things thy envy call, I'll tell you, friend-a wise man and a fool.
Say, wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall! You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk, To sigh for ribbons, if thou art so silly, Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk;
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy: Worth makes the man, and want of it the follow : Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life! The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife; Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings, If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined, That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings : The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind : Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race,
Or ravished with the whistling of a name, In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
See Cromwell, damned to everlasting fame!
If all united thy ambition call,
There, in the rich, the honoured, famed, and great,
In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay, Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
How happy! those to ruin, these betray: What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows, Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.
From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose; Look next on greatness ; say where greatness lies : In each how guilt and greatness equal ran, Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?' And all that raised the hero, sunk the man : Heroes are much the same, the point’s agreed, Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede;
But stained with blood, or ill exchanged for gold : The whole strange purpose of their lives to find, Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease, Or make, an enemy of all mankind !
Or infamous for plundered provinces. Not one looks backward, onward still he goes,
Oh, wealth ill-fated! which no act of fame Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose.
Ere taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! No less alike the politic and wise :
What greater bliss attends their close of life? All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes : Some greedy minion, or imperious wife, Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, The trophied arches, storied halls invade, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak. And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade. But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat; Alas! not dazzled with their noontide ray, "Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great!
Compute the morn and evening to the day; Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
The whole amount of that enormous fame, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
A tale, that blends their glory with their shame! Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Know then this truth (enough for man to know), Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
"Virtuo alone is happiness below.' Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
The only point where human bliss stands still, Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives ;
And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Without satiety, though e'er so blessed, In the small circle of our foes or friends;
And but more relished as the more distressed : To all beside as much an empty shade,
The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears, An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead;
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears: