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O, had her eyes forgot to blaze !
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The honey-moon like lightning flew;
* (Here followed, in the first edition :
“Our alter'd parson now began
To be a perfect lady's man;
So, &c." The allusion to the “ bailiffs pump'd” applies to an incident in the Poet's own college career. See Life, ch. iii.)
+ ["And though she felt his visage rough."- Orig.)
Found half the charms that deck'd her face
face had robb'd her mind.
Skill'd in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humor rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. 'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace, Half naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy night-caps wrapp'd her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull domestic friend ? Could any curtain lectures bring To decency so fine a thing? In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting; By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy* Of powder'd coxcombs at her levy; The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations: Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke A sigh in suffocating smoke;t While all their hours were pass'd between Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus as her faults each day were known, He thinks her features coarser grown;
(“Now tawdry madam kept a bevy."-Orig.)
And found substantial bliss in vexing."-16.)
He fancies every vice she shows,
Now to perplex the ravellid noose, As each a different way pursues, While sullen or loquacious strife Promised to hold them on for life, That dire disease, whose ruthless power Withers the beauty's transient flower :: Lo! the small pox, whose horrid glare Levell’d its terrors at the fair; And, rifling every youthful grace, Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight, Reflected now a perfect fright: Each former art she vainly tries To bring back lustre to her eyes; In vain she tries her paste and creams, To smooth her skin, or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens; The squire himself was seen to yield, And ev'n the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
the old :
A NEW SIMILE.
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.
Long had I sought in vain to find
* [Printed in the Essays, 1765.)
Imprimis; pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side—mark that. Well ! what is it from thence we gather? Why, these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light; Such as to modern bard's decreed; A just comparison,-proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Design’d no doubt their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air ; And here my simile unites; For in the modern poet's flights, I'm sure it may be justly said, His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t observe his hand, Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand; By classic authors term’d Caduceus, And highly fam'd for several uses. To wit-most wond'rously endu'd, No poppy-water half so good; For let folks only get a touch, Its soporific virtue's such, Though ne'er so much awake before, That quickly they begin to snore. Add too, what certain writers tell, With this he drives men's souls to Hell.
Now to apply, begin we then :-