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Happy! ah! ten times happy had I been,
'What moved my mind with youthful Lords to roam ? O, had I stayed and said my prayers at home!
''Twas this, the morning omens seemed to tell ! Thrice from my trembling hand the Patch-box fell! The tottring china shook without a wind ! Nay! Poll sat mute; and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph too warned me of the threats of Fate, In mystic visions, now believed too late!
'See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs! My hands 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! Uncurled it hangs! The fatal shears demands; And tempts once more thy sacrilegious hands ! Oh! hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize Hairs less in sight; or any hairs but these!'
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
She said. The pitying audience melt in tears: But Fate and Jove had stopped the Baron's ears! In vain, THALESTRIS, with reproach assails; For who can move, when fair BELINDA fails ! Not half so fixed the Trojan could remain, While Anna begged, and Dido urged, in vain !
[First added in the Fifth Edition of 1718. Then grave CLARISSA graceful waved her fan. Silence ensued, and thus the Nymph began.
Say, why are Beauties praised and honoured most? The wise man's Passion, and the vain man's Toast! Why decked with all that land and sea afford ? Why Angels called, and Angel-like adored ? Why round our coaches crowd the white-gloved Beaus? 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 ! Then men may say, when we the Front-Box grace, Behold the first in virtue, as in face !
‘ O, if to dance all night, and dress all day, Charmed the Small-pox, or chased old age away; Who would not scorn 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! Curled, or uncurled, since Locks will turn to grey! Since, painted, or not painted, all shall fade ! And she who scorns a Man, must die a Maid ! What then remains, but well our power to use; And keep Good Humour still, whate'er we lose ? And trust me, Dear! Good Humour can revail, When Airs, and fights, and screams, and scolding fail! Beauties, in vain, their pretty eyes may roll ; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul!'
So spake the Dame; but no applause ensued ! BELINDA frowned. THALESTRIS called her Prude!' "To Arms! To Arms! the fierce virago cries ;]
"To Arms! To Arms !' the bold THALESTRIS cries;
All side in Parties, and begin th' attack;
1 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! Heaven trembles all around ! Blue NEPTUNE storms! The bellowing deeps resound! Earth shakes her nodding Towers! The ground gives And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day! [way;
Triumphant UMBRIEL, on a sconce's height, Clapped his glad wings; and sat to view the fight. Propped on their bodkin spears, the Sprights survey The growing combat; or assist the fray.
While through the press enraged Thalestris flies, And scatters deaths around from both her eyes; A Beau and Witling perished 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 Meander's flow'ry margin lies Th' expiring swan ; and, as he sings, he dies !
When bold Sir PLUME had drawn CLARISSA down; Chloe stepped in, and killed him with a frown! She smiled to see the doughty hero slain ; But, at her smile, the Beau revived again! 1 HOMER, Iliad, XX.
A Song in the Opera of Camilla.
1 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
But this bold Lord, with manly strength endued,
Now, meet thy fate!' incensed BELINDA cried; And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck In three Seal-Rings; which, after, melted down Formed a vast buckle for his Widow's gown. Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew; The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew. Then in a bodkin, graced her mother's hairs; Which long she wore, and now BELINDA wears.) 1 Vide HOMER, Iliad, VIII; and VIRGIL, Æneid, XII. ? In imitation of the progress of AGAMEMNON's sceptre in Homer, Iliad, II.