« PreviousContinue »
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
CANTO V. OHE said: the pitying audience melt in tears;
But fate and Jove had stopp'd the baron's ears. In vain Thalestris with reproach assails, For who can move when fair Belinda fails? Not half so iix'd the Trojan could remain, While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain. Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan; Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began :—
* Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? Why deck'd with all the land and sea afford, Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd? Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd
beaux I Why bows the side-box from its iamost rows? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains; That men may say, when we the front-box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face! Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day, Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away; Who would notscorn what housewife's cares produce, Or who would learn oue 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, Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to gray; Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade, And she who tcorns a man must die a maid;
"What then remains, but well our pow'r to use,
And trust me, dear! good-humour can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul/
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued; Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude.
* To arms, to arms!* the fierce virago cries,
Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage,
way, And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel, on a sconce's height, Clapp'd his glad wings, and sat to .view the fight: Propp'd on their bodkin-spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and -witling perish'd in the throng, One died in metaphor, and one in song:
* O cruel nymph I a living death I.bear/ Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir FopVmg upwards cast,
* Those eyes are made so killing'—was his last. Thus on Mseander's flowery margin lies The? expiring swan, and as he sings he die*.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd again.
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,
'Now meet thy fate,' incens'd Belinda cry'd,
'Boast not my fall (he cry'd) insulting foe!
'Restore the lock I' she cries; and all around
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
Bat trust the Muse—she saw it upward rise, Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view ) A sodden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Kot Berenice's locks first rose so bright, The heav'n* bespangling with disheveil'd light. The sylphs behold it kindling as it flies, And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.
This the bean monde shall from the mall survey, And hail with music its propitious ray; This the blest lover shall for Venus take, And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake; This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies, When next ho looks through Galilaeo's eyes; And hence the' egregious wizard shall foredoom The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair, Which adds new glory to the shining sphere! Not all the tresses that fair head can boast, Shall draw such envy as the lock you lost.
For after all the murders of your eye,
ELOISA TO ABELARD.
N these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heavenly-pensive contemplation dwells,
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
0 write it not, my hand—the name appears
In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays,
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contain* Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains: Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn; Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn! Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep, And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep! Though cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown,
1 have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not Heav'n's while Abelard has part.