« PreviousContinue »
Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain,
He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend;
CLOSE by those meads, for ever crown'd with
flow'rs, Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs, There stands a structure of majestic frame, Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name. Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom 5 Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home; Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey, Dost sometimes counsel take....and sometimes tea.
Hitherto the heroes and the nymphs resort, To taste awhile the pleasures of the court; 10 In various talk th' instructive hours they past, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last; One speaks the glory of the British Queen, And one describes a charming Indian screen; A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes; 15 At ev'ry word a reputation dies. Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat, With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray; 20 The hungry Judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine ; The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace, And the long labours of the toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites, 25
Behold, four Kings in majesty's rever'd,
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care: Let spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they were.
Now move to war her sable Matadores, In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Spadilio first, unconquerable lord! Let off two captive trumps, and swept the board. 50
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
65 Now to the Baron Fate inclines the field. His warlike Amazon her host invades, Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades. The Club's black tyrant first her victim dy'd, Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride; 70, What boast the regal circle on his head, His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread; That long behind he trails his pompous robe, And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe ?
The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace: 75 Th' embroider'd King, who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd
85 In heaps on heaps; one fate o’erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, A livid paleness spreads o’er all her look ; 90 She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill, Just in the jaws of ruin and Codille. And now (as oft in some distemper'd state) On one nice trick depends the gen'ral fate : An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the King unseen 95 Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn’d his captive Queen: He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. The nymph, exulting, fills with shouts the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals, reply. 100
O thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to Fate, Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.