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NOT with more glories, in th' etherial plain, The sun first rises o'er the purple main, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Launch'd on the bosom of the silver Thames. 4 Fairnymphsand well-dress'd youths around her shone; But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss and Infidels adore. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those: 10 Favours to none, to all she smiles extends: Oft she rejects, but never once offends. Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, 15 Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide : If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Nourish'd two Locks which graceful hung behind In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck 21 With shining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck. Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains.
With hairy springes we the birds betray,
Th’advent'rous Baron the bright locks admir'd;
For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implor'd 35 Propitious heav'n, and ev'ry power ador'd, But chiefly Love....to Love an altar built, Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt. There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves; And all the trophies of his former loves:
40 With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre, And breathes three am'rous sighs to raise the fire. Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize. The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray'r; The rest the winds dispers’d in empty air. 46
But now secure the painted vessel glides, The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides; While melting music steals upon the sky, And soften'd sounds along the waters die: 50
Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gently play,
70 His purple pinions open'd to the sun, He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun.
Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear; Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons, hear! Ye know the spheres, and various tasks assign'd 75 By laws eternal to th' ærial kind.
Some in the fields of purest æther play,
Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
This day black omens threat the brightest fair That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire disaster, or by force or slight;
To fifty chosen sylphs, of special note,
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o’ertake his sins, 125 Be stopt in vials, or transfix'd with pins; Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye: