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He carved the turf to mould a manly frame,
In such a shape to mould a rising Fair,
As Vulcan ends, the cheerful queen of charms
The practised languish, where well-feign'd desire Would own its melting in a mutual fire;
Gay smiles, to comfort; April showers, to move; And all the nature, all the art of love.
Gold-sceptred Juno next exalts the Fair; Her touch endows her with imperious air, Self-valuing fancy, highly-crested pride, Strong sovereign will, and some desire to chide : For which, an eloquence, that aims to vex, With native tropes of anger, arms the sex. Minerva, skilful goddess, train'd the maid To twirl the spindle by the twisting thread, To fix the loom, instruct the reeds to part, Cross the long weft, and close the web with art. An useful gift; but what profuse expense, What world of fashions, took its rise from hence! Young Hermes next, a close contriving god, Her brows encircled with his serpent-rod : Then plots and fair excuses fill'd her brain, The views of breaking amorous vows for gain; The price of favours; the designing arts That aim at riches in contempt of hearts; And, for a comfort in the marriage life, The little pilfering temper of a wife.
Full on the Fair, his beams Apollo flung, And fond persuasion tipp'd her easy tongue; He gave her words, where oily flattery lays The pleasing colours of the art of praise; And wit, to scandal exquisitely prone, Which frets another's spleen, to cure its own. Those sacred Virgins whom the bards revere, Tuned all her voice, and shed a sweetness there, To make her sense with double charms abound, Or make her lively nonsense please by sound.
To dress the maid, the decent Graces brought A robe in all the dyes of beauty wrought, And placed their boxes o'er a rich brocade, Where pictured Loves on every cover play'd; Then spread those implements that Vulcan's art Had framed to merit Cytherea's heart; The wire to curl, the close-indented comb To call the locks that lightly wander, home; And chief, the mirror, where the ravish'd maid Beholds and loves her own reflected shade.
Fair Flora lent her stores; the purpled Hours
With blushes glows, or shines with lively smiles,
Flow from the rock, my flax! and swiftly flow,
New beauty blooms, a beauty form'd to fly; New love begins, a love produced to die; New parts distress the troubled scenes of life, The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife.
Men, born to labour, all with pains provide; Women have time to sacrifice to pride: They want the care of man, their want they know, And dress to please with heart-alluring show; The show prevailing, for the sway contend, And make a servant where they meet a friend. 'Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts A loitering race the painful bee supports; From sun to sun, from bank to bank he flies, With honey loads his bag, with wax his thighs; Fly where he will, at home the race remain, Prune the silk dress, and murmuring eat the gain. 'Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride, Whose temper betters by the father's side; Unlike the rest that double human care, Fond to relieve, or resolute to share : Happy the man whom thus his stars advance! The curse is general, but the blessing chance.' Thus sung the sisters, while the gods admire Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire; The young Pandora she, whom all contend To make too perfect not to gain her end : Then bid the winds that fly to breathe the spring, Return to bear her on a gentle wing; With wafting airs the winds obsequious blow, And land the shining vengeance safe below. A golden coffer in her hand she bore, The present treacherous, but the bearer more; 'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain'd above, That gold should aid, and pangs attend on love.
Her gay descent the man perceived afar,
Or swears that Venus' must be such as hers.
At first the creature man was framed alone,