Page images




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

Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;

Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,

Dost sometimes counsel take-and sometimes tea.

Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,

To taste awhile the pleasures of a court;

In various talk th' instructive hours they past,


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;
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 ;

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,

Burns to encounter two advent'rous knights,

At Ombre singly to decide their doom,

And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.

Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join,

Each band the number of the sacred Nine.

Soon as she spreads her hand th' aërial guard

Descend, and sit on each important card:

First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,

Then each according to the rank they bore;
For sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.

Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,

With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;

And four fair Queens, whose hands sustain a flow'r,

Th' expressive emblem of their softer pow'r;

Four Knaves, in garbs succinct, a trusty band,

Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;

And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,

Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain.

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.

Spadillio first, unconquerable lord!

Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.

As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,

And march'd a victor from the verdant field.

Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard

Gain'd but one trump and one plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,

The hoary majesty of Spades appears,

« PreviousContinue »