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Say, why are Beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wife man's paffion, and the vain man's toast?
Why deck'd with all that land and fea afford,
Why Angels call'd and Angel-like ador'd?
Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd Beaux, Why bows the fide-box from its inmost rows?
How vain are all thefe glories, all our pains,
Unless good fenfe preferve what beauty gains:
That men may fay, 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 chac'd old age away;
Who would not fcorn what housewife's cares produce,
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
To patch, nay ogle, may become a Saint,
Nor could it fure be fuch a fin to paint.
But fince, alas! frail beauty muft decay,
Curl'd or uncurl'd, fince Locks will turn to grey;
Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade,
And the who fcorns a man, muft die a maid;
What then remains, but well our power to use,
And keep good-humour still, whate'er we lose?
And trust me, Dear! good-humour can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and fcreams, and fcolding
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms ftrike the fight, but merit wins the foul.
So fpoke the Dame, but no applause enfued ; Belinda frown'd, Thaleftris call'd her Prude.
To arms, to arms! the fierce Virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
All fide in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, filks ruftle, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes and Heroines fhouts confusedly rise,
And bafs and treble voices ftrike the skies.
No common weapon in their hands are found,
Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage,
And heavenly breasts with human paffions rage;
'Gainft Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms;
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms;
Jove's thunder roars, heaven trembles all around,
Blue Neptune ftorms, the bellowing deeps refound: 50
Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives way,
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel on a fconce's height
Clapp'd his glad wings, and fate to view the fight:
Prop'd on their bodkin-fpears, the Sprites furvey
The growing combat, or affift the fray.
While through the prefs enrag'd Thalestris flies,
And fcatters death around from both her eyes,
A Beau and Witling perifh'd in the throng,
One dy'd in metaphor, and one in fong.
Ver. 37. To arms, to arms!] From hence the first edition goes on to the Conclufion, except a very few fhort infertions added, to keep the Machinery in view to the end of the poem.
Ver. 53. Triumphant Umbriel] These four lines added, for the reafon before-mentioned.
"O cruel Nymph! a living death I bear,"
Cry'd Dapperwit, and funk befide his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards caft,
"Thofe eyes are made fo killing"-was his last.
Thus on Meander's flowery margin lies
'Th' expiring Swan, and as he fings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clariffa down,
Chloe step'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She fmil'd to fee the doughty hero flain,
But, at her fmile, the Beau revived again.
Now Jove fufpends his golden fcales in air,
Weighs the Mens wits against the Lady's hair;
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side;
At length the wits mount up, the hairs fubfide.
See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,
With more than ufual lightning in her eyes:
Nor fear'd the Chief the unequal fight to try,
Who fought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold Lord with manly strength endued,
She with one finger and a thumb fubdued:
Juft where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of Snuff the wily virgin threw;
The Gnomes direct, to every atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating duft.
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
Now meet thy fate, incens'd Belinda cry'd,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her fide.
(The fame, his ancient perfonage to deck,
Her great-great-grandfire wore about his neck,
In three feal-rings; which after, melted down,
Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown:
Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew,
The bells the jingled, and the whistle blew;
Then in a bodkin graced her mother's hairs,
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)
Boaft not my fall (he cry'd) infulting foe!
Thou by fome other shalt be laid as low.
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind:
All that I dread is leaving you behind!
Rather than fo, ah let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames-but burn alive.
Reftore the Lock, fhe cries; and all around
Reftore the Lock! the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in fo loud a ftrain
Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.
But fee how oft ambitious aims are crofs'd,
And chiefs contend till all the prize is loft!
The Lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain,
In every place is fought, but fought in vain :
With fuch a prize no mortal must be bleft,
So heaven decrees! with heaven who can contest?
Some thought it mounted to the Lunar sphere,
Since all things loft on earth are treafur'd there.
There Heroes wits are kept in ponderous vafes,
And Beaux in fnuff-boxes and tweezer-cafes.
There broken vows and death-bed alms are found,
And lovers hearts with ends of ribband bound.
The courtier's promises, and fick man's prayers,
The finiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoak a flea,
Dry'd butterflies, and tomes of cafuistry.
But truft the Mufe-fhe faw it upward rife,
Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes:
(So Rome's great founder to the heavens withdrew,
To Proculus alone confefs'd in view)
A fudden Star, it fhot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's Locks firft rofe fo bright,
The heavens befpangling with difhevel'd light.
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And pleas'd purfue its progrefs through the fkies.
This the Beau-monde fhall from the Mall furvey,
And hail with mufic its propitious ray.
This the bleft Lover fhall for Venus take,
And fend up vows from Rofamonda's lake.
This Partridge foon fhall view in cloudlefs fkies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes;
And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Then ceafe, bright Nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd
Which adds new glory to the fhining sphere!
Not all the treffes that fair head can boast,
Shall draw fuch envy as the Lock you lost.
Ver. 131. The Sylphs behold] Thefe two lines added for the fame reafon, to keep in view the Machinery of the Poem.