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'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain'd above,
That gold should aid, and pangs attend on love.
Her gay descent the man perceiv'd afar,
Wond'ring he run to catch the falling star;
But fo furpriz'd, as none but he can tell,
Who lov'd fo quickly, and who lov'd fo well.
O'er all his veins the wand'ring paffion burns,
He calls her Nymph, and ev'ry Nymph by turns.
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers,
Or fwears that Venus' must be such as hers.
She, proud to rule, yet strangely fram'd to tease,
Neglects his offers while her airs fhe plays,
Shoots fcornful glances from the bended frown,
In brifk disorder trips it up and down,
Then hums a careless tune to lay the ftorm,
And fits, and blushes, smiles, and yields, in form.
"Now take what Jove defign'd, fhe foftly cry'd,
"This box thy portion, and myself thy bride:"
Fir'd with the profpect of the double charms,
He fnatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms.
Unhappy man! to whom so bright she shone, The fatal gift, her tempting self, unknown! The winds were filent, all the waves afleep, And heav'n was trac'd upon the flatt'ring deep; But whilst he looks unmindful of a storm, And thinks the water wears a stable form, What dreadful din around his ears fhall rife! What frowns confuse his picture of the fkies!
At first the creature man was fram'd alone, Lord of himself, and all the world his own. For him the Nymphs in green forfook the woods, For him the Nymphs in blue forfook the floods, In vain the Satyrs rage, the Tritons rave, They bore him heroes in the fecret cave. No care destroy'd, no fick disorder prey'd, No bending age his sprightly form decay'd, No wars were known, no females heard to rage, And Poets tell us, 'twas a golden age.
When woman came, thofe ills the box confin'd Burft furious out, and poison'd all the wind,
From point to point, from pole to pole they flew,
Spread as they went, and in the progrefs grew:
The Nymphs regretting left the mortal race,
And alt'ring nature wore a fickly face:
New terms of folly rofe, new ftates of care;
New plagues, to fuffer, and to please, the Fair!
The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
Commenc'd, or finifh'd, with the breach of leagues;
The mean defigns of well-diffembled love;
The fordid matches never join'd above;
Abroad the labour, and at home the noise,
(Man's double fuff'rings for domeftic joys)
The curfe of jealousy; expence, and strife;
Divorce, the publick brand of fhameful life;
The rival's fword; the qualm that takes the Fair ;
Disdain for paffion, paffion in despair-
These, and a thousand, yet unnam'd we find;
Ah fear the thousand, yet unnam❜d behind!
Thus on Parnaffus tuneful Hefiod fung,
The mountain echo'd, and the valley rung,
The facred groves a fix'd attention show,
The chryftal Helicon forbore to flow,
The sky grew bright, and (if his verse be true)
The Muses came to give the laurel too.
But what avail'd the verdant prize of wit,
If Love swore vengeance for the tales he writ?
Ye Fair offended, hear your friend relate
What heavy judgment prov'd the writer's fate,
Tho' when it happen'd, no relation clears,
'Tis thought in five, or five and twenty years.
Where, dark and filent, with a twisted shade
The neighbouring woods a native arbour made,
There oft the tender pair for am'rous play
Retiring, toy'd the ravish'd hours away;
A Locrian youth, the gentle Troilus he,
A fair Milefian, kind Evanthe she:
But fwelling nature in a fatal hour
Betray'd the fecrets of the conscious bow'r ;
The dire difgrace her brothers count their own,
And track her steps, to make its Author known.
It chanc'd one evening, 'twas the Lover's day,
Conceal'd in brakes the jealous kindred lay;
When Hefiod wand'ring, mus'd along the plain,
And fix'd his feat where love had fix'd the scene:
A strong suspicion strait poffefs'd their mind,
(For Poets ever were a gentle kind)
But when Evanthe near the paffage ftood,
Flung back a doubtful look, and shot the wood,
"Now take, at once they cry, thy due reward,"
And urg'd with erring rage, affault the Bard:
His corps the fea receiv'd. The dolphins bore
('Twas all the Gods would do) the corps to fhore.
Methinks I view the dead with pitying eyes,
And fee the dreams of antient wisdom rise;
I see the Mufes round the body cry,
But hear a Cupid loudly laughing by ;
He wheels his arrow with infulting hand,
And thus infcribes the moral on the fand.
"Here Hefiod lies: ye future Bards, beware
"How far your moral tales incenfe the Fair: