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"But I," said she, "my fellows must pursue, Already past the plain, and out of view."
We parted thus; I homeward sped my way, Bewilder'd in the wood till dawn of day:
And met the merry crew who danc'd about the May.
Then, late refresh'd with sleep, I rose to write
The visionary vigils of the night :
Blush, as thou may'st, my Little Book, with shame,
Nor hope with homely verse to purchase fame;
For such thy Maker chose and so design'd
Thy simple style to suit thy lowly kind.
OLD as I am, for ladies' love unfit,
The power of beauty I remember yet.
Which once inflam'd my soul, and still inspires my
If love be folly, the severe divine
Has felt that folly, though he censures mine;
Pollutes the pleasures of a chaste embrace,
Acts what I write, and propagates in grace,
With riotous excess, a priestly race.
Suppose him free, and that I forge th' offence,
He show'd the way, perverting first my sense:
In malice witty, and with venom fraught,
He makes me speak the things I never thought.
Compute the gains of his ungovern'd zeal ;
Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well.
The world will think, that what we loosely write,
Though now arraign'd, he read with some delight;
Because he seems to chew the cud again,
When his broad comment makes the text too plain;
And teaches more in one explaining page,
Than all the double-meanings of the stage.
What needs he paraphrase on what we mean?
We were at worst but wanton; he's obscene.
I not my fellows nor myself excuse;
But love's the subject of the comic Muse;
Nor can we write without it, nor would you
A tale of only dry instruction view;
Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
Awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul,
And, brushing o'er, adds motion to the pool.
Love, studious how to please, improves our parts
With polish'd manners, and adorns with arts.
Love first invented verse, and form'd the rhyme,
The motion measur'd, harmoniz'd the chime;
To liberal acts enlarg'd the narrow-soul'd,
Soften'd the fierce, and made the coward bold:
The world, when waste, he peopled with increase,
And warring nations reconcil'd in peace.
Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find,
In this one legend, to their fame design'd,
When Beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the mind.
In that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court,
And every Grace, and all the Loves, resort;
Where either sex is form'd of softer earth,
And takes the bent of pleasure from their birth;
There liv'd a Cyprian lord above the rest
Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd.
But as no gift of Fortune is sincere,
Was only wanting in a worthy heir;
His eldest born, a goodly youth to view,
Excell'd the rest in shape, and outward show,
Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion join'd,
But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.
His soul bely'd the features of his face;
Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace.
A clownish mien, a voice with rustic sound,
And stupid eyes that ever lov'd the ground.
He look'd like Nature's errour, as the mind
And body were not of a piece design'd,
But made for two, and by mistake in one were join'd.
The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Were exercis'd in vain on Wit's despair;
The more inform'd, the less he understood,
And deeper sunk by floundering in the mud.
Now scorn'd of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus chang'd his name,
And Cymon call'd, which signifies a brute;
So well his name did with his nature suit.
His father, when he found his labour lost,
And care employ'd that answer'd not the cost,
Chose an ungrateful object to remove,
And loath'd to see what Nature made him love; So to his country farm the fool confin'd;
Rude work well suited with a rustic mind.
Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went, [ment.
A squire among the swains, and pleas'd with banish-
His corn and cattle were his only care,
And his supreme delight, a country fair.
It happen'd on a summer's holiday,
That to the green-wood shade he took his way;
For Cymon shunn'd the church, and us'd not much
His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before, and half behind his back.
He trudg'd along, unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went for want of thought.
By Chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd,
The deep recesses of the grove he gain'd;
Where, in a plain defended by the wood,
Crept through the matted grass a crystal flood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood :
And on the margin of the fount was laid
(Attended by her slaves) a sleeping maid.
Like Dian and her nymphs, when, tir'd with sport,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort :
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest,
Than by the charming features of her face,
And ev'n in slumber a superior grace:
Her comely limbs compos'd with decent care,
Her body shaded with a slight cymarr;
Her bosom to the view was only bare:
Where two beginning paps were scarcely spy'd,
For yet their places were but signify'd:
The fanning wind upon her bosom blows,
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose;
The fanning wind, and purling streams, continue
The fool of Nature stood with stupid eyes,
And gaping mouth that testify'd surprise,
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight,
New as he was to love, and novice to delight:
Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh;
Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence :
Doubted for what he was he should be known,
By his clown accent, and his country tone.
Through the rude chaos thus the running light
Shot the first ray that pierc'd the native night:
Then day and darkness in the mass were mix'd,
Till gather'd in a globe the beams were fix'd:
Last shone the Sun, who, radiant in his sphere,
Illumin'd Heaven and Earth, and roll'd around the
So reason in this brutal soul began,
Love made him first suspect he was a man;
Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound;
By love his want of words and wit he found;
That sense of want prepar'd the future way
To knowledge, and disclos'd the promise of a day.
What not his father's care, nor tutor's art,
Could plant with pains in his unpolish'd heart,
The best instructor, Love, at once inspir'd,
As barren grounds to fruitfulness are fir'd:
Love taught him shame; and Shame, with Love at strife,
Soon taught the sweet civilities of life;
His gross material soul at once could find
Somewhat in her excelling all her kind:
Exciting a desire till then unknown,
Somewhat unfound, or found in her alone.