網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[merged small][ocr errors]

To have been a respectable versifier, if praise it be, is the least of this nobleman's praises: he was a faithful historian, an honourable statesman, and a good man.

Advice to a Lady.—1731.

The counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear,
Too roughly kind to please a lady's ear,
Unlike the flatteries of a lover's pen,
Such truths as women seldom learn from men.
Nor think I praise you ill, when thus I show
What female vanity might fear to know.
Some merit's mine, to dare to be sincere;
But greater your's, sincerity to bear.-

Hard is the fortune that your sex attends;
Women, like princes, find few real friends:

All who approach them their own ends pursue;
Lovers and ministers are seldom true.
Hence oft from reason heedless beauty strays,
And the most trusted guide the most betrays!
Hence, by fond dreams of fancied power amused,
When most you tyrannize, you're most abused.

What is your sex's earliest, latest care,
Your heart's supreme ambition ?—to be fair.
For this, the toilet every thought employs,
Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys:
For this, hands, ligs, and eyes, are put to school.
And each instructed feature has its rule:
And yet how few have learnt, when this is given,
Not to disgrace the partial boon of heaven!
How few with all their pride of form can move!
How few are lovely, that are made for love!
Do you, my fair, endeavour to possess
An elegance of mind as well as dress;
Be that your ornament, and know to please
By graceful nature's unaffected ease.

Nor make to dangerous wit a vain pretence,
But wisely rest content with modest sense;
For wit like wine intoxicates the brain,
Too strong for feeble woman to sustain:

Of those who claim it more than half have none,
And half of those who have it are undone.

Be still superior to your sex's arts,
Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts:
For you the plainest is the wisest rule:
A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame
Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame.
Prudes rail at whores, as statesmen in disgrace
At ministers, because they wish their place.
Virtue is amiable, mild, serene;
Without, all beauty, and all peace within;
The honour of a prude is rage and storm,
"Tis ugliness in its most frightful form;
Fiercely it stands, defying gods and men,
As fiery monsters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman's noblest station is retreat:
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight,
Domestick worth, that shuns too strong a light.

To rougher man Ambition's task resign:
'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine;
To labour lor a sunk corrupted state,
Or dare the rage of envy, and be great.

One only care your gentle breasts shall move.
The important business of your life is love;
To this great point. direct your constant aim.
This makes your happiness, and this your fame.

Be never cool reserve with passion join'd;
With caution choose: but then be fondly kind.
The selfish heart that but by halves is given,
Shall find no place in love's delightful heaven;
Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless:
The virtue of a lover is excess.

A maid unask'd may own a well-placed flame;
Not loving first, but loving wrong is shame.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain,
Nor think that conquest justifies disdain.
Short is the period of insulting power,
Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour;
Soon will resume the empire which he gave,
And soon the tyrant shall become the slave.
Blest is the maid, and worthy to be blest,
Whose soul, entire by him she loves possest,
Feels every vanity in fondness lost,
And asks no power but that of pleasing most r
Hers is the bliss, in just return, to prove
The honest warmth of undissembled love;

For her, inconstant man might cease to range,
And gratitude forbid desire to change.
But, lest harsh care the lover's peace destroy,
Aud roughly blight the tender buds of joy,
Let reason teach what passion fain would hide,
That Hymen's bands by prudence should be tied,
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown,
If angry Fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flattering dream of bliss be o'er,
And cloy'd imagination cheat no more.
Then, waking to the sense of lasting pain,
With mutual tears the nuptial couch they stain;
And that fond love, which should afford reliefp.

Does but increase the anguish of their grief;
While both could easier their own sorrows be;

:ar,

Than the sad knowledge of each other's care.

Yet may you rather feel that virtuous p-'iin,^
Than sell your violated charms for gain;
Than wed the wretch whom you despise or hate,
For the vain glare of useless wealth or state.
The most abandoned prostitutes are they,
Who not to love but avarice fall a prey:
Nor aught avails the specious name of wife;
A maid so wedded is a wh&re for life,
vor.. nr. B

« 上一頁繼續 »