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Of these the chief the care of Nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British Throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a lefs pleafing, tho' less glorious care ;
To fave the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprifon'd effences exhale ;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs;
To fteal from rainbows, ere they drop in show'rs,
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Affift their blushes, and infpire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.

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This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair
That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire disaster, or by force, or flight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrap'd in night."
Whether the nymph fhall break Diana's law,
Or fome frail China-jar receive a flaw:

Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her pray'rs, or mifs a masquerade;
Or lofe her heart, or necklace at a ball;



Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock muft fall.
Hafte then, ye fpirits! to your charge repair:
The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we confign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crifpiffa, tend her fav'rite Lock;
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.

To fifty chofen Sylphs, of fpecial note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat:
Oft have we known that feven-fold fence to fail,
Tho' ftiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale;


VER. IC5. Whether the nymph; etc.] The difafter, which makes the fubject of this poem, being a trifle, taken seriously; it naturally led the Poet into this fine fatire on the female cftimate of human mifchances.

Form a strong line about the filver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
Whatever fpirit, carelefs of his charge,
His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel sharp vengeance foon o'ertake his fins, 125
Be ftop'd in viols, or transfix'd with pins ;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
Gums and Pomatums fhall his flight reftrain,
While clog'd he beats his filken wings in vain ;
Or Alum ftyptics with contracting pow'r
Shrink his thin essence like a fhrivel'd flow'r:
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch fhall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling Mill,
In fumes of burning Chocolate fhall glow,'
And tremble at the fea that froths below!


He fpoke; the fpirits from the fails defcend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ;.,
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair:
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear ;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of Fate.

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RAPE of the LOCK.



LOSE by thofe meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There ftands a ftructure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's ftatesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great ANNA!' whom three realms obey,
Doft fometimes counsel take-and sometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a Court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the vifit laft;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one defcribes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.

Snuff, or the fan, fupply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.

Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely fhoots his burning ray;


VER. II, 12. Originally in the first edition,

In various talk the chearful hours they paft,
Of, who was bit, or who capotted laft.




VER. 1. Clofe by thofe meads,] The first edition continues from this line to ver. 24. of this Canto.

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The hungry Judges foon the sentence fign,
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 fingly to decide their doom;
And fwells her breaft with conquefts yet to come.
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the spreads her hand, the aërial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card :
First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
Then each according to the rank he bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wond'rous 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' expreffive emblem of their fofter pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs fuccinct, a trusty band;
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.

The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care: 45 Let Spades be trumps! fhe faid, and trumps they were. Now move to war her fable Matadores,

In fhow like leaders of the fwarthy Moors,

VER. 47. Now move to war, etc.] The whole idea of this defcription of a game at Ombre is taken from Vida's defcription of a game at Chefs, in his poem intitled Scacchia Ludus.


VER. 24. And the long labours of the toilet ceafe.] All that follows of the game at Ombre, was added fince the first edition, till ver. 105. which connected thus:

Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd.


Spadillio firft, unconquerable Lord!

Led off two captive trumps, and fwept the board. 50
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,

And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Bafto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one Plebeian card.
With his broad fabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majefty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveal'd,
The reft, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'erthrew,
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,
Sad chance of war! now deftitute of aid,
Falls undiftinguish'd by the victor Spade!




Thus far both armies to Belinda yield; Now to the Baron fate inclines the field. His warlike Amazon her hoft invades, Th' imperial confort of the crown of Spades. The Club's black tyrant firft her victim dy'd, Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride: 70 What boots the regal circle on his head, His giant limbs in state unwieldy spread; That long behind he trails his pompous robe, And, of all monarchs, only grafps the globe?


The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd King who fhews but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin❜d,
Of broken troops an eafy conqueft find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild diforder feen,
With throngs promifcuous ftrow the level green.
Thus when difpers'd a routed army runs,
Of Afia's troops, and Afric's fable fons,

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