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With like confufion diff'rent nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions difunited fall,
In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (oh fhameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.
At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forfook,
A livid palenefs fpreads o'er all her look;
She fees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Juft in the jaws of ruin, and Codille.
And now, (as oft in fome diftemper'd state)
On one nice trick depends the genʼral fate,
An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the King unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen:
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the proftrate Ace.
The Nymph exulting fills with fhouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
O thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate, Too foon dejected, and too foon elate. Sudden, these honours fhall be fnatch'd away, And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, The berries crackle, and the mill turns round: On fhining Altars of Japan they raise
The filver lamp; the fiery fpirits blaze:
VARIA TIO N S.
VER. 105. Sudden the board, etc.] From hence the first edition continues to ver. 134.
Nefcia mens hominum fati fortifque futuræ,
Et fervare modum, rebus fublata fecundis !
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta; et cum fpolia ifta diemque
From filver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoaking tide: 110
At once they gratify their scent and tafte,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Strait hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as the fipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd, 115
Trembling, and confcious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wife,
And fee thro' all things with his half-fhut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New ftratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.
Ah cease, rafh youth! defift ere 'tis too late,
Fear the juft Gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and fent to fit in air,
She dearly pays for Nifus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How foon they find fit inftruments of ill?
Juft then, Clariffa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her fhining cafe:
So ladies, in Romance, affift their knight,
Prefent the fpear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant fteams fhe bends her head.
VER. 122. and think of Scylla's fate !] Vide Ovid. Metam. viii.
VER. 134. In the first edition it was thus:
As o'er the fragrant stream she bends her head,
First he expands the glitt'ring forfex wide
T' inclose the Lock; then joins it to divide :
The meeting points the facred hair diffever,
From the fair head, for ever and for ever,
All that is between was added afterwards.
Swift to the Lock à thoufand Sprites repair, 135
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice the look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Juft in that inftant, anxious Ariel fought
The close receffes of the Virgin's thought; 140
As on the nofegay in her breaft reclin'd,
62 He watch'd th' ideas rifing in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expir'd, 145
Refign'd to fate, and with a figh retir'd.
The Peer now fpreads the glitt'ring forfex wide,
T' inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;
Fate urg'd the fheers, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But airy fubftance foon unites again)
The meeting points the facred hair diffever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes, 155
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted fkies.
Not louder fhrieks to pitying heav'n are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs breathe their last ş
Or when rich China veffels fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring duft, and painted fragments lie!
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine, (The Victor cry'd) the glorious Prize is mine!
VER. 152. But airy fubftance] See Milton, lib. iv. of Satan cut afunder by the angel Michael.
VER. 163. 170.
Dum juga montis aper, fluvios dum pifcis amabit,
Semper honos, nomenque tuum, laudefque manebunt.
While fish in ftreams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and fix the British Fair,
As long as Atalantis fhall be read,
Or the small pillow grace a Lady's bed,
While vifits fhall be paid on folemn days,
When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or affignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praife shall live! 170
What Time would fpare, from Steel receives its date
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the Gods deftroy,
And ftrike to duft th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound, 175
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair Nymph! thy hairs fhould feel The conqu'ring force of unrefifted steel?
VER. 165. Atalantis] A famous book written about that time by a woman full of Court and Party-fcandal; and in a lcofe cffeminacy of style and fentiment, which well fuited the debauched afte of the better Vulgar.
Ille quoque everfus mons eft, etc.
Quid faciant crines, cum ferro talia cedant ?
Catull, de com. Berenices,
UT anxious cares the penfive Nymph opprefs'd, And fecret paffions labour'd in her breast. Not youthful kings in battle feiz'd alive, Not fcornful virgins who their charms survive, Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss, Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kifs, Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry, E'er felt fuch rage, refentment, and despair, As thou, fad Virgin! for thy ravish'd Hair.
For, that fad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew, And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy fprite, As ever fully'd the fair face of light, Down to the central earth, his proper scene, Repair'd to fearch the gloomy Cave of Spleen. Swift on his footy pinions flits the Gnome, And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome.
VER. 1. At regina gravi, etc,
While her rack'd Soul repofe and peace requires,
The fierce Thaleftris fans the rifing fires.
and continued at the 94th verfe of this Canto.
VER. 11. For, that fad moment, etc.] All the lines from hence to the 94th verfe, that defcribe the houfe of Spleen, are not in the first edition; instead of them followed only these :