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On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll ; Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said : Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.” “For ever curs'd be this detested day,
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued : Which snatch'd my best, my favorite curl away: Belinda frown’d, Thalestris call’d her prude. Happy! ah ten times happy had I been,
• To arms, to arms !" the fierce virago cries, If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! And swift as lightning to the combat flies. Yet am not I the first mistaken maid
All side in parties, and begin th' attack; By love of courts to numerous ills betray'd. Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd
crack ; In some lone isle, or distant northern land; Heroes' and heroines’ shouts confus’dly rise, Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, And base and treble voices strike the skies. Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! No common weapons in their hands are found; There kept my charms conceal’d from mortal eye, Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound. Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam ? And heavenly breasts with human passions rage; Oh had I stay'd, and said my prayers at home! 'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona Hermes arms; 'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell, And all Olympus rings with loud alarms; Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; Jove's thunder roars, Heaven trembles all around, The tottering china shook without a wind, Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound : Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind! Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of Fate,
way, In mystic visions, now believ'd too late!
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height My hand shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight: These in two sable ringlets taught to break, Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the Sprites survey Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; The growing combat, or assist the fray. The Sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone,
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;
And scatters death around from both her eyes, Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears demands, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng, And tempts, once more, thy sacrilegious hands. One died in metaphor, and one in song. Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize “O cruel nymph! a living death I bear," Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these !" Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast,
“Those eyes are made so killing”- -was his last. Canto V.
Thus on Mander's flowery margin lies
Th’expiring swan, and as he sings he dies. She said: the pitying audience melt in tears ; When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the baron's ears. Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; In vain Thalestris with reproach assails,
She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain, For who can move when fair Belinda fails? But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd again. Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain,
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain. Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair; Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan; The doubtful beam long nods from side to side; Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began : At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
“Say, why are beauties prais'd and honor'd most, See, fierce Belinda on the baron dies, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? With more than usual lightning in her eyes : Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford, Nor feard the chief th' unequal fight to try, Why angels call’d, and angel-like ador'd ? [beaux ? Who sought no more than on his foe to die. Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd But this bold lord, with manly strength endu'd, Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows ? She with one finger and a thumb subdued : How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains : A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw ; That men may say, when we the front-box grace, The Gnomes direct, to every atom just, Behold the first in virtue as in face!
The pungent grains of titillating dust. Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day, Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old-age away :
And the high dome re-echoes to his nose. Who would not scorn what housewife's cares pro- “ Now meet thy fate,” incens'd Belinda cried, duce,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? (The same, his ancient personage to deck, To patch, nay ogle, may become a saint; Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck, Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
In three seal rings; which after, melted down, But since, alas, frail beauty must decay;
Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to grey; Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew, Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade, The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew; And she who scorns a man must die a maid ; Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs, What then remains, but well our power to use, Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) And keep good-humor still, whate'er we lose? “Boast not my fall (he cried), insulting foe! And trust me, dear, good-humor can prevail, Thou by some other shalt be laid as low. When airs, and fights, and screams, and scolding Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind :
All that I dread is leaving you behind!
Rather than so, ah! let me still survive,
Here tears shall now from a more generous cause, And burn in Cupid's flames--but burn alive." Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws :
Restore the Lock," she cries; and all around, He bids your breasts with ancient ardor rise, “ Restore the Lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound. And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws, Roard for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain. What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was : But sec how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, No common object to your sight displays, And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost! But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys, The Lock, obtain’d with guilt, and kept with pain, A brave man struggling in the storms of fate, In every place is sought, but sought in vain : And greatly falling with a falling state. With such a prize no mortal must be blest, While Cato gives his little senate laws, So Heaven decrees! with Heaven who can contest? What bosom beats not in his country's cause!
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Who sees him act, but envies every deed ? Since all things lost on Earth are treasur’d there. Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed ? There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases, Ev'n when proud Cæsar midst triumphal cars, And beaux in snufl-boxes and tweezer-cases : The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars, There bruken vows and death-bed alms are found, Ignobly vain, and impotently great, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound; Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state ; The courtier's promises, and sick man's prayers,
As her dead father's reverend image past, The siniles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast; Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, The iriumph ceas'd, tears gush'd from ev'ry eye; Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by; But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise, Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd, Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes : And honor'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword. (So Rome's great founder to the Heavens withdrew, Britons, attend : be worth like this approv'd, To Proculus alone confess'd in view :)
And show, you have the virtue to be mov'd. A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subNot Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
dued ; The Heaven bespangling with dishevell d light. Your scene precariously subsists too long The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
On French translation, and Italian song. And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage,
This the beau-monde shall from the Mall survey, Be justly warmd with your own native rage; And hail with music its propitious ray.
Such plays alone should win a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
ELOISA TO ABELARD.
Argument. Which adds new glory to the shining sphere! Abelard and Eloisa flourished in the twelfth cen. Not all the tresses that fair head can boast,
tury; they were two of the most distinguished Shall draw such envy as the Lock you lost.
persons of their age in learning and beauty, but For, after all the murders of your eye,
for nothing more famous than for their unfortirWhen, after millions slain, yourself shall die ; nate passion. After a long course of calamities, When those fair suns shall set, as set they must, they retired each to a several convent, and conAnd all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
secrated the remainder of their days to religion. This Lock the Muse shall consecrate to fame,
It was many years after this separation, that a And midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hards of Eloïsa. This awakening all her tendernes,
occasioned those celebrated letters (out of which PROLOGUE
the following is partly extracted) which give so
lively a picture of the struggles of grace and na-
Yet, yet I love! From Abelard it came,
Nor pass these lips in holy silence seald :
Where, mix'd with God's, his lord idea lies:
0, write it not, my hand—the name appears
And bids them make mistaken mortals groan, Already written-wash it out, my tears!
Who seek in love for aught but love alone. In vain lost Eloïsa weeps and prays,
Should at my feet the world's great master fall, Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys. Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all :
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains Not Cæsar's empress would I deign to prove ; Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains :
No, make me mistress to the man I love. Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn; If there be yet another name more free, Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn! More fond than mistress, make me that to thee! Shrines ! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep; Oh, happy state! when souls each other draw, And pitying saints, whose statues leam to weep! When love is liberty, and Nature law: Though cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown, All then is full, possessing and possess'd, I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
No craving void left aching in the breast : All is not Heaven's while Abelard has part, Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part, Still rebel Nature holds out half my heart; And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart. Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain, This sure is bliss (if bliss on Earth there be) Nor tears, for ages taught to flow in vain.
And once the lot of Abelard and me. Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise ! That well-known name awakens all my woes. A naked lover bound and bleeding lies! Oh, name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Where, where was Eloïsa? her voice, her hand, Still breath'd in sighs, still usher'd with a tear. Her poniard had oppos'd the dire command. I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Barbarian, stay! that bloody stroke restrain; Somo dire misfortune follows close behind. The crime was common, common be the pain. Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
I can no more; by shame, by rage suppress'd, Led through a sad variety of woe :
Let tears and burning blushes speak the rest. Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom, Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day, Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!
When victims at yon altar's foot we lay? There stern Religion quench'd th' unwilling flame, Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell, There died the best of passions, love and fame. When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ?
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil, Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine. The shrines all trembled and the lamps grew pale: Nor foes nor Fortune take this power away ;
Heaven scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'd, And is my Abelard less kind than they?
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made. Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare, Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew, Love but demands what else were shed in prayer; Not on the cross my eyes were fix'd, but you : No happier task these faded eyes pursue ; Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call; To read and weep is all they now can do. And if I lose thy love, I lose my all.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief; Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe; Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief. Those still at least are left thee to bestow. Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid, Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie, Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid ; [spires, Still drink delicious poison from thy eye, They live, they speak, they breathe what love in- Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd ; Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires, Give all thou canst—and let me dream the rest. The virgin's wish without her fears impart, Ah, no! instruct me other joys to prize, Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, With other beauties charm my partial eyes, Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul, Full in my view set all the bright abode, And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
And make my soul quit Abelard for God. Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame, Ah! think at least thy flock deserves thy care, When Love approach'd me under Friendship's namo; Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer. My fancy form’d thee of angelic kind,
From the false world in early youth they fled, Some emanation of th' All-beauteous Mind. By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led. Those smiling eyes, attempering every ray, You rais'd these hallow'd walls; the desert sinil'd, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day. And Paradise was open'd in the wild. Guiltless I gaz'd; Heaven listen'd while you sung; No weeping orphan saw his father's stores And truths divine came mended from that tongue. Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors ; From lips like those what precept fail'd to move? No silver saints, by dying misers given, Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to love: Here bribe the rage of ill-requited Heaven; Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran, But such plain roofs as Piety could raise, Nor wish'd an angel whom I lov'd a man. And only vocal with the Maker's praise, Dim and remote the joys of saints I see,
In these lone walls, (their days eternal bound,) Nor envy them that Heaven I lose for thee. These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crown'd,
How oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said, Where awful arches make a noon-day night, Curse on all laws but those which love has made! And the dim windows shed a solemn light; Love, free as air, at sight of human ties
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day. Let wealth, let honor, wait the wedded dame, But now no face divine contentment wears, August her deed, and sacred be her fame; "Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears. Before true passion all those views remove; See how the force of others' prayers I try, Fame, wealth, and honor! what are you to love? (O pious fraud of amorous charity!) The jealous god, when we profane his fires, But why should I on others' prayers depend ? Those restless passions in revenge inspires, Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend !
Ah, let thy handmaid, sister, daughter, move, Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee.
And stir within me every source of love.
The phantom flies me, as unkind as you. Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene, I call aloud ; it hears not what I say: Shades every flower and darkens every green, I stretch my empty arms; it glides away. Deepens the murmur of the falling foods, To dream once more I close my willing eyes; And breathes a browner horror on the woods. Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise ! Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;
Alas, no more! methinks we wandering go Sad proof how well a lover can obey!
Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe, Death, only Death, can break the lasting chain; Where round some mouldering tower pale ivy creeps, And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain; And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deepe. Here all its frailties, all its flames resign, Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies: And wait till 'eis no sin to mix with thine. Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
Ah, wretch! believ'd the spouse of God in vain, I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find, Consess'd within the slave of love and man. And wake to all the griefs I left behind. Assist me, Heaven! but whence arose that prayer? For thee the Fates, severely kind, ordain Sprung it from piety, or from despair?
A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain; Ev'n here where frozen Chastity retires,
Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd repose : Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows. I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought; Sull as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow, I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
Or moving spirit bade the waters flow; I view my crime, but kindle at the view, Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiven, Repent old pleasures, and solicit new;
And mild as opening gleams of promisd Heaven, Now turn'd to Heaven, I weep my past offence, Come, Abelard! for what hast thou to dread ? Now think of thee, and curse my innocence. The torch of Venus burns not for the dead. Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
Nature stands check’d; Religion disapproves; "Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
Ev'n thou art cold—yet Eloisa loves.
Rise in the grove, before the altar rise,
Thy image steals between my God and me;
Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear, Conceal, disdain,—do all things but forget! With every bead I drop too soft a tear. But let Heaven seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd: When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll, Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd! And swelling organs list the rising soul, Oh, come, oh, teach me Nature to subdue, One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight, Renounce my love, my life, myself—and you. Priests, ta pers, temples, swim before my sight: Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd, Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round. How happy is the blameless vestal's lot;
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie, The world forgetting, by the world forgot! Kind, virtuous drops just gathering in my eye, Eternal sun-shine of the spotless mind!
While, praying, trembling, in the dust I roll, Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd; And dawning grace is opening on my soul : Labor and rest that equal periods keep;
Come, if thou dar'st, all charming as thou art! "Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;" Oppose thyself to Heaven ; dispute my heart; Desires compos'd, affections ever even ;
Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes, Tears that delight, and sighs that wast to Heaven. Blot out each bright idea of the skies; Grace shines around her with serenest beams, Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those tears: And whispering angels prompt her golden dreams. Take back my fruitless penitence and prayers : For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms, Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode; And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes ; Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God! For her the spouse prepares the bridal ring;
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole! For her white virgins hymencals sing:
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll! To sounds of heavenly harps she dies away,
Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me, And melts in visions of eternal day.
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign!
Such, if there be, who loves so long, so well; Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine. Let him our sad, our tender story tell ! Fair eyes, and tempting looks, (which yet I view!) The well-sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost ; Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu !
He best can paint them who shall feel them most!
THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
Written in the Year 1711. In each low wind methinks a spirit calls, And more than Echoes talk along the walls. Here, as I watch'd the dying lamp around, From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound. The hint of the following piece was taken from “Come, sister, come !" (it said, or seem'd to say) Chaucer's House of Fame. The design is in a “ Thy place is here, sad sister, come away!
manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd, of the particular thoughts my own; yet I could Love's victim then, though now a sainied muid : not suffer it to be printed without this acknowBut all is calm in this eternal sleep:
ledgment. The reader, who would compare this Here Grief forgets to groan, and Love to weep; with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Ev'n Superstition loses every fear;
Fame, there being nothing in the two first books For God, not man, absolves our frailties here." that answers to their title.
I come! I come! prepare your roseate bowers, The poem is introduced in the manner of the ProCelestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers. vençal poets, whose works were for the most part Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
visions, or pieces of imagination, and constantly Where Names refin'd in breasts seraphic glow; descriptive. From these, Petrarch and Chancer Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay,
frequently borrowed the idea of their poeme. And smooth my passage to the realms of day; See the Trionfi of the former, and the Dream, See my lips tremble, and my eyeballs roll,
Flower and the Leaf, &c. of the latter. The Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul! author of this therefore chose the same sort of Ah, no—in sacred vestments may’st thou stand, exordium. The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand, Present the cross before my listed eye,
In that soft season, when descending showers Teach me at once, and learn of me to die. Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flowers; Ah, then thy once-lovid Eloïsa see!
When opening buds salute the welcome day, It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
And earth relenting feels the genial ray; See from my cheek the transient roses fly! As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest, See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
And love itself was banish'd from my breast, Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er; (What time the morn mysterious visions brings, And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no more.
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings,) O Death all eloquent! you only prove
A train of phantoms in wild order rose, What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love. And join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
Then too, when Fate shall thy fair frame destroy I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies; (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy,) The whole creation open to my eyes : In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd, In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below, Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round. Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow; From opening skies may streaming glories shine, Here naked rocks, and empty wastes, were seen; And saints embrace thee with a love like mine! There towering cities, and the forests green :
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes! And graft my love immortal on thy fame! There trees and intermingled temples rise : Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er, Now a clear sun the shining scene displays; When this rebellious hcart shall beat no more ; The transient landscape now in clouds decays. If ever chance two wandering lovers brings O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around, To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs, Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound, O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, Like broken thunders that at distance roar, And drink the falling tears each other sheds; Or billows murmuring on the hollow shore: Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd, Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, “0, may we never love as these have lov'd !" Whose towering summit ambient clouds conceal'd. From the full choir, when loud hosannas rise, High on a rock of ice the structure lay. And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Steep its ascent, and slippery was the way ; Amid that scene if some relenting eye
The wondrous rock like Parian marble shone, Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie, And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone. Devotion's self shall steal a thought from Heaven, Inscriptions here of various names I view'd, One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven. The greater part by hostile time subdued; And sure if Fate some future bard shall join Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past, In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
And poets once had promis'd they should last. Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore, Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of wits renown'd; And image charms he must behold no more : I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.