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A tender smile, our sorrows' only balm,
And, in life's tempest, the sad sailor's calm.
How have I seen a gentle nymph draw nigh, Peace in er air, persuasion in her eye; Victorious tenderness! it all o'ercame, Husbands look'd mild, and savages grew tame.
The sylvan race our active nymphs pursue ;
Man is not all the game they have in view :
In woods and fields their glory they complete;
There Master Betty leaps a five-barr'd gate ;
While fair Miss Charles to toilets is confin'd,
Nor rashly tempts the barbarous sun and wind.
Some nymphs affect a more heroic breed,
And volt from hunters to the managed steed;
Command his prancings with a martial air,
And Fobert has the forming of the fair.
More than one steed must Delia's empire feel,
Who sits triumphant o'er the flying wheel ;
And as she guides it through th' admiring throng,
With what an air she smacks the silken thong !
Graceful as John, she moderates the reins,
And whistles sweet her diuretic strains :
Sesostris-like, such charioteers as these
May drive six harness'd monarchs, if they please :
They drive, row, run, with love of glory smit,
Leap, swim, shoot flying, and pronounce on wit.
O'er the belles-lettres lovely Daphne reigns; Again the god Apollo wears her chains : With legs toss'd high, on her sophee she sits, Vouchsafing audience to contending wits : Of each performance she 's the final test; One act read o'er, she prophesies the rest
And then, pronouncing with decisive air,
Fully convinces all the town — she s fair.
Had lovely Daphne Hecatessa's face,
How would her elegance of taste decrease !
Some ladies' judgment in their features lies,
And all their genius sparkles from their eyes.
“ But hold,” she cries, “ lampooner ! have a care; Must I want common sense, because I'm fair ?" O no: see Stella ; her
shine as bright,
As if her tongue was never in the right;
And yet what real learning, judgment, fire !
She seems inspir'd, and can herself inspire :
How then (if malice rul'd not all the fair)
Could Daphne publish, and could she forbear?
We grant that beauty is no bar to sense,
Nor is 't a sanction for impertinence.
Sempronia lik'd her man; and well she might;
The youth in person, and in parts, was bright;
Possess’d of every virtue, grace, and art,
That claims just empire o'er the female heart :
He met her passion, all her siglis return'd,
And, in full rage of youthful ardour, burn'd:
Large his possessions, and beyond her own;
Their bliss the theme and envy of the town:
The day was fix'd, when, with one acre more,
In stepp'd deform’d, debauch’d, diseas'd, threescore.
The fatal sequel I, through shame, forbear ;
Of pride and avarice who can cure the fair ?
Man 's rich with little, were his judgment true; Nature is frugal, and her wants are few; Those few wants answer’d, bring sincere delights ; But fools create themselves new appetites :
Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense,
Which relish not to reason, nor to sense.
When surfeit, or unthankfulness, destroys,
In nature's narrow sphere, our solid joys,
In fancy's airy land of noise and show,
Where nought but dreams, no real pleasures grow ;
Like cats in air-pumps, to subsist we strive
On joys too thin to keep the soul alive.
Lemira 's sick; make haste; the doctor call :
He comes; but where 's his patient? At the ball.
The doctor stares ; her woman curt'sies low,
And cries, “ My lady, sir, is always so :
Diversions put her maladies to flight;
True, she can't stand, but she can dance all night:
I 've known my lady (for she loves a tune)
For fevers take an opera in June:
And, though perhaps you 'll think the practice
A midnight park is sovereign for a cold;
With colics, breakfasts of
With indigestions, supper just at three.”
A strange alternative, replies Sir Hans,
Must women have a doctor, or a dance ?
Though sick to death, abroad they safely roam,
But droop and die, in perfect health, at home :
For want, but not of health, are ladies ill;
And tickets cure beyond the doctor's bil.
Alas, my heart! how languishingly fair
Yon lady lolls! With what a tender air !
Pale as a young dramatic author, when,
O'er darling lines, fell Cibber waves his pen.
Is her lord angry, or has Veny * chid ?
Dead is her father, or the mask forbid ?
“ Late sitting-up has turn’d her roses white.'
Why went she nut to bed ? “ Because 't was night.”
Did she then dance or play? “ Nor this, nor that."
Well, night soon steals away in pleasing chat.
“ No, all alone, her prayers she rather chose,
Than be that wretch to sleep till morning rose.”
Then lady Cynthia, mistress of the shade,
Goes, with the fashionable owls, to bed :
This her pride covets, this her health denies ;
Her soul is silly, but her body 's wise.
Others, with curious arts, dim charms revive,
And triumph in the bloom of fifty-five.
You, in the morning, a fair nymph invite ;
To keep her word, a brown one comes at night :
Next day she shines in glossy black ; and then
Revolves into her native red again :
Like a dove's neck, she shifts her transient charms,
And is her own dear rival in your arms,
But one admirer has the painted lass; Nor finds that one, but in her looking-glass . Yet Laura 's beautiful to such excess, That all her art scarce makes her please us less. To deck the female cheek, HE only knows, Who paints less fair the lily and the rose. [pours,
How gay they smile! Such blessings Nature O’erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores: In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen, She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green ;
Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.
Is Nature then a niggard of her bliss ?
Repine we guiltless in a world like this?
But our lewd tastes her lawful charms refuse,
And painted art's deprav'd allurements choose.
Such Fulvia's passion for the town; fresh air
(An odd effect !) gives vapours to the fair ;
Green fields, and shady groves, and crystal springs,
And larks, and nightingales, are odious things;
But smoke, and dust, and noise, and crowds delight ;
And to be press'd to death, transports her quite :
Where silver rivulets play through flowery meads,
And woodbines give their sweets, and limes their
Black kennels' absent odours she regrets,
And stops her nose at beds of violets.
Is stormy life preferr'd to the serene? Or is the public to the private scene? Retir'd, we tread a smooth and open way: Through briers and brambles in the world we stray ; Stiff opposition, and perplex'd debate, And thorny care, and rank and stinging hate, Which choke our passage, our career controul, And wound the firmest temper of our soul. O sacred solitude! divine retreat! Choice of the prudent ! envy of the great ! By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade, We court fair Wisdom, that celestial maid : The genuine offspring of her lov'd embrace (Strangers on Earth !) are innocence and
peace : There, from the ways of men laid safe ashore, We smile to hear the distant tempest roar ;