ePub 版

But since, alas! frail beauty must decay,
Curld or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to gray;
Since, painted or not painted, all shall fade,
And she who scorns a man must die a maid-
What, then, remains but well our power to use,
And keep good-humour still, whate'er we lose ?
And trust me, dear! good-humour can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.”

So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued;
Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude.

To arms! To arms !” the fierce virago cries, And swift as lightning to the combat flies. All side in parties, and begin the attack; Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack; Heroes' and heroines' shouts confusedly rise, And bass and treble voices strike the skies. No common weapons in their hands are found; Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound. So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, And heavenly breasts with human passions rage; 'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms; Jove's thunder roars, heaven trembles all around, Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound; Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives way, And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!

Triumphant Umbriel, on a sconce's height, Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight. Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.

While through the press enraged Thalestris Aies,
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
A beau and witling perish'd in the throng;
One died in metaphor, and one in song.
“Oh, cruel nymph! a living death I bear!”
Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upward cast,
“Those eyes are made so killing !” was his last.
Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies
The expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain,
But at her smile the beau revived again.

Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair;
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side;
At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See! fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,
With more than usual lightning in her eyes:
And this bold lord, with manly strength endued,
She with one finger and a thumb subdued.
Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw;
The gnomes direct, to every atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating dust.
Sudden with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
And the high dome reechoes to his nose.

“Now meet thy fate!” incensed Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. (The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck,

[ocr errors]

In three seal-rings; which after, melted down,
Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown;
Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew;
The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew;
Then in a bodkin graced her mother's hairs,
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)

“ Boast not my fall,” he cried, “ insulting foe!
Thou by some other shalt be laid as low.
Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind;
All that I dread is leaving you behind !
Rather than so, ah, let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames—but burn alive!”

“Restore the Lock!” she cries; and all around,
Restore the Lock!” the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Roar'd for the handkerchief that caused his pain.
But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd,
And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost!
The Lock, obtained with guilt, and kept with pain,
In every place is sought, but sought in vain;
With such a prize no mortal must be blest,
So Heaven decrees! With Heaven who can contest?

Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on earth are treasured there.
There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases,
And beaus' in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases;
There broken vows and deathbed alms are found,
And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound,
The courtier's promises, and sick men's prayers,
The smiles of wooers, and the tears of heirs;
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.

But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise,
Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes,
(So Rome's great founder to the heavens withdrew)
To Proculus alone confess'd in view.
A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The heavens bespangling with dishevel'd light.
The sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And pleased pursue its progress through the skies.

This the beau monde shall from the Mall survey,
And hail with music its propitious ray;
This the blest lover shall for Venus take,
And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake;
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes;
And hence the egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.

Then cease, bright nymph, to mourn thy ravish'd hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere !
Not all the tresses that fair heads can boast,
Shall draw such envy as the Lock you lost.
For after all the murders of your eye,
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die;
When those fair suns shall set, as set they must,
And all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
This Lock the Muse shall consecrate to fame,
And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.

The Spectator” and “The Tatler” (Of these seven selections, the first four are attributable to Joseph Addison, the two next to Sir Richard Steele, and the last to Eustace Budgell.)

The Will of a Virtuoso I, NICHOLAS GIMCRACK, being in sound health of mind, but in great weakness of body, do, by this my last will and testament, bestow my worldly goods and chattels in manner following: Imprimis.-To my dear wife,

One box of butterflies,
One drawer of shells,
A female skeleton,

A dried cockatrice.
Item.-To my daughter Elizabeth,

My receipt for preserving dead caterpillars,

As also my preparations of winter Maydew and embryopickle. Item.-To my little daughter Fanny,

Three crocodile's eggs, And upon the birth of her first child, if she inarries with her mother's consent,

The nest of a humming-bird. Item.-To my eldest brother, as an acknowledgment for the lands he has vested in my son Charles, I bequeath

My last year's collection of grasshoppers. Item.-To his daughter Susanna, being his only child, I bequeath my


« 上一頁繼續 »