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Safe past the gnome through this fantastic band, A branch of healing spleenwort in his hand. Then thus address'd the power—“ Hail, wayward
queen! Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen : Parent of vapours and of female wit, Who give the hysteric or poetic fit, On various tempers act by various ways, Make some take physic, others scribble plays; Who cause the proud their visits to delay, And send the godly in a pet to pray. A nymph there is that all your power disdains, And thousands more in equal mirth maintains. But oh! if e'er thy gnome could spoil a grace, Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face, Like citron-waters matrons' cheeks inflame, Or change complexions at a losing game ; If e'er with airy horns I planted heads, Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds, Or caus'd suspicion when no soul was rude, Or discompos’d the headdress of a prude, Or e'er to costive lapdog gave disease, Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease: Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin ; That single act gives half the world the spleen.”
The goddess, with a discontented air, Seems to reject him, though she grants his prayer. A wondrous bag with both her hands she binds, Like that where once Ulysses held the winds ; There she collects the force of female lungs, Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues.
A vial next she fills with fainting fears,
Sunk in Thalestris'i arms the nymph he found,
cried, (While Hampton's echoes, “ Wretched maid," re
plied) Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare? For this your locks in paper durance bound ? For this with torturing irons wreath'd around? For this with fillets strain'd your tender head? And bravely bore the double loads of lead ? Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair, While the fops envy, and the ladies stare ! Honour forbid ! at whose unrivall’d shrine Ease, pleasure, virtue, all our sex resign. Methinks already I your tears survey, Already hear the horrid things they say, Already see you a degraded toast, And all your honour in a whisper lost!
1 Mrs. Morly.
How shall I, then, your hapless fame defend?
She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
devil! 2—ds! damn the lock!'fore Gad, you must be civil! Plague on't ! 'tis past a jest—nay, prithee, pox ! Give her the hair.”—He spoke, and rapp*d his box.
“ It grieves me much (replied the peer again) Who speaks so well should ever speak ín vain : But by this lock, this sacred lock, I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair ; Which never more its honours shall renew, Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That, while my nostrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear.”
He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful gnome, forbears not so; He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow. Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half drown’d in tears ; On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, Which with a sigh she rais’d, and thus she said:
“For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatclı’d my best, my favourite curl away; Happy! ah ten times happy had I been, If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen! Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, By love of courts to numerous ills betray'd. O had I rather unadmir'd remain'd In some lone isle, or distant northern land ; Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! There kept my charms conceald from mortal eye, Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die. What mord
my mind with youthful lords to roam ? O had I stay’d, and said my prayers at home; 'Twas this the morning omens seem'd to tell, Thrice from my trembling hand the patchbox fell; The tottering china shook without a wind, Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind ! A sylph, too, warn’d me of the threats of fate, In mystic visions, now believ'd too late ! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! My hands shall rend what e’en thy rapine spares :
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
She said: the pitying audience melt in tears ;
beaux ? Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows?