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And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays,
On that rapacious hand for ever blaze?
Sooner shall grass in Hyde Park circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow!
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall,
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all !

She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
And bids her beau demand the precious hairs :
(Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain,
And the nice conduct of a clouded cane)
With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face,
He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case,
And thus broke out—" My Lord, why, what the

devil ? « Z-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 in vain; But by this Lock, this sacred Lock, I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its honour 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 snatch'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. : Oh, 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 mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam ? Oh, had I staid, and said my prayers at home! Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell, Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box 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 hand shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: These, in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; The sister lock now sits uncouth, alone, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;

Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal sheers demands,
And tempts, once more, thy sacrilegious hands.
Oh, hadst thou, cruel ! been content to seize
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these !


She said : the pitying audience melt in tears ;
But fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails,
For who can move when fair Belinda fails ?
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain,
While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan;
Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began.

Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast ?
Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford,
Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd ?
Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd

beaux ? Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows ? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains : That men may say, when we the front-box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face ! Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day, Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away; Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce, Or who would learn one earthly thing to use? To patch, nay ogle, may become a saint; Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.

But since, alas ! frail beauty must decay;
Curi'd or uncurl'd, since Locks will turn to grey;
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 fights, 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 called her prude.
To arms, to arms! the fierce virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat fies.
All side in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes and heroines' shouts confus'dly rise,
And bass and treble voices strike the skies.
No common weapon 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 sat to view the fight:

Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.

While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, 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. “O cruel nymph! a living death I bear," Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, Those eyes are made so killing"-was his last. Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies Th' 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 smild to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd 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: Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die. But 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.

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