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“ This sweet adviser, thus assign'd,
Will make him wise, and form his mind.
Send, send them with me home; my car
Will hold us all, and 'tis not far:
And happy may their nuptials be
To Gods and men, to them and me.”
The relenting senate vow'd
Her proffer'd terms should be allow'd,
As the best method to reform
and calm the present storm;
So pitying much her hapless state,
Pass'd her petition on debate,
While Love and Wisdom gave their hands,
And vow'd to join in Hymen's bands.
CANTO II. Preparations in Cyprus for the marriage of Cupid and Metis ;
his froward conduct, and relapse into the dominion of Folly.
This Cyprus found: where all the swains
Rejoic'd around her fertile plains,
Metis and Love to meet, who came
To join true wisdom with his flame:
Young girls, old maidens, widows, wives,
Were ne'er more jocund in their lives,
Finding the God no more distress'd,
And with so sage a tut’ress bless’d,
Would lead a married life unblam'd.
Making the subject world perceive,
What blessings Love and Prudence give.
Large were the preparations made,
For Venus understood her trade.
To make her palace wond'rous fine,
And crown their nuptials and design;
Sage Metis, like a girl of sense,
Would fain have sav'd the vast expense ;
But Venus, who affected shew,
Scorn'd management as vile and low.
66 And as for money,
I can seize,
From my rich temples, what I please ;
There, my gold statues I'll purloin,
And turn them all to ready coin.”
So said, so done : from Cnidos four
She took, from Cyprus many more;
Expending such a mint of gold
As scarce all Lombard-street could hold :
And as for each new fashion'd thing
Her mind was ever on the wing,
Her wit and money she employs,
Like high-bred dames, to purchase toys;
For pomp her passion to display,
Fond she postpon'd the wedding-day;
Crowds of artificers were brought,
And night and day incessant wrought;
Mahogany laid all her floors,
Gold locks and hinges deck'd her doors ;
With Indian skreens and China jars,
Her house was graced, like Heav'n with stars.
Although she never read or pray'd,
She form’d a study for parade;
And a fine chapel, near her stairs,
Was plac'd for nothing else but airs.
Round the vast dome a corridore
By the best hands was painted o'er;
Through all th' apartments Parian stone
In columns and in friezes shone;
In splendid utensils profuse,
Chas'd vessels serv'd for common use:
As taste and luxury never plann'd
Saloons so fine, or rooms so grand,
So all from top to bottom seen,
Look'd great, and like the Paphian Queen.
* 'midst this state hid sorrows, sprung
From Cupid's pranks, o'er Metis hung;
For though she saw all things agreed,
The house set out, and lawyers feed
For drawing up the deeds of dower,
For hastening Hymen's happy hour,
She knew not what to think on't still,
The God behav'd himself so ill..
Besides, as through the smallest hole
Men spy the day-light, so bis soul,i
In every little habitude,
With penetrating eye she view'd,
And saw appearances at least,
Which all her anxious doubts increas'd.
Oft when the lover's part he play'd,
His looks a soul unmov'd betray’d;
For, when he courted her, the wretch
Would yawn, and sigh, and gape, and stretch;
And what the Goddess scarce could bear,
Would call her wise, but never fair.
In temper giddy as a child,
He fawn'd and quarrell'd, frown'd and smil'd;
This day all ice, the next he burns,
hot and cold by turns.
Now dress'd like country squires and plain,
He'd ride about in dirt and rain;
And as a proof of unfeign'd loving,
Put on the husband and the sloven :
Then, all those boorish whims abhorr'd,
He'd go as fine as any lord :
Grown fond of Metis to excess,
Would prove his passion by his dress;
And proud to shew his love and clothes,
Swear over all his vows and oaths;
Then tir'd of that, he'd quite forsake
The Goddess, and affect the rake;
And fond of girls, and wine, and play,
Would scarce speak to her twice a day:
So fickle, that no weather-glass
Could through more variations pass.
In short, his conduct was so bad,
That grave good people thought him mad.
And mad he was as any
In March, while griev'd he sought his fair;
For whom the wretch was all this while
Scouring by night the Cyprian isle,
Where, of the Goddesses afraid,
He heard they hid his charming maid'.
Venus, poor soul, now storm'd, now wept,
To get him in some order kept,
And took the truant oft aside,
And urg'd how much he shock'd his bride.
Then she would mingle bitter taunts
About his uncles and his aunts,
And beg he would not thus disgrace
Himself and his celestial race,
But lead a life like one that knew
What was to them and Metis due.
Thus things went on: poor Venus rail'd,
He promis'd to grow good-and fail'd.
And when she told him of his Miss,
He laugh'd and stopt her with a kiss :
He own'd he lik'd the nymph, but swore
He lik'd as well a thousand more ;