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With hairy springes we the Birds betray;
Slight lines of hair surprize the finny prey';
Fair tresses man's imperial race insnare,
And beauty draws us with a single hair.
Th’advent’rous Baron the bright locks admir’d;
He saw, he wish’d, and to the prize aspir’d.
Resolved to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when success a Lover's toil attends,
Few ask, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.
For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implor'd
Propitious Heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd;
But chiefly Love-to Love an altar built
Of twelve vast French Romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves;
And all the trophies of his former loves :
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three am'rous sighs to raise the fire.
Then proftrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize.
The pow’rs gave ear, and granted half his pray'r;
The rest, the winds dispers’d in empty air.
But now secure the painted vessel glides,
The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides,
While melting music steals upon the sky,
And soften'd sounds along the waters die;
Smooth slow the waves, the Zephyrs gently play,
Belinda smil'd and all the world was gay.
All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts opprest; · Th’impending woe fat heavy on his breast.
He summons strait his Denizens of air;
The lucid squadrons round the fails repair:
Soft o'er the shrouds aerial whispers breathe,
That seem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath.
Some to the fun their infant wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold;
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sight,
Their fluid bodies half dissolv’d in light.
Loose to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glittring textures of the filmy dew,
Dipp'd in the richest tincture of the skies,
Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes ;
While ev'ry beam new transient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings.
Amid the circle on the gilded malt,
Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd;
His purple pinions op’ning to the fun,
He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun :
Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear:
Fays, fairies, genii , elves, and dæmons hear!
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks allign'd
By laws eternal to th' aerial kind.
Some in the fields of purest æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day,
Some guide the course of wand'ring orbs on high,
Or roll the planets thro’ the boundless sky:
Some, less refin’d, beneath the moon's. pale light,
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or suck the mists in grosser air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempests on the wint’ry main,
Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Others, on earth o'er human race preside,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
of these the chief the care of nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
Not a less pleasing, tho' less glorious care;
To 'save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th’ imprison’d essences exhale;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs;
To steal from rainbows ere they drop in show'rs
A brighter wash, to curl their waving hairs,
Aflift their blushes, and inspire their airs ;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow, .
To change a flounce, or add a furbelow.
This day black omens threat the brightest fair
That ere deserv’d a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire disaster, or by force or slight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrapt in night.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or some frail China-jar receive a flaw;
Or stain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her pray’rs, or miss a masquerade;
Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball,
Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Haste then ye spirits! to your charge repair :
The fluttring fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
And Momentilla , let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Chrispissa, tend her fav’rite Lock;
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.
To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th’ important charge, the Peticoat:
Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail,
Tho' stiff with hoops, and arm’d with ribs of whale;
Form a strong line about the silver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o’ertake his sins, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins; Or plung’d in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedg’d whole ages in a bodkin's eye,
Gums and pomatums shall his flight restrain,
While clog’d he beats his filken wings in vain;
Or allum ftyptics with contracting pow'r
Shrink his thin essence like a shriveld flow'r:
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling wheel,
In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
And tremble at the sea that froths below!
He spoke; the spirits from the fails descend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend;
Some thread the mazy ringlets of her hair;
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of fate.
CLOSE by those meads, forever crown’d with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow’rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb’ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's hatesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;
Here thou great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a court;