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Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent,
And all the Furies issu'd at the vent.
Belinda burns with more than mortal ire,
And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire.
O wretched maid! she spread her hands and cry'd,
(While Hampton's echoes wretched maid! reply’d)
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 tort'ring 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 unrival'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 loft!
How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend ?
? Twill then be infamy to feem your friend!
And shall this prize, th’inestimable prize,
Expos’d thro' crystal to the gazing eyes,
And heighten’d by the di’mond’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 shall earth, air, sea, to Chaos fall;
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all !
She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
Anb 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 unmeaning 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 God, you must be civil! „ Plague on't 'tis past a jeft--nay prithee, pox! „Give her the hair , --he spoke, and rapp'd his box!
It grieves me much (reply'd 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 honours shall renew,
Clipp'd from the native head where late it grew)
That while my nostrils draw the vital air,
This hand, which won it, shall forever wear.
He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread
The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not fo;
He breaks the phial whence the sorrows slow.
Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half languishing half drown'd in tears ; On her heav'd bofom 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 fav’rite cùrl 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 num’rous ills betray’d. Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd In some lone isle or disant northern land; Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea! There kept my charms conceal’d from mortal eye, Like, roses that in defarts bloom and die. What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam ? O had I stay'd and said my prayr's at home! 'Twas this, the morning omens seem’d to tell, Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; The tott’ring China shook without a wind, Nay Poll fat 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 fable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck;
The filter-lock now fits 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!
C Α Ν Τ ο ν.
She said: the pitying audience melt in tears;
But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach ailails;
For who can movė 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 ensu’d, and thus the nymph began:
Say, why are beauties prais’d and honour'd moft,
The wise man's passion, and the vain 'man's toast ?
Why deck'd with all that land and sea asford,
Why angel's 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 fay, 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 chac'd old age away,
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint;
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
But since, alas! frail beauty must decay,
Curl’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 pow'r to use,
And keep good-humour still, whate'er we lose ?
And trust me, dear ! good-humour can prevail
When airs, and slights, and screams and scoldings fail.
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the foul..
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensu’d,
Belinda frown’d, Thalestris call’d her Prude.
To arms, to arms! the fierce Virago cries,
And swist as lightning to the combat flies.
All side in parties, and begin th’attack:
Fans clap, filks rustle, and tough whalebones crack ;
Heroes and Heroines, shouts confus’dly rise,
And bass and treble voices strike the skies.