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There, bless'd with health, with business unperplex'd,
This life we relish, and ensure the next;
There too the Muses sport; these numbers free,
Pierian Eastbury! I owe to thee.
There sport the Muses; but not there alone :
Their sacred force Amelia feels in town.
Nought but a genius can a genius fit ;
A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit :
Both wits! though miracles are said to cease,
Three days, three wondrous days! they liv'd in
With the fourth sun a warm dispute arose,
On Durfey's poesy, and Bunyan's prose:
The learned war both wage with equal force,
And the fifth morn concluded the divorce.
Phæbe, though she possesses nothing less,
Is proud of being rich in happiness;
Laboriously pursues delusive toys,
Content with pains, since they ’re reputed joys.
With what well-acted transport will she say,
“ Well, sure we were so happy yesterday !
And then that charming party for to-morrow !”
Though, well she knows, 't will languish into sorrow:
But she dares never boast the present hour;
that cheat, it is beyond her power :
For such is or our weakness, or our curse,
Or rather such our crime, which still is worse,
The present moment, like a wife, we shun,
And ne'er enjoy, because it is our own.
Pleasures are few, and fewer we enjoy ;
Pleasure, like quicksilver, is bright, and coy ;
We strive to grasp it with our utmost skill,
Still it eludes us, and it glitters still:
If seiz'd at last, compute your mighty gains ;
What is it, but rank poison in your veins ?
As Flavia in her glass an angel spies,
Pride whispers in her ear pernicious lies ;
Tells her, while she surveys a face so fine,
There's no satiety of charms divine :
Hence, if her lover yawns, all chang'd appears
Her temper, and she melts (sweet soul!) in tears :
She, fond and young, last week, her wish enjoy'd,
In soft amusement all the night employ'd;
The morning came, when Strephon, waking, found
(Surprising sight !) his bride in sorrow drown'd.
“ What miracle," says Strephon, “ makes thee
“ Ah, barbarous man,” she cries, “how could you
Men love a mistress as they love a feast; How grateful one to touch, and one to taste ! Yet sure there is a certain time of day, We wish our mistress, and our meat, away : But soon the sated appetites return, Again our stomachs crave, our bosoms burn : Eternal love let man, then, never-swear; Let women never triumph, nor despair ; Nor praise, nor blame, too much, the warm, or chill ; Hunger and love are foreign to the will.
There is indeed a passion more refin'd, For those few nymphs whose charms are of the mind: But not of that unfashionable set Is Phyllis ; Phyllis and her Damon met.
Eternal love exactly hits her taste ;
Phyllis demands eternal love at least.
Embracing Phyllis with soft-smiling eyes,
Eternal love I vow, the swain replies :
But say, my all, my mistress, and my friend !
What day next week, th' eternity shall end ?
Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love ;
Elope from mortal man, and range above.
The fair philosopher to Rowley fies,
Where, in a bor, the whole creation lies :
She sees the planets in their turns advance,
And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance :
Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air ;
And Whiston has engagements with the fair.
What vain experiments Sophronia tries !
'T is not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.
But though to-day this rage of science reigns,
(O fickle sex !) soon end her learned pains.
Lo! Pug from Jupiter her heart has got,
Turns out the stars, and Newton is a sot.
turn; she never took the height
Of Saturn, yet is ever in the right.
She strikes each point with native force of mind,
While puzzled Learning blunders far behind.
Graceful to sight, and elegant to thought,
The great are vanquish'd, and the wise are taught.
Her breeding finish’d, and her temper sweet,
When serious, easy; and when gay, discreet;
In glittering scenes, o'er her own heart, severe ;
In crowds, collected ; and in courts, sincere ;
Sincere, and warm, with zeal well-understood,
She takes a noble pride in doing good;
Yet, not superior to her sex's cares,
The mode she fixes by the gown she wears ;
Of silks and china she's the last appeal;
In these great points she leads the commonweal ;
And if disputes of empire rise between
Mechlin the queen of lace, and Colberteen,
'T is doubt! 't is darkness ! till suspended fate
Assumes her nod, to close the grand debate.
When such her mind, why will the fair express
Their emulation only in their dress ?
But oh! the nymph that mounts above the skies,
And, gratis, clears religious mysteries,
Resolv'd the church's welfare to ensure,
And make her family a sine-cure :
The theme divine at cards she 'll not forget,
But takes in texts of Scripture at picquet ;
In those licentious meetings acts the prude,
And thanks her Maker that her cards are good.
What angels would those be, who thus excel
In theologics, could they sew as well !
Yet why should not the fair her text pursue ?
Can she more decently the doctor woo ?
'T is hard, too, she who makes no use but chat
Of her religion, should be barr’d in that.
Isaac, a brother of the canting strain, When he has knock'd at his own skull in vain, To beauteous Marcia often will repair With a dark text, to light it at the fair. O how his pious soul exults to find Such love for holy men in woman-kind! Charm'd with her learning, with what rapture he Hangs on her bloom, like an industrious bee;
Hums round about her, and with all his power
Extracts sweet wisdom from so fair a flower !
and gay declining, Appia flies
At nobler game, the mighty and the wise :
By nature more an eagle than a dove,
She impiously prefers the world to love.
Can wealth give happiness ? look round and see
What gay distress! what splendid misery !
Whatever fortune lavishly can pour,
The mind annihilates, and calls for more.
Wealth is a cheat; believe not what it says:
Like any lord, it promises — and pays.
How will the miser startle, to be told
Of such a wonder, as insolvent gold!
What nature wants has an intrinsic weight ;
All more is but the fashion of the plate,
Which, for one moment, charms the fickle view ;
It charms us now; anon we cast anew ;
To some fresh birth of fancy more inclin'd:
Then wed not acres, but a noble mind.
Mistaken lovers, who make worth their care, And think accomplishments will win the fair ; The fair, 't is true, by genius should be won, As flowers unfold their beauties to the Sun ; And yet in female scales a fop outweighs, And wit must wear the willow and the bays. Nought shines so bright in vain Liberia's eye As riot, impudence, and perfidy ; The youth of fire, that has drunk deep, and play'd, And kill'd his nian, and triumph'd o'er his maid; Fór him, as yet unhang'd, she spreads her charms, Snatches the dear destroyer to her arms;