Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Stiff forms are bad; but let not worse intrude,
Nor conquer art and nature, to be rude.
Modern good-breeding carry to its height,
And lady D-

's self will be polite.
Ye rifing fair! ye bloom of Britain's ifle !
When high-born Anna, with a soften'd smile,
Leads on your train, and sparkles at your head,
What seems most hard, is, not to be well-bred.
Her bright example with success parsue,
And all, but adoration, is your due.

But adoration! give me something more,
Cries Lyce, on the borders of threescore :
Nought treads so filent as the foot of time ;
Hence we mistake our autumn for our prime ;
'Tis greatly wise to know, before we're told,
The melancholy news, that we grow

old.
Autumnal Lyce carries in her face
Memento mori to each public place.
O how your beating breast a mistress warms,
Who looks through spectacles to see your charms !
While rival undertakers hover round,
And with his spade the fexton marks the ground,
Intent not on her own, but others' doom,
She plans new conquests, and defrauds the tomb.
In vain the cock has summon'd sprites away,
She walks at noon, and blasts the bloom of day.
Gay rainbow silks her mellow charms infold,
And nought of Lyce but herself is old.
Her grizzled locks aflume a smirking grace,
And art has levelld her deep-furrow'd face.
Her strange demand no mortal can approve,
We'll ask her blessing, but can't ask her love..
She grants, indeed, a lady may decline
(All ladies but herself) at ninety-nine.
5

O how

O how unlike her is the sacred age
Of prudent Portia! Her grey hairs engage;
Whose thoughts are suited to her life's decline:
Virtue's the paint that can with wrinkles shine.
That, and that only, can old age sustain;
Which

yet

all wish, nor know they wish for pain.
Not num'rous are our joys, when life is new ;
And yearly some are falling of the few;
But when we conquer life's meridian stage,
And downward tend into the vale of age,
They drop apace; by nature some decay,
And some the blasts of fortune sweep away;
'Till naked quite of happiness, aloud
We call for death, and felter in a shroud.

Where's PORTIA now 1-But PORTIA left behind
Two lovely copies of her form and mind.
What heart untouch'd their early grief can view,
Like bluhing rose-buds dipp'd in morning dew?
Who into shelter takes their tender bloom,
And forms their minds to flee from ills to come ?
The mind, when turn'd adrift, no rules to guide,
Drives at the mercy of the wind and tide;
Fancy and pasion toss it to and fro;
Awhile torment, and then quite fink in woe.
Ye beauteous orphans, since in silent duft
Your best example lies, my precepts trust.
Life swarms with ills; the boldest are afraid;
Where then is safety for a tender maid?
Unfit for conflict, round beset with woes,
And man, whom least she fears, her worst of foes !
When kind, most cruel; when oblig'd the most,
The least obliging; and by favours loft.
Cruel by nature, they for kindness hate ;
And scorn you for thofe ills themselves create.

If

If on your fame our sex a blot has thrown,
'Twill ever stick, through malice of your own.
Moft hard ! in pleasing your chief glory lies ;
And yet from pleasing your chief dangers rise:
Then please the Beft; and know, for men of sense,
Your strongest charms are native innocence.
Art on the mind, like paint upon the face,
Fright him, that's worth your love, from your embrace.
In fimple manners all the secret lies;
Be kind and virtuous, you'll be bleft and wise.
Vain fhew and noise intoxicate the brain,
Begin with giddiness, and end in pain.
Affect not empty fame, and idle praise,
Which, all those wretches I describe, betrays.
Your sex's glory 'tis, to shine unknown 2;
Of all applause, be fondeft of your own.
Beware the fever of the mind! that thirst
With which the age is eminently curft :
To drink of pleasure, but inflames defire;
And abstinence alone can quench the fire;
Take pain from life, and terror from the tomb;
Give

peace in hand; and promise bliss to come.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I .

I know her not." Your reason's somewhat odd; • Who knows his patron, now?” reply'd the god. « Men write, to me, and to the world, unknown; “ Then steal great names, to shield them from the town. • Detected worth, like beauty disarray'd, « To covert fies, of praise itself afraid : “ Should she refuse to patronize your lays, “ In vengeance write a volume in her praise. Vol. I.

K

* Nor

Nor think it hard so great a length to run ;
“ When such the theme, 'twill easily be done."

Ye fair! to draw your excellence at length,
Exceeds the narrow bounds of human ftrength;
You, bere, in miniature your picture fee;
Nor hope from Zincks more justice than from me.
My portraits grace your mind, as his your fide;
His portraits will inflame, mine quench, your pride :
He's dear, you frugal; choose my cheaper lay;
And be your reformation all my pay.

Lavinia is polite, but not profane ;
To Church as conftant as to Drury-lane.
She decently, in form, pays heav'n its due ;
And makes a civil visit to her pew.
Her lifted fan, to give a solemn air,
Conceals her face, which pases for a prayer :
Curtsies to curtfies, then, with grace, succeed ;
Not one the fair omits, but at the Creed.
Or if she joins the Service, 'tis to speak;
Thro' dreadful filence the pent heart might break;
Untaught to bear it, women talk away
To God himself, and fondly think they pray.
But fweet their accent, and their air refind;
For they're before their Maker--and mankind:
When ladies once are proud of praying well,
SATAN himself will toll the parish bell.

Acquainted with the world, and quite well-bred,
DRUSA receives her visitants in bed;
But, chaste as ice, this Vefta, to defy
The very blackest tongue of calumny,
When from the sheets her lovely form she lifts,
She begs you just wou'd turn you, while he fifts.

Those charms are greatest which decline the fight,
That makes the banquet poignant and polite.
5

There

« НазадПродовжити »