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• No, all alone her pray'rs she rather chose,
Than be that wretch to sleep till morning rose.'
Then lady Cynthia, mistress of the shade,
Goes with the fashionable owls to bed :
This her pride covets, this her health denies :
Her soul is silly, but her body's wise.
Others, with curious arts, dim charms revive,
And triumph in the bloom of fifty-five.
You, in the morning, a fair nymph invite,
To keep her word a brown one comes at night;
Next day she shines in glossy black, and then
Revolves into her native red again :
Like a dove's neck she shifts her transient charms,
And is her own dear rival in your arms.
But one admirer has the painted lass, Nor finds that one but in her looking-glass : Yet Laura's beautiful to such excess, That all her art scarce makes her please us less. To deck the female cheek he only knows, Who paints less fair the lily and the rose.
How gay they smile? Such blessings Nature pours, O'erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores : In distanţ wilds, by human eyes unseen, She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green: Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace, And waste their music on the savage race. Is Nature then a niggard of her bliss ? Repine we guiltless in a world like this? But our lude tastes her lawful charms refuse, And painted Art's deprav'd allurements choose. Such Fulvia's passion for the town: fresh air (An odd effect!) gives vapours to the fair ; Green fields, and shady groves, and crystal springs, And larks, and nightingales, are odious things; But smoke, and dust, and noise, and crowds delight, And to be press'd to death transports her quite : Where silver rivulets play through flowery meads, And woodbines give their sweets, and limes their
Black kennels' absent odours she regrets,
And stops her nose at beds of violets.
Is stormy life preferr'd to the serene?
Or is the public to the private scene?
Retir'd, we tread a smooth and open way,
Through briars and brambles in the world we stray;
Stiff opposition, and perplex'd debate,
And thorny care, and rank and stinging hate,
Which choke our passage, our career control,
And wound the firmest temper of our soul.
O sacred Solitude ! divine retreat!
Choice of the prudent! envy of the great!
By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade,
We court fair Wisdom, that celestial maid ;
The genuine offspring of her lor'd embrace,
(Strangers on earth!) are Innocence and Peace:
There from the ways of men laid safe ashore,
We smile to hear the distant tempest roar;
There, bless'd with health, with business unperplex'd,
This life we relish, and insure 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 poësy 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'twill languish into sorrow:
But she dares never boast the present hour;
So gross 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 weep?'
* Ah, barbarous man,' she cries, 'how could you-
sleep?" 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
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 the eternity shall end ?'
Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love,
Elope from mortal man, and range above.
The fair philosopher to Rowley Aies,
Where, in a box, 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!
'Tis not in air-pumps the gay col'nel dies.
But though to-day this rage of science reigns,
(0 fickle sex !) soon end her learned pains.
Lo! pug from Jupiter her heart has got,
Turns out the stars, and Newton is a sot.
To -- 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 sincere, In crowds collected, and in courts severe; 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,
'Tis doubt! 'tis 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 insure,
And make her family a sinecure;
The theme divine at cards she'll not forget,
But takes in texts of Scripture at piquet;
In those licentious meetings acts the prude,
And thanks her Maker that her cards are good.
What angels would these 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?
'Tis 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 ?
The young and gay declining, Appia fies At pobler 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?