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RAPE of the LOCK.



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OT with more glories, in th' etherial plain,

The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Launch'd on the bofom of the silver Thames. Fair Nymphs, and well-drest Youths around her shone,

s But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone. On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those : Favours to none, to all she smiles extends Oft she rejects, but never once offends. Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride 15 Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide : If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.

This VARIATIONS. Ver. 4. Launch'd on the bofom] From hence the poem continues, in the firit Edition, to v. 46.

The rest the winds dispers 'd in empty air , all after, to the end of this Canto, being additional. P.


This Nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Nourish'd two Locks, which graceful hung behind In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck With shining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck. Love in thefe labyrinths his slaves detains, And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. With hairy springes we the birds betray, . 25 Slight lines of hair surprize the finny prey, Fair tresles 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 with’d, and to the prize aspir’d. 30 Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way, By force to ravish, or by fraud betray ; For when fuccefs a Lover's toil attends, Few ask, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.

For this, ere Phoebus rose, he had implor'd 35 Propitious heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd, But chiefly Love-to Love an Altar built, Of twelve vaft 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 fighs to raise the fire. Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize :



I MITATIONS. VER. 25. With hairy Springes] In allusion to Anacreon's manner.

Ver. 26. with a fingle hair.] In allusion to those lines of Hudibras, applied to the fame purpose,

And tho it be a two foet Trout,
'Tis with a single hair pullid out.


The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray's, The rest, the winds dispero'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 founds along the waters die; 50 Smooth Aow 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 sat heavy on his breast. He summons ftrait his Denizens of air; The lucid squadrons round the fails repair ; Soft o'er the shrouds aërial whispers breathe, That seem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath, Some to the fun their insect-wings unfold, Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold; Transparent forms, too fine for mortal fight, 61 Their fluid bodies half dissolv'd in light. Loose to the wind their airy garments flew, Thin glitering textures of the filmy dew, Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies, Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes, While ev'ry beam new transient colours Aings, Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings. Amid the circle, on the gilded maft, Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd ; 70 His purple pinions op'ning to the sun, He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun.



VER.45. The pow'rs gave ear,] Virg. Æn. xi. P.


Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear, Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons hear! Ye know the spheres and various tasks affign'd 75 By laws eternal to th' aërial 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. 80 Some less refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night, Or suck the mists in groffer air below, Or dip their pinions in the painted bow, Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main,

85 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, 91 Not a less pleasing, tho' less glorious care ; To save the powder from too rude a gale, Nor let th' imprison'd effences exhale ; To draw fresh colours from the vernal Aow'rs; 95 To steal from rainbows e'er they drop in show'rs A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs, Affist 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 e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care; Some dire disaster, or by force, or flight; But what, or where, the fates have wrapt in night.



Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, IOS
Or some frail China jar receive a flaw;
Or ftain 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 muft

Hafte then, ye fpirits ! to your charge repair :
The Autt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care ;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crispissa, tend her fav'rite Lock; 115
Ariel himself fhall be the guard of Shock.

To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat :
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 poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel sharp vengeance foon o'ertake his sins,
Be stop'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;

126 Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedg’d whole ages in a bodkin's eye:


clypei dominus feptemplicis Ajax. Ovid. VER. 121. about the silver bound] In allusion to the fhield of Achilles,

Thus the broad shield complete the Artist crown'd,
With bis laft band, and pour'd the Ocean rount:
In living Silver leer'd the waves to roll,
And beat the Buckler's verge, and bound the whole.

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Ver. 119.

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