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SHE said : the pitying audience melt in tears; But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears. In vain Thalestris with reproach assails, For who can move when fair Belinda fails? Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain
5 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 most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? 10 Why deck'd with all the land and sea afford, Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd ? Why round our coaches crowd the white glov'd beaus? Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows ? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, 15 Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains ; That men may say, 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 chas'd old age away, 20 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; 25
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensu'd; 35
Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack;
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, 45
Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs, the ground gives way, And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel, on sconce's height, Clapp'd his glad wings, and sat to view the fight; Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.
56 While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng; One dy'd in metaphor, and one in song.
60 “O cruel nymph! a living death I bear," Cry'd Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, " Those eyes are made so killing”.
.....was his last. Thus on Mæander's flow'ry margin rise
65 The' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smild to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd again. 70
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the mens' wits against the lady's hair; The doubtful beam long nods from side to side ; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside. See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,
75 With more than usual lightning in her eyes :
Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try,
Boast not my fall (he cry'd) insulting foe!
Restore the Lock! she cries; and all around, Restore the Lock! the vaulted roofs rebound. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
105 Roard for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain. But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd, And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost! The Lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain, In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain : , 110 With such a prize no mortal must be blest, So heav'n decrees! with heav'n who can contest?
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Since all things lost on earth are treasur'd there. There heroes' wits are kept in pond'rous vases, 115 And beaus' in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases. There broken vows, and death-bed alms are found, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound, The courtier's promises, and sick mens' pray'rs, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, 120 Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, Dy'd butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse....she saw it upwards rise, Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view,)
126 A sudden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of bair,