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For gods, their betters, are too wise
To value that which men defpise.
And then, said she, my son and I
Must stroll in air, 'twixt land and sky;
Or else, shut out from heaven and earth,
Fly to the sea, my place of birth;
There live, with daggled mermaids pent,
And keep on fish perpetual Lent.
But, since the case appear’d so nice,
She thought it beit to take advice.
The Muses, by their King's permission,
Though foes to love, attend the session,
And on the right hand took their places
In order; on the left, the Graces :
To whom she might her doubts propose
On all emergencies that role.
The Muses ofi' were feen' to frown;
The Graces half-afham'd look down ;
And 'twas observ'd, there were but few
Of either sex among the crew,
Whom The or her assessors know.
The goddess soon began to fee,
Things were not ripe for a decree ;
And said, she must consult her books,
The lovers' Fletas, BraEtons, Cokes.
First to a dapper clerk she beckon'd
To turn to Ovid, book the second ;
She then referr'd them to a place
n Virgil (vide Dido's case):
As for Tibullus's reports,
They never pass’d for law in courts :
For Cowley's briefs, and pleas of Waller,
Still their authority was smaller.
There was on both sides much to say:
She'd hear the cause another day.
And so she did ; and then a third
She heard it—there she kept her word :
But, with rejoinders or replies,
Long bills, and answers stuff'd with lies,
Demur, imparlance, and etloign,
The parties ne'er could illue join :
For fixteen years the cause was spun,
And then stood where it first begun.
115 Now, gentle Clio, fing or say, What Venus meant by this delay. The goddess, much perplex'd in mind To see her empire thus declin’d, When first this grand debate arose,
130 Above her wisdom to compofe, Conceiv'd a project in her head To work her ends; which, if it sped, Would shew the merits of the cause Far better than consulting laws.
Since men alledge, they ne'er can find
Those beauties in a female mind,
Which raise a flame that will endure
For ever uncorrupt and pure;
If ’tis with reason they complain,
This infant shall restore my reign.
I'll search where every virtue dwells,
From courts inclusive down to cells :
What preachers talk, or fages write ; 15°
These I will gather and unite,
And represent them to mankind
Collected in that infantis mind.
This said, the plucks in heaven's high bowers A sprig of amaranthine flowers,
155 In nectar thrice infuses bays, Three times refind in Titan's rays; Then calls the Graces to her aid, And sprinkles thrice the new-born maid : From whence the tender skin assumes
16. A sweetness above all perfumes : From whence a cleanliness remains, Incapable of outward stains : From whence that decency of mind, So lovely in the female kind,
165 Where not one careless thought intrudes, Less modest than the speech of prudes; Where never blush was call'd in aid, That fpurious virtue in a maid, A virtue but at second-hand ;
170 They blush, because they understand.
The Graces next would act their part,
And shew'd but little of their art ;
Their work was half already done,
The child with native beauty shone ;
The outward form no help requir’d:
Each, breathing on her thrice, inspir'd
That gentle; foft, engaging air,
Which in old times adorn'd the fair:
And said, “Vanessa be the name
“ By which thou shalt be known to fame;
“ Vanesła, by, the gods inrolld:
“ Her name on earth shall not be told.” -
But still the work was not complete ;
When Venus thought on a deceit,
Drawn by her doves, away the flies,
And finds out Pallas in the skies.
Dear Pallas, I have been this morn
To see a lovely infant born;
A boy in yonder isle below,
So like my own without his bow,
By beauty could your heart be won;
You 'd swear it is Apollo's fon :
But it shall ne'er be faid, a child
So hopeful has by me been spoil'd;
I have enough besides to spare,
And give him wholly to your care.
Wisdom 's above sufpecting wiles :
The Queen of Learning gravely smiles.
Down from Olympus comes with joy,
Mistakes Vanella for a boy;
Then fows within her tender mind
Seeds long unknown to womankind;
For manly bosoms chiefly fit,
The seeds of knowledge, judgement, wit. 205
Her soul was suddenly endued
With justice, truth, and fortitude ;
With honour, which no breath can stain,
Which malice must attack in vain ;
heart and bounteous hand.
But Pallas here was at a stand ;
She knew, in our degenerate days,
Bare virtue could not live on praife ;
That meat must be with money bought :
She therefore, upon second thought,
Infus’d, yet as it were by fiealth,
Some small regard for state and wealth;
Of which, as the grew up, there staid
A tincture in the prudent maid :
She manag’d her estate with care,
Yet lik'd three footmen to her chair.
But, left he ihould neglect his studies
Like a young heir, the thrifty goddess
(For fear young master should be spoil'd)
Would ute him like a younger child ;
225 And; after long computing, found "Twould come to just five thousand pound.
The Queen of Love was pleas'd, and proud,
To see Vanetia thus endow'd :
She doubted not but such a dame
230 Through every breast would dart a flame;