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And since their lips, so knowing to deceive,
Thy unexperienc'd youth might foon believe,
And since their tears in false submission dref
Might thaw the icy coldness of thy breaft,
0! shut thine eyes to such deceitful woe;
Caught by the beauty of thy outward show,
Like me they do not love, whate'er they seem,
Like me with passion founded on esteem.
Answer to the foregoing Lines.
00 well these lines that fatal truth declare,
Which long I've known, yet now I blush to hear. But say, what hopes thy fond ill-fated love, What can it hope, tho' mutual it shou'd prove ? This little form is fair in vain for you, In vain for me thy honest heart is true ; For wou'd'At thou fix dishonour on my name, And give me up to penitence and shame; Or gild my ruin with the name of wife, And make me a poor virtuous wretch for life: Cou’d'At thou submit to wear the marriage chain, (Too sure a cure for all thy present pain)
No saffron robe for us the godhead wears,
His torch inverted, and his face in tears.
Tho' ev'ry softer with were amply crown'd,
Love soon wou'd cease to smile where Fortune frown'd;
Then wou'd thy soul my fond consent deplore,
And blame what it sollicited before ;
Thy own exhausted would reproach my truth,
And say I had undone thy blinded youth;
That I had damp'd Ambition's nobler flame,
Eclips'd thy talents, and obscur'd thy fame;
To madrigals and odes that wit confin’d,
That wou'd in fenates or in courts have shin'd.
Gloriously active in thy country's cause,
Afferting freedom, and enacting laws.
Or say, at best, that negatively kind
You only mourn'd, and filently repin'd;
The jealous dæmons in my own fond breast
Wou'd all these thoughts inceffantly fuggeft,
And all that sense must feel, tho'pity had supprest.
Yet added grief my apprehension fills
(If there can be addition to those ills)
When they shall cry, whose harih reproof I dread,
“ 'Twas thy own deed, thy folly on thy head !”.
Age knows not to allow for thoughtless youth,
Nor pities tenderness, nor honours truth;
Holds it romantic to confess a heart,
And say those virgins act a wiser part
Who hospitals and bedlams wou'd explore
To find the rich, and only dread the poor ;
Who legal prostitutes, for int'ret fake,
Clodios and Timons to their bosoms take,
And, if avenging heav'n permit increase,
People the world with folly and disease.
Those, titles, deeds, and rent-rolls only wed,
Whilft the best bidder mounts the venal bed,
And the grave aunt and formal fire approve
This nuptial sale, this auction of their love.
But if regard to worth or sense be shown,
That poor degenerate child her friends disown,
Who dares to deviate by a virtuous choice
From her great name's hereditary vice.
These scenes my prudence ushers to my mind,
Of all the storms and quicksands I must find,
If I embark
this summer sea, Where Flatt'ry smooths, and Pleasure gilds the way. Had our ill fate ne'er blown thy dang'rous flame Beyond the limits of a friend's cold name, I might upon that score thy heart receive, And with that guiltless name my own deceive; That commerce now in vain you recommend, I dread the latent lover in the friend; Of ignorance I want the poor excufe, And know, I both must take, or both refuse.
Hear then the safe, the firm resolve I make, Ne’er to encourage one I must forsake.
Whilst other maids a shameless path pursue,
Neither to int'reft, nor to honour true,
And proud to swell the triumph of their eyes,
Exult in love from lovers they despise ;
Their maxims all revers'd I mean to prove,
And tho' I like the lover, quit the love.
EPISTLES in the Manner of Ovid.
INCE language never can describe my pain,
How can I hope to move when I complain?
But such is woman's frenzy in distress,
We love to plead, tho' hopeless of redress.
Perhaps, affecting ignorance, thou'lt say,
From whence these lines? whose message to convey ?
Mock not my grief with that feign'd cold demand,
Too well you know the hapless writer's hand:
But if you force me to avow my shame,
Behold it prefac'd with Monimia's name.
Lost to the world, abandon'd and forlorn,
Expos'd to infamy, reproach, and scorn,
To mirth and comfort loft, and all for you,
Yet loft, perhaps, to your remembrance too,
How hard my lot! what refuge can
Weary of life, and yet afraid to die !
Of hope, the wretch's last resort, bereft,
By friends, by kindred, by my lover, left.
Oh! frail dependence of confiding fools!
On lovers oaths, or friendship’s sacred rules,
How weak in modern hearts, too late I find,
Monimia's faln, and Philocles unkind !
To these reflections, each slow wearing day,
And each revolving night a constant prey,
Think what I suffer, nor ungentle hear
What madness dictates in my fond despair ;
Grudge not this short relief, (too fast it flies)
Nor chide that weakness I myself despise.
One moment sure may be at least her due,
Who facrific'd her all of life for
Without a frown this farewel then receive,
For, 'tis the laft my hapless love shall give;
Nor this I wou'd, if reason cou'd command,
But what restriction reins a lover's hand ?
Nor prudence, shame, nor pride, nor int’reft sways,
The hand implicitly the heart obeys :
Too well this maxim has my conduct shewn,
Too well that conduct to the world is known.
Oft have I writ, and often to the flame
Condemn'd this after-witness of my shame ;