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One died in metaphor, and one in song:
"O cruel nymph! a living death I bear!"
Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair;
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast-
"Those eyes are made so killing!" was his last.
Thus on Meander's flow'ry margin lies
Th' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe stepped in and killed him with a frown;
She smiled to see the doughty hero slain,
But at her smile the beau revived again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the men's 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,
With more than usual lightning in her eyes;
Nor feared the chief th' unequal fight to try,
Who sought no more than on his foe to die.
But this bold lord, with manly strength endued,
She with one finger and a thumb subdued:
Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw;
The gnomes direct, to ev'ry atom just,
The pungent grains of titillating dust;
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
"Now meet thy fate!" incensed Belinda cried,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
(The same, his ancient personage to deck,
Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck,
In three seal-rings; which after, melted down,
Formed a vast buckle for his widow's gown;
Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew-
The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew;
Then in a bodkin graced her mother's hairs,
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)
"Boast not my fall," he cried, "insulting foe!
Thou by some other shalt be laid as low.
Nor think to die dejects my lofty mind;
All that I dread is leaving you behind!
Rather than so, ah let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames-but burn alive."
"Restore the lock!" she cries; and all around
"Restore the lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Roared for the handkerchief that caused his pain.
But see how oft ambitious aims are crossed,
And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost!
The lock, obtained with guilt and kept with pain,
In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain :
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 treasured there.
There heroes' wits are kept in pond'rous vases,
And beaux' in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases;
There broken vows and death-bed alms are found,
And lovers' hearts, with ends of ribbon bound,
The courtier's promises, and sick man's pray'rs,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse: she saw it upward rise,
Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes
(So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confessed in view);
A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The heav'ns bespangling with disheveled light.
The sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And, pleased, pursue its progress through the skies.
This the beau monde shall from the Mall survey,
And hail with music its propitious ray;
This the blest lover shall for Venus take,
And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake;
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes,
And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis and the fall of Rome.
Then cease, bright nymph, to mourn thy ravished hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!
Not all the tresses that fair head can boast
Shall draw such envy as the lock you lost;
For after all the murders of your eye,
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die,
When those fair suns shall set, as set they must,
And all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
This lock the Muse shall consecrate to fame,
And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
TRANSLATIONS FROM HOMER
Twelve days were past, and now the dawning light
The gods had summoned to th' Olympian height;
Jove, first ascending from the wat'ry bow'rs,
Leads the long order of ethereal Pow'rs:
When like the morning mist, in early day,
Rose from the flood the Daughter of the Sea,
And to the seats divine her flight addressed.
There, far apart, and high above the rest,
The Thund'rer sat, where old Olympus shrouds
His hundred heads in heaven and props the clouds.
Suppliant the goddess stood; one hand she placed
Beneath his beard, and one his knees embraced.
"If e'er, O Father of the Gods!" she said,
"My words could please thee or my actions aid,
Some marks of honour on my son bestow,
And pay in glory what in life you owe.
Fame is at least by heav'nly promise due
To life so short, and now dishonoured too.
Avenge this wrong, oh ever just and wise!
Let Greece be humbled, and the Trojans rise,
Till the proud king and all th' Achaian race
Shall heap with honours him they now disgrace!"
In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive Contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing Melancholy reigns,
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love!-from Abelard it came,
And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.
Dear fatal name! rest ever unrevealed,
Nor pass these lips, in holy silence sealed.
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where, mixed with God's, his loved idea lies.
Oh, write it not, my hand-the name appears
Already written-wash it out, my tears!
In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays:
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls, whose darksome round contains
Repentant sighs and voluntary pains;
Ye rugged rocks, which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns shagged with horrid thorn;
Shrines, where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep;
And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep;
Though cold like you, unmoved and silent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not Heav'n's while Abelard has part;
Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters, trembling, I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Oh, name forever sad! forever dear!
Still breathed in sighs, still ushered with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my own I find;
Some dire misfortune follows close behind.
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Led through a sad variety of woe:
Now warm in love; now with'ring in my bloom,
Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!
There stern religion quenched th' unwilling flame;
There died the best of passions, love and fame.
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away;
And is my Abelard less kind than they?
Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare;
Love but demands what else were shed in pray'r.
No happier task these faded eyes pursue;
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief!
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
Some banished lover or some captive maid:
They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires,
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires;
The virgin's wish without her fears impart,
Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart;
Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,
And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot,
The world forgetting, by the world forgot;
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind,
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resigned;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires composed, affections ever ev'n;
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes;
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring;
For her white virgins hymenæals sing;
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.
Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
Far other raptures of unholy joy.
When, at the close of each sad, sorr'wing day,
Fancy restores what vengeance snatched away,
Then conscience sleeps, and leaving nature free,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee!
O curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night!
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Provoking demons all restraint remove,