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As long as Atalantis shall be read,
CANTO IV. But anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress’d, And secret passions labour'd in her breast. Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive, Not scornful virgins who their charms survive, Not ardent lovers robb’d of all their bliss, Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss, Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, Not Cynthia wlien her mantua's pin'd awry, E’er felt such rage, resentment, and despair, As thou, sad virgin ! for thy ravishd hair.
For, that sad moment; when the sylphs withiPrest; And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite, As ever sullied the fair face of light, Down to the central earth, his proper scene, Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleena
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the gnome, And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome. No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows, The dreaded east is all the wind that blows.. Here in a grotto, shelter'd close from air, And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, She sighis for ever on her pensive bed, Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head.
Two handmaids wait the throne ; alike in place, But differing far in figure and in face. Here stood Ill-nature, like an ancient mạid, Her wrinkled form in black and wbite array'd! With store of prayers for mornings,nights,and noons, Her hand is tilld; her bosom with lampoons. There Affectation, with a sickly mien, Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen, Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside, Faints into airs, and languishes with pride; On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe, Wrapt in a gown, for sickness and for show. The fair-ones feel such maladies as these, When each new night-dress gives a new disease.
A constant vapour o'er the palace Aies; Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise ; Dreadful, as hermits' dreams in haunted shades, Or bright, as visions of expiring maids. Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires, Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires.; Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes, And crystal domes, and angels in machines.
Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen, Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen. Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held out, One bent; the handle this, and that the spout :
A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod, walks ;
Safe past the gnome throngh this fantastic band,
The goddess, with a discontented air, Seems to reject him, though she grants bis pray'r. A wondrous bag with both her bands she binds, Like that where once Ulysses held the winds; There she collects the force of female lungs, Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues,
A vial next she fills with fainting fears,
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found,
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall,
She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
• It grieves me much (replied the peer again) Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain : But by this lock, this sacred lock, I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its honours shall renew, Clip'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That, while my postrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear.' He spoke, and, speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.
But Umbriel, hateful gnome, forbears not so; He breaks the vial whence the sorrows flow. Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half drown'd in tears; On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, Which with a sigh she rais'd, and thus she said:
· For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my favourite curl away! Happy! ah, ten times happy had I been, If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen! Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, By love of courts to numerous ils betray'd.