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Of these the chief the care of Nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British Throne. 90

Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a less pleasing, tho' less glorious care ;
To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprison'd effences exhale ;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs; 95
To steal from rainbows, ere they drop in show'rs,
A brighter wash ; to curl their waving hairs,
Aflift their blushes, and inspire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow. 100

This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair
That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care ;
Some dire difafter, or by force, or flight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrap'd in night,
whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or fome frail China-jar teceive a flaw :
Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her pray’rs, or miss a masquerade ;
Or lose her heart, or necklace at a ball ;
Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock muft fall.
Haste then, ye spirits ! to your charge repair : III
The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care ;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we confign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crifpiffa, tend her fav’rite Lock; 195
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.

To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat:
Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail,
Tho' stiff with hoops, and arm’d with ribs of whale;

-105

Ver. 105. Wbether the nymph; etc.] The disaster, which makes the subject of this poem, being a trifle, taken fericujly ; it naturally led the Poet into this fine satire on the female estimate of human mischances.

Form a strong line about the silver bound, 121 And guard the wide circumference around.

Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his fins, 125 Be stop'd in viols, or transfix'd with pins ; Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie, Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye: Gums and Pomatums shall his flight restrain, While clog'd he beats his filken wings in vain; 130 Or Alum ftyptics with contracting pow'r Shrink his thin essence like a shriveld flow'r: Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch fhall feel The giddy motion of the whirling Mill, In fumes of burning Chocolate shall glow,. 135 And tremble

c.at the sea that froths below! He spoke; the spirits from the fails defcend; Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ;, Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair: Some hang upon the pendants of her ear; 140 With beating hearts the dire event they wait, Anxious, and trembling for the birth of Fate.

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THE

RAPE of the LOCK.

C

CANTO III.
Lose by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,

Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom 5
Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna!' whom three realms obey,
Doit sometimes counsel take-and sometimes tea. -

Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a Court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
Who

gave the ball, or paid the visit laft;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And onc describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes ; 15
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, fupply each pause of chat,
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.

Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray; 20

10

VARIATIONS.

VER. 3. Close by those meads,] The first edition continues from this line to ver. 24. of this Canto. VER. I1, 12. Originally in the firft edition,

In various talk the chearful hours they past,
Of, who was bit, or who capotted laft.

The hungry Judges foon the sentence fign,
And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the toilet cease.
Belinda' now, whom chirst of fame invites,

25
Burns to encounter two advent'rous Knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the sacred-nine.
Soon as the spreads her hand, the aërial guard
Descend, and fit on each important card :
First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
Then each according to the rank he bore ;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,

35 Are, as when women, wond'rous fond of place.

Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd, With hoary whiskers and a forky beard; And four fair Queens, whose hands fuftain a flow'r, Th’expresiive emblem of their softer pow'r;

40 Four Knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band; Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; And party-colour'd troops, a fining train, Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.

The kilful Nymph reviews her force with care: 45 Let Spades be trumps! she said, and trumps they were.

Now move to war her sable Matadores, In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors,

V18.47. Now move to war, etc.] The whole idea of this description of a game at Ombre is taken from Vida's defcription of a game at Chels, in bis poem intitled Scaccbia Ludus,

VARIATIONS, VER. 24. And the long labours of the toilet cease.] All that fol. lows of the game at Ombre, was added fiace the firft edition, till ver. 105. which connected thus :

Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd. Vol. I.

Spadillio first, unconquerable Lord !
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board. 5.
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Balto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one Plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,

55
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveald,
The reft, his many-colour'd robe conceald.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.

6. Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'erthrew, And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu, Sad chance of war ! now deftitute of aid, Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade!

Thus far both armies to Belinda yield ; Now to the Baron fate inclines the field. His warlike Amazon her hoft invades, Th' imperial confort of the crown of Spades. The Club's black tyrant first her vi&tim dy'd, Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride: 70 What boots the regal circle on his head, His giant limbs in state unwieldy spread; That long behind he trails his pompous robe, And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe ?

The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace ; 75 Th' embroider'd King who shews but half his face, And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd, Of broken troops an easy conquest find. Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder feen, With throngs promiscuous ftrow the level green. Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs, Of Afia's troops, and Afric's fable fons,

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