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Old as I am, for ladies love unfit,
The power of beauty I remember yet,
Which once inflamed my soul, and still i
If love be folly, the severe divine .
Has felt that folly, though he censures mine;
Pollutes the pleasures of a chaste embrace,
Acts what I write, and propagates in grace,
With riotous excess, a priestly race.
Suppose him free, and that I forge the offence,
He shewed the way, perverting first my sense;
In malice witty, and with venom fraught,
He makes me speak the things I never thought.
Compute the gains of his ungoverned zeal;
Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well.
The world will think that what we loosely write,
Though now arraigned, he read with some delight;
Because he seems to chew the cud again,
When his broad comment makes the text too plain;
And teaches more in one explaining page,
Than all the double meanings of the stage. *
What needs he paraphrase on what we mean?
We were at worst but wanton; he's obscene.
I, nor my fellows, nor myself excuse;
But love's the subject of the comic muse;
Nor can we write without it, nor would you
A tale of only dry instruction view.
Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
Awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul,
And, brushing o'er, adds motion to the pool.
Love, studious how to please, improves our parts
With polished manners, and adorns with arts.
Love first invented verse, and formed the phime,
The motion measured, harmonised the chime;
To liberal acts enlarged the narrow soul'd,
Softened the fierce, and made the coward bold;
The world, when waste, he peopled with increase,
And warring nations reconciled in peace.
Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find,
In this one legend, to their fame designed,
When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the
In that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court,
And every grace, and all the loves, resort;
Where either sex is formed of softer earth,
· And takes the bent of pleasure from their birth;
There lived a Cyprian Iord above the rest,
Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue blessed.
* Although this interpretation is invidious, it might have been wished, that Collier, against whom the insinuation is directed, had been less coarse, and somewhat veiled the indecencies which he justly censures,
But as no gift of fortune is sincere,
Was only wanting in a worthy heir;
His eldest born, a goodly youth to view,
Excelled the rest in shape, and outward shew;
Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion joined,
But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.
His soul belied the features of his face;
Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace.
A clownish mein, a voice with rustic sound,
And stupid eyes that ever loved the ground.
He looked like nature's error, as the mind
And body were not of a piece designed, .
But made for two, and by mistake in one were joined.
The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Were exercised in vain on wit's despair;
The more informed, the less he understood,
And deeper sunk by floundering in the mud.
Now scorned of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus changed his name,
And Cymon called, which signifies a brute;
So well his name did with his nature suit.
His father, when he found his labour lost,
And care employed, that answered not the cost,
Chose an ungrateful object to remove,
And loathed to see what nature made him love;
So to his country farm the fool confined ;
Rude work well suited with a rustic mind.
Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went,
A squire among the swains, and pleased with ba-
His corn and cattle were his only care,
And his supreme delight, a country fair.
It happened on a summer's holiday, That to the green-wood shade he took his way; For Cymon shunned the church, and used not
much to pray.
His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before, and half behind his back.
He trudged along, unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
By chance conducted, or by thirst constrained,
The deep recesses of the grove he gained ;
Where in a plain defended by the wood,
Crept through the matted grass a crystal flood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood;
And on the margin of the fount was laid,
(Attended by her slaves) a sleeping maid.
Like Dian and her nymphs, when, tired with sport,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort.
The dame herself the goddess well expressed,
Not more distinguished by her purple vest,
Than by the charming features of her face,
And even in slumber a superior grace;
Her comely limbs composed with decent care,
Her body shaded with a slight cymarr;
Her bosom to the view was only bare;
Where two beginning paps were scarcely spie
For yet their places were but signified:
The fanning wind upon her bosom blows,
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose;
The fanning wind, and purling streams, continue
her repose. The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes, And gaping mouth, that testified surprise, Fixed on her face, nor could remove his sight, New as he was to love, and novice in delight; Long mute he stood, and, leaning on his staff, His wonder witnessed with an idiot laugh; Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense, First found his want of words, and feared offence; Doubted for what he was he should be known, By his clown accent, and his country tone,
Through the rude chaos thus the running light Shot the first ray that pierced the native night; Then day and darkness in the mass were mixed, Till gathered in a globe the beams were fixed; Last shone the sun, who, radiant in his sphere, Illumined heaven and earth, and rolled around the
year. So reason in this brutal soul.began : Love made him first suspect he was a man; Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound; By love his want of words, and wit, he found; That sense of want prepared the future way To knowledge, and disclosed the promise of a day.
What not his father's care, nor tutor's art, Could plant with pains in his unpolished heart, The best instructor, love, at once inspired, As barrei grounds to fruitfulness are fired; Love taught him shame, and shame, with love at
strife, Soon taught the sweet civilities of life. His gross material soul at once could find Somewhat in her excelling all her kind; Exciting a desire till then unknown, Somewhat unfound, or found in her alone. This made the first impression in his mind, Above, but just above, the brutal kind. For beasts can like, but not distinguish too, Nor their own liking by reflection know; Nor why they like or this or t'other face, Or judge of this, or that peculiar grace; But love in gross, and stupidly admire ; As flies, allured by light, approach the fire. Thus our man-beast, advancing by degrees, First likes the whole, then separates what he sees; On several parts a several praise bestows, The ruby lips, the well-proportioned nose,