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Or drink a joco-serious cup
With souls who've took their freedom up,
And let my mind, beguiled by talk,
In Epicurus' garden walk,
Who thought it heaven to be serene;
Pain, hell; and purgatory, spleen.
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
And chat away the gloomy fit;
Quit the stiff garb of serious sense,
And wear a gay impertinence,
Nor think nor speak with any pains,
But lay on fancy's neck the reins:
Talk of unusual swell of waist
In maid of honour loosely laced,
And beauty borrowing Spanish red,
And loving pair with separate bed,
And jewels pawned for loss of game,
And then redeemed by loss of fame;
Of Kitty (aunt left in the lurch
By grave pretence to go to church)
Perceived in hack with lover fine,
Like Will. and Mary on the coin:
And thus in modish manner we,
In aid of sugar, sweeten tea.
Permit, ye fair, your idol form,
Which e'en the coldest heart can warm,
May with its beauties grace my line,
While I bow down before its shrine,
And your throng'd altars with my lays
Perfume, and get by giving praise.
With speech so sweet, so sweet a mien
You excommunicate the Spleen,
Which, fiend-like, flies the magic ring
You form with sound, when pleased to
Whate'er you say, howe'er you move,
We look, we listen, and approve.
Your touch, which gives to feeling bliss,
Our nerves officious throng to kiss;
By Celia's pat, on their report,
The grave-aired soul, inclined to sport,
Renounces wisdom's sullen pomp,
And loves the floral game, to romp.
But who can view the pointed rays,
That from black eyes scintillant blaze?
Love on his throne of glory seems
Encompass'd with satellite beams.
But when blue eyes, more softly bright,
Diffuse benignly humid light,
gaze, and see the smiling loves,
And Cytherea's gentle doves,
And raptured fix in such a face
Love's mercy-seat and throne of
Shine but on age, you melt its snow;
Again fires long-extinguished glow,
And, charmed by witchery of eyes,
Blood long congealèd liquefies!
True miracle, and fairly done
By heads which are adored while on.
But oh, what pity 'tis to find
Such beauties both of form and mind,
By modern breeding much debased,
In half the female world at least!
Hence I with care such lotteries shun,
Where, a prize missed, I'm quite undone;
And han't, by venturing on a wife,
Yet run the greatest risk in life.
Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbear
Your impious pains to form the fair,
Nor lay out so much cost and art,
But to deflower the virgin heart;
Of every folly-fostering bed
By quickening heat of custom bred.
Rather than by your culture spoiled,
Desist, and give us nature wild,
Delighted with a hoyden soul,
Which truth and innocence control.
Coquettes, leave off affected arts,
Gay fowlers at a flock of hearts;
Woodcocks to shun your snares have skill, ,
You show so plain you strive to kill.
In love the artless catch the game,
And they scarce miss who never aim,
The world's great Author did create
The sex to fit the nuptial state,
And meant a blessing in a wife
To solace the fatigues of life;
And old inspired times display,
How wives could love, and yet obey.
Then truth, and patience of control,
And housewife arts adorned the soul;
And charms, the gift of nature, shone ;
And jealousy, a thing unknown;
Veils were the only masks they wore;
Novels (receipts to make a whore)
Nor ombre, nor quadrille they knew,
Nor Pam's puíssance felt at loo.
Wise men did not, to be thought gay,
Then compliment their power away:
But lest, by frail desires misled,
The girls forbidden paths should tread,
Of ignorance raised the safe high wall;
We sink ha-has, that show them all.
Thus we at once solicit sense,
And charge them not to break the fence.
Now, if untired, consider, friend, What I avoid to gain my end.
I never am at meeting seen, Meeting, that region of the Spleen; The broken heart, the busy fiend, The inward call, on Spleen depend.
Law, licensed breaking of the peace,
To which vacation is disease;
A gipsy diction scarce known well
By the magi, who law-fortunes tell,
I shun; nor let it breed within
Anxiety, and that the Spleen;
Law, grown a forest, where perplex
The mazes, and the brambles vex;
Where its twelve verdurers every day
Are changing still the public way:
Yet if we miss our path and err,
We grievous penalties incur;
And wanderers tire, and tear their skin,
And then get out where they went in.
I never game, and rarely bet, Am loth to lend, or run in debt.
No compter-writs me agitate;
Who moralising pass the gate,
And there mine eyes on spendthrifts turn,
Who vainly o'er their bondage mourn.
Wisdom, before beneath their care,
Pays her upbraiding visits there,
And forces folly through the grate
Her panegyric to repeat.
This view, profusely when inclined,
Enters a caveat in the mind :
Experience joined with common sense,
To mortals is a providence.
Passion, as frequently is seen,
Subsiding settles into Spleen.
Hence, as the plague of happy life,
I turn away from party-strife.
A prince's cause, a church's claim,
I've known to raise a mighty flame,
And priest, as stoker, very free
To throw in peace and charity.
That tribe, whose practicals decree
Small beer the deadliest heresy;
Who, fond of pedigree, derive
From the most noted whore alive;
Who own wine's old prophetic aid,
And love the mitre Bacchus made,
Forbid the faithful to depend
On half-pint drinkers for a friend,
And in whose gay red-lettered face
We read good living more than grace:
Nor they so pure, and so precise,
Immac'late as their white of eyes,