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Yet, these perceiv’d, you may her back undress,
And, writing on her skin, your mind express.
New milk, or pointed spires of flax, when green,
Will ink supply, and letters mark unseen.
Fair will the paper shew, nor can be read,
Till all the writing 's with warm ashes spread.
Acrisius with all his care, betray'd ;
And in his tower of brass, a grandfire made.
Can spies avail, when you to plays resort,
Or in the Circus view the noble sport?
Or, can you be to Isis' fane pursued,
Or Cybele's, whose rites all men exclude ?
Though watchful servants to the bagnio come,
They're ne'er admitted to the bathing-room.
Or, when some sudden sickness you pretend,
May you not take to your fick-bed a friend ?
False keys a private passage may procure,
If not, there are more ways besides the door.
Sometimes, with wine, your watchful follower treat;
When drunk, you may with ease his care defeat:
Or, to prevent too-sudden a surprize,
Prepare a fleeping-draught to seal his eyes :
Or let your maid, still longer time to gain,
An inclination for his perfor feign;
With faint resistance let her drill him on,
And, after competent delays, be won.
But what need all these various doubtful wiles,
Since gold the greatest vigilance beguiles ?
Believe me, men and gods with gifts are pleas'd;
Ev'n angry Jove with offerings is appeas'd.
With presents, fools and wife alike are caught,
Give but enough, the husband may be bought.
But let me warn you, when you bribe a spy,
That you for ever his connivance buy ;
Pay him his price at once, for with such men
You 'll know no end of giving now and then.
Once, I remember, I with cause complain’d,
Of jealousy occasion'd by a friend.
Believe me, apprehensions of that kind,
Are not alone to our false sex confin'd.
Trust not, too far, your she-companion's truth,
Left she sometimes should intercept the youth :
The very confident that lends the bed,
May entertain your lover in your stead,
Nor keep a servant with too fair a face,
For such I 've known supply her lady's place.
But whither do I run with heedless rage,
Teaching the foe unequal war to wage ?
Did ever bird the fowler's net prepare?
Was ever hound instructed by the hare ?
But, all self-ends and interest set apart,
I'll faithfully proceed to teach my art.
Defenceless and unarm'd expose my life,
And for the Lemnian ladies whet the knife.
Perpetual fondness of your lover feign,
Nor will you find it hard, belief to gain ;
Full of himself he your design will aid :
To what we wish, 'tis easy to perfuade.
With dying eyes his face and form survey,
Then figh, and wonder he so long could stay :
Now drop a tear your sorrows to assuage,
Aron reproach him, and pretend to rage.
Such proofs as these will all distrust remove,
And make him pity your exceffive love.
Scarce to himself will he forbear to cry,
* How can I let this poor fond creature die "
But chiefly, one, such ford behaviour fires,
Who courts his glass, and his own charms admires.
Proud of the homage to his merit done,
He 'll think a goddess might with ease be won.
Light wrongs, be fure, you still with mildness bear,
Nor strait fly out, when you a rival fear.
Let not your passion o'er your sense prevail,
Nor credit lightly every idle tale.
Let Procris' fate a fad example be
Of what effects attend credulity.
Near where his purple head Hymettus shown And flowering hills, a sacred fountain flows; With soft and verdant turf the foil is spread, And sweetly-smelling shrubs the ground o’erlbade. There rosemary and bay their odours join, And with the fragrant myrtle's scent combine. There tamarisks with thick-leav'd box are found, And cytissus and garden-pines abound. While through the boughs soft winds of Zephyr patsz Tremble the leaves, and tender tops of grass. Hither would Cephalus retreat to rest, When tir'd with hunting, or with heat oppreft : And thus to Air the panting youth would pray, Come, gentle Aura, come, this heat allay."
But some tale-bearing too officious friend,
By chance o'er-heard him as he thus complain'd;
Who with the news to Procris quick repair’d,
Repeating word for word what she had heard.
Soon as the name of Aura reach'd her cars,
With jealousy surpriz’d, and fainting fears,
Her rosy colour fled her lovely face,
And agonies, like death, fupply'd the place
Pale she appear'd as are the falling leaves,
Whep first the vine the winter's blast receives
Of ripen'd quinces, such the yellow liue,
Or, when unripe, we cornel-berries view.
Reviving from her swoon, her robes the tore,
Nor her own faultless face to wound forbore.
Now, all disheveld, to the wood lae flies,
With Bacchanalian fury in her eyes.
Thither arriv'd, she leaves below her friends,
And all alone the shady hill ascends.
What folly, Procris, o'er thy mind prevail'd?
What rage, thus fatally to lie conceald?
Whoe'er this Aura be, (such was thy thought)
She now fall in the very fact be caught.
Anca, thy heart repents its rash designs,
And now to go, and now to stay inclines :
Thus love with doubts perplexes still thy mind,
And makes thee seek what thou must dread to find
But still thy rival's name rings in thy ears,
And more suspicious still the place appears :
But more than all, exceffive love deceives,
Which, all it fcars, too easily believes.
And, now, a chilness runs through every vein, Soon as the faw where Cephalus had lain. 'Twas noon, when he again retir'd, to fhun The scorching ardour of the mid-day fun; With water first he sprinkled o'er his face, Which glow'd with heat ; then fought his usual place. Procris, with anxious but with filent care, View'd him extended, with his bosom bare ; And heard him soon th' accustom'd words repeat, “ Come, Zephyr; Aura, come; allay this heat :" Soon as the found her error, from the word, Her colour and her temper were restor'd. With joy she rose to clafp him in her arms : But Cephalus the rustling noise alarms; Some beast he thinks he in the bushes hears, And strait his arrows and his bow prepares. “ Hold! hold ! anhappy youth !".--I call in vain, With thy own hand thou hast thy Procris slain. “ Me, me (the cries) thou 'ft wounded with thy dart! “ But Cephalus was wont to wound this heart. “ Yet lighter on my alhes earth will lie, “ Since, though untimely, I unrival'd die : “ Come, close with thy dear hand my eyes in death, “ Jealous of Air, to Air I yield my breath.” Close to his heavy heart her cheek he laid, And walh’d, with streaming tears, the wound he made ; At length the springs of life their currents leave, And her last gasp her husband's lips receive.
Now, to pursue our voyage we provide, Till safe to port our weary bark we guide.