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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 heaved bosom hung her drooping head, Which, with a sigh, she raised : and thus she said:
* For ever cursed 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 ills betray'd. Oh had I rather unadmired remain'd In some lone isle, or distant northern land; Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea! There kept my charms conceal'a from mortal eye, Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die. What moved my mind with youthful lords to roam? Oh had I staid, and said my prayers at home! 'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell; Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell; The tottering china shook without a wind, Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph, too, warn'd me of the threats of fate, In mystic visions, now believed too late! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs ! My hand shall rend what e'en thy rapine spares : These in two sable ringlets taught to break, Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; The sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone, And in its fellow's fate foresees its own; Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears demands, And tempts, once more, thy sacrilegious hands. Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these !
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain,
Say, why are beauties praised and honour'd most,
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued : Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude. "To arms, to arms!' the fierce virago cries, And swift as lightning to the combat flies. All side in parties, and begin th' attack; Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones crack; Heroes' and heroines' shouts confusedly rise, And bass and treble voices strike the skies. No common weapons in their hands are found; Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, And heavenly breasts with human passions rage;
'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms;
Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height
While through the press enraged Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng, One died in metaphor, and one in song. • O cruel nymph! a living death I bear,' Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast; • Those eyes are made so killing was his last. Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies Th’expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smiled to see the doughty hero slain, But, at her smile, the beau revived again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
See tierce Belinda on the baron flies,
• Now meet thy fate,' incensed Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side
(The same, his ancient personage to deck,
• Boast not my fall,' he cried,' insulting foe !
• Restore the lock,' she cries; and all around,
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Since all things lost on earth are treasured there. There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases, And beaux' in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases; There broken vows and death-bed alms are found, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound; The courtiers' promises, and sick-man's prayers, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the muse—she saw it upward rise, Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes ; (So Rome's great founder to the heavens withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view): A sudden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright, The heavens bespangling with dishevell'd light.
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
This the beau-monde shall from the Mall survey,
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd Which adds new glory to the shining sphere! (hair, Not all the tresses that fair head can boast, Shall draw such envy as the lock you lost. For, after all the murders of your eye, When, after millions slain, yourself shall die ; When those fair suns shall set, as set they must, And all those tresses shall be laid in dust, This lock, the muse shall consecrate to fame, And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
What beckoning ghost, along the moonlight sbade,
Why bade ye else, ye powers ! her soul aspire