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She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin, and Codille.
And now (as oft in some distemper'd state)
On one nice trick depends the gen’ral fate.
An Ace of Hearts steps forth : the King unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen :
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the prostrate ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
Oh thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.
Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo ! the board with clips and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze :
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide :
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the fair her airy band ;
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee, (which makes the politician wise,
And see thro' all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Ah cease, rash youth ! desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate !
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill !
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case :
So ladies in romance assist their knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends ;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair,
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair ;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear ;
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought ;
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin’d,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,.
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expird,
Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retird.
The peer now spreads the glittring forfex wide,
T'inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched sylph too fondly interpos’d;
Fate urg'd the shears, and cut the sylph in twain,
(But airy substance soon unites again)
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast,
When husbands, or when lapdogs, breathe their last,
Or when rich China vessels fallin from high,
In glittring dust and painted fragments lie !
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,
(The victor cried) the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and six the British fair,
As long as Atalantis shall be read,
Or the small pillow grace a lady's beda
While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live!
What time would spare, from steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to fate !
Steel could the labour of the gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy ;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound,
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel,
The conqu’ring force of unresisted steel ?
FROM THE ILIAD. BOOK VIIL
The troops exulting sat in order round,
And beaming fires illumin'd all the ground.
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night!
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene ;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole,
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies :
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays :
The long reflections of the distant fires
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field.
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Whose umber'd arms, by fits, thick flashes send.
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
ELEGY TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY
What beck’ning ghost, along the moon-light shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ?
'Tis she ;—but why that bleeding bosom gor'd,
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword !
Oh, ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in heaven, a crime to love too well ?
To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part ?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
For those who greatly think, or bravely die ?
Why bade ye else, ye pow'rs! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire ?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes ;
The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods :
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep' out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage :
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres ;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.
From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into the air the purer spirits flow,
And separate from their kindred dregs below;
So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood
See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of death ;
Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates ;
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say
(While the long fun’rals blacken all the way),
Lo! these were they, whose souls the Furies steeld,
And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day !
So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn’d to glow
For others good, or melt at others woe.
What can atone (oh ever-injur'd shade !)
Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid ?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier.
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn’d,
By strangers honour'd and by strangers mournid !
What tho' no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What tho' no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face,
What tho no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb,
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast :
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of thy year shall blow ;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.
So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not. To whom related, or by whom begot ;