Sidor som bilder




The filver strings of his melodious lyre :
So Love's fair goddess does my soul inspire,
To teach her softer arts; to footh the mind,
And smooth the rugged breasts of human kind.

Yet Cupid and Achilles, each with scorn
And rage were fill’d; and both were goddess-

born. The bull, reclaim'd and yok'd, the burden draws: The horse receives the bit within his jaws; And stubborn Love shall bend beneath

my sway, Though struggling oft he strives to disobey. He shakes his torch, he wounds me with his

darts ; But vain his force, and vainer are his arts. The more he burns my foul, or wounds

soul, or wounds my fight, The more he teaches to revenge the spite.

I boast no aid the Delphian god affords, Nor auspice from the flight of chattering birds ; Nor Clio, nor her sisters have I seen; As Hefiod saw them on the shady green: Experience makes


work; a truth fo try'd You may believe; and Venus be my guide. Far hence, ye vestals, be, who bind your

hair; And wives, who gowns

ancles wear. I ling the brothels loose and unconfin’d, Th' unpunishable pleasures of the kind; Which all alike, for love, or money, find.

below your


35 41



You, who in Cupid's rolls inscribe your name, First seek an object worthy of your flame; Then strive, with art, your lady's mind to gain : And, last, provide your love

may long remain. On these three precepts all my work shall move: These are the rules and principles of love.

Before your youth with marriage is opprest, Make choice of one who suits your humour best: And such a damsel drops not from the sky; She must be fought for with a curious eye.

The wary angler, in the winding brook, Knows what the filh, and where to bait his

hook. The fowler and the huntsman know by name The certain haunts and harbour of their game. So must the lover beat the likeliest grounds ; Th'assembly where his quarry most abounds. 55 Nor shall


novice wander far astray ; These rules shall put him in the ready way. Thou shalt not fail around the continent, As far as Perseus, or as Paris went: For Rome alone affords thee such a store, As all the world can hardly shew thee more. The face of heav'n with fewer stars is crown’d, Than beauties in the Roman sphere are found. Whether thy love is bent on blooming youth, On dawning sweetness in unartful truth; Or courts the juicy joys of riper growth; Here mayst thou find thy full desires in both.


65 70

Or if autumnal beauties please thy fight
(An age that knows to give, and take delight;)
Millions of matrons of the graver fort,
In common prudence, will not balk the sport.

In summer heats thou need'st but only go
To Pompey's cool and shady portico;
Or Concord's fane; or that proud edifice,
Whose turrets near the baudy fuburb rise : 75
Or to that other portico, where stands
The cruel father urging his commands,
And fifty daughters wait the time of rest,
To plunge their poniards in the bridegroom's

breast : Or Venus' temple ; where, on annual nights, so They mourn Adonis with Affyrian rites. Nor shun the Jewish walk, where the foul drove, On fabbaths, rest from ev'ry thing but love: Nor Isis' temple; for that facred whore Makes others, what to Jove she was before. 85 And if the hall itself be not bely'd, E'en there the cause of love is often try'd; Near it at least, or in the palace-yard, From whence the noisy combatants are heard. The crafty counsellors, in formal gown, 90 There gain another's cause, but lose their own. There eloquence is nonplust in the suit; And lawyers, who had words at will, are mute. Venus, from her adjoining temple, smiles, To see them caught in their litigious wiles. 95

Grave fenators lead home the youthful dame,
Returning clients, when they patrons came.
But, above all, the play-house is the place;
There's choice of quarry in that narrow chace.
There take thy stand, and sharply looking out,
Soon may'st thou find a mistress in the rout, 101
For length of time, or for a single bout.
The theatres are berries for the fair:
Like ants on mole-hills thither they repair ;
Like bees to hives, so numerously they throng,

may be faid, they to that place belong. 106 Thither they (warm, who have the public voice : There choose, if plenty not distracts thy choice. To fee, and to be seen, in heaps they run; Some to undo, and some to be undone.

From Romulus the rise of plays began, To his new subjects a commodious man; Who, his unmarried soldiers to supply, Took care the commonwealth should multiply : Providing Sabine women for his braves, Like a true king, to get a race of Naves. His play-house not of Parian marble made, Nor was it spread with purple fails for shade. The stage with rushes, or with leaves they

strew'd : No scenes in prospect, no machining god. 120 On rows of homely turf they fat to see, Crown'd with the wreaths of ev'ry common tree.


115 130

There, while they fat in rustic majesty,
Each lover had his mistress in his eye;
And whom he saw most suiting to his mind, 123
For joys of matrimonial rape design'd.
Scarce could they wait the plaudit in their hafte;
But, ere the dances and the song were past,
The monarch gave the signal from his throne;
And, rising, bade his merry men fall on.
The martial crew, like foldiers ready prest,
Just at the word (the word too was, The Best)
With joyful cries each other animate ;
Some choose, and some at hazard seize their

As doves from eagles, or from wolves the lambs,
So from their lawless lovers fly the dames.
Their fear was one, but not one face of fear
Some rend the lovely tresses of their hair;
Some shriek, and some are struck with dumb

despair. Her absent mother one invokes in vain; 1407 One stands amaz’d, not daring to complain ; The nimbler trust their feet, the slow remain. But nought availing, all are captives led, Trembling and blushing to the genial bed. She who too long resisted, or deny’d, The lusty lover made by force a bride ; And, with superior strength, compell’d her to

his fide.



« FöregåendeFortsätt »