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When you the dullest of dull things have said,
Here breathe, my muse ! and then thy task renew;
Is there a man of an eternal vein,
O fairest of creation ! last and best
N OR reigns ambition in bold man alone;
TV Soft female hearts the rude invader own: But there, indeed, it deals in nicer things Than routing armies and dethroning kings. Attend, and you discern it in the fair, Conduct a finger, or reclaim a hair, Or roll the lucid orbit of an eye, Or in full joy elaborate a sigh.
The sex we honour, though their faults we blame, Nay. thank their faults for such a fruitful theme : A theme fair ! doubly kind to me, Since satirizing those is praising thee; Who wouldst not bear, too modestly refin'd, A panegyric of a grosser kind.
Britannia's daughters, much more fair than nice, Too fond of admiration, lose their price; Worn in the public eye, give cheap delight To throngs, and tarnish to the sated sight : As unreserv'd and beauteous as the sun, Through every sign of vanity they run : Assemblies, parks, course feasts io city-halls, Lectures and trials, plays, committees, balls; Wells, bedlams, executions, Smithfield-scenes, And fortune-tellers' caves and lions' dens; Taverns, Exchanges, Bridewells, drawing-rooms, Instalments, pillories, coronations, tombs, Tumblers and funeral, puppet-shows, reviews, Sales, races, rabbets (and, still stranger!) pews.
Clarinda's bosom burns, but burns for fame, And love lies vanquish'd in a nobler flame; Warm gleams of hope she now dispenses, then, Like April suns, dives into clouds again : With all her lustre now her lover warms, Then, out of ostentation, hides her charms. 'Tis next her pleasure sweetly to complain, And to be taken with a sudden pain; Then she starts up, all ecstasy and bliss, And is, sweet soul! just as sincere in this : O how she rolls her charming eyes in spite! And looks delightfully with all her might! But, like our heroes, much more brave than wise, She conquers for the triumph, not the prize.
Zara resembles Ætna crown'd with snows, Without she freezes, and within she glows: Twice ere the sun descends, with zeal inspir'd, From the vain converse of the world retir'd. She reads the psalms and chapters for the day, In - Cleopatra, or the last new play.
Thus gloomy Zara, with a solemn grace,
Nor far beneath her in renown is she
A dearth of words a woman need not fear, i
Xantippe cries, 'Let nymphs who nought can say Be lost in silence, and resign the day ; And let the guilty wife her guilt confess By tame behaviour and a soft address.' Through virtue she refuses to comply With all the dictates of humanity ; Through wisdom she refuses to submit To wisdom's rules, and raves to prove her wit ; Then, her unblemish'd honour to maintain, Rejects her husband's kindness with disdain ; But if, by chance, an ill-adapted word Drops from the lip of her unwary lord, Her darling china, in a whirlwind sent, Just intimates the lady's discontent. Wine may indeed excite the meekest dame, But keen Xantippe, scording borrow'd flame, Can vent her thunders, and her lightnings play, O'er cooling gruel, and composing tea; Nor rests by night, but more sincere than nice, She shakes the curtains with her kind advice : Doubly, like echo, sound is her delight, And the last word is her eternal right. Is't not enough plagues, wars, and famines, rise To lash our crimes,-but must our wives be wise?
Famine, plague, war, and an unnumber'd throng Of guilt-avenging ills, to man belong. ? What black, what ceaseless, cares besiege our state? What strokes we feel from Fancy and from Fate ?
If Fate forbears us, Fancy strikes the blow;
How have I seen a gentle nymph draw nigh, Peace in her air, persuasion in her eye; Victorious tenderness ! it all o'ercame, Husbands look'd mild, and savages grew tame.
The silvan race our active nymphs pursue, Man is not all the game they have in view : In woods and fields their glory they complete; There Master Betty leaps a five-barr'd gate; While fair Miss Charles to toilettes is confin'd, Nor rashly tempts the barbarous sun and wind. Some nymphs affect a more heroic breed, And vault from hunters to the manag'd steed; Command his prancings with a martial air, And Fobert has the forming of the fair.
More than one steed must Delia's empire feel, Who sits triumphant o'er the flying wheel, And as she guides it through the admiring throng, With wbat an air she smacks the silken thong?
Graceful as John, she moderates the reins,
O'er the belle-lettre lovely Daphne reigas;
But hold, she cries, lampooner ! have a care;
Sempronia lik'd her man, and well she might; The youth in person and in parts was bright; Possess'd of every virtue, grace, and art, That claims just empire o'er the female heart: He met her passion, all her sighs return'd, And in full rage of youthful ardour burn'd: Large his possessions, and beyond her own, Their bliss the theme and envy of the Town: The day was fix'd, when, with one acre more, In stepp'd deform'd, debauch'd, diseas'd, Threescore. The fatal sequel I, through shame, forbear. Of pride and avarice who can cure the fair?