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How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears This small well-polish'd gem, the work of years ! Yet siill how faint by precept is express'd The living image in the painter's breast! Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow, Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow; Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed, Those tears eternal that embalm the dead; Call round her tomb each object of desire, Each purer frame inform'd with purer fire: Bid her he all that cheers or softens life, The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife: Bid her be all that makes mankind adore; Then view this marble; and be vain no more!
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage ; Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Beauty, frail flower that every season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes; Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
Oh, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay ; Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains; And finish'd more through happiness than pains ! The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, And these be sung till Granville's Myra die : Alas ! how little from the grave we claim ! Thou but preserv'st a face, and I a name.
EPISTLE TO MISS BLOUNT ;
With the Works of Voiture.
these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the writer lives in every line :
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
Let the strict life of graver mortal be
Too much your sex are by their forms confin'd,
Nor let false shows, nor empty titles please:
The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers,
But, madam, if the fates withstand, and you Are destin'd Hymen's willing victim too; Trust not too much your now resistless charms, Those, age or sickness, soon or late, disarms: Good-humour only teaches charms to last, Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past; Love rais'd on beauty will, like that, decay, Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day; As flowery bands in wantonness are worn, A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn; This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong, The willing heart, and only holds it long.
Thus Voiture's* early care still shone the same, And Monthausier was only chang'd in name ; By this, ev'n now they live, evin now they charm, Their wit still sparkling, and their flames still warm.
Now crown'd with myrtle, on th’Elysian coast, Amid those lovers, joys his gentle ghost: Pleas'd, while with smiles his happy lines you view, And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you. The brightest eyes in France inspir'd his muse; The brightest eyes in Britain now peruse; And dead, as' living, 'tis our author's pride Still to charm those who charm the world beside.
EPISTLE TO THE SAME,
On her leaving the Town after the Coronation,
S some fond virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the town to wholesome country air, Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, And hear a spark, yet think 110 danger nigh; From the dear man unwilling she must sever, Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever: Thus from the world fair Zephalinda few, Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew; Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent, She sigh'd, not that they stay'd, but that she went.
She went to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks: See went from opera, park, assenbly, play, To morning-walks, and prayers three hours a-day; To part her time 'twixt reading and bohca, To muse, and spill her solitary tea; Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon, Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon; Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire, Hum half a tune, tell stories to the 'squire; Up to her godly garret after seven, There starve and pray, for that's the way to heaven.
Some 'squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack; Whose game is whist, whose treat a toast in sack : Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, Then gives a smacking buss, and cries --No words ! Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the stable, Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are coarse, And loves you best of all things.--but his horse.
In some tair evening, on your elbow laid, You dream of triumphs in the rural shade;