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Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair,
While the fops envy, and the ladies stare !
Honour forbid ! at whose unrivall’d shrine 105
Ease, pleasure, virtue, all our sex resign.
Methinks already I your tears survey,
Already hear the horrid things they say,
Already see you a degraded toast,
And all your honour in a whisper lost !

How shall I, then, your hapless fame defend?
'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend !
And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize,
Expos'd through crystal to the gazing eyes,
And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays, 115
On that rapacious hand for ever blaze ?
Sooner shall grass in Hyde-park circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow ;
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall,
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all! 120

She said ; then raging to Sir Plume repairs, And bids her beau demand the precious hairs : (Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain, And the nice conduct of a clouded cane,) With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face, 125 He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case, And thus broke out—“My Lord, why, what the devil! “Z-ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil!

“Plague on't ! 'tis past a jest-nay, prithee, pox! “Give her the hair”_He spoke, and rapp'd his box.

It grieves me much (reply'd the peer again) 131 Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain : But by this Lock, this sacred Lock, I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair; Which never more its honours shall renew, 135 Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew,) That, while my nostrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear. He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.

140 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 heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, 145 Which with a sigh she rais'd; and thus she said:

For ever curs'd be this detested day, Which snatch'd my best, my fav’rite curl away! Happy ! ah ten times happy had I been, If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! 150 Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, By love of courts to num'rous įlls betray'd. Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd In some lone isle, or distant northern land;

Where the gilt chariot never marks the way, 155
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
Like roses that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam ?
O had I stay'd, and said my pray’rs at home! 160
'Twas this the morning omens seem'd to tell ;
Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell;
The tottring 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, 165
In mystic visions, now believ'd too late !
See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs !
My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares :
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; 170
The sister-Lock now sits uncouth, alone,
And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal sheers demands,
And tempts once more thy sacrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize. 175
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these.

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She said : the pitying audience melt in tears;
But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails,
For who can move when fair Belinda fails ?
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain
While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan;
Silence ensu'd and thus the nymph began.

Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? 10
Why deck'd with all the land and sea afford,
Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'a ?
Why round our coaches crowd the white glov'd beaus?
Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows?
How vain are all these glories, all our pains, 15
Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains ;
That men may say, when we the front-box grace,
Behold the first in virtue as in face !
Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day,
Charm’d the small-pox, or chas’d old age away, 20
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce,
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint;
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint,

But since, alas! frail beauty must decay ;

25 Curld or uncurl’d, since Locks will turn to gray ; Since painted, or not painted all shall fade, And she who scorns a man must die a maid ! What then remains, but well our pow'r to use, And keep good humour still whate'er we lose? 30 And trust me, Dear! good humour can prevail, When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

So spoke the dame, bnt no applause ensu'd ; 35 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, sílks rustle, and tough whalebones crack; Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus’dly rise,

41 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 heav'nly breasts with human passions rage; Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms; Jove's thunder roars, heav'n trembles all around, 49 Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound:


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