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Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair,
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
She said : the pitying audience melt in tears;
Say, why are beauties prais'd and honour'd most,
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: