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Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater, in their place:
Well might you wish for change by those accurst;
But the last tyrant ever proves the worst.
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains,
Or bound in formal or in real chains :
Whole years neglected for some months ador'd,
The fawning servant turns a haughty lord.
Ah! quit not the free innocence of life
For the dull glory of a virtuous wife;
Nor let false shews nor empty titles please:
Aim not at joy, but rest content with case.
The gods, to curse Pamela with her pray'rs, Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders mares, 50 The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state, And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate. She glares in balls, front-boxes, and the ring, A vain, unquiet, glittering, wretched thing! Pride, pomp, and state, but reach her outward part; She sighs, and is no duchess at her heart.
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: 70 By this ev'n now they live, ev'n 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 of France inspired his Muse;
The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse;
And dead, as living, 'tis our author's pride,
Still to charm those who charm the world beside. 80
ON HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORO-
As 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 no 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 flew,
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. 10
She went to plain work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks:
She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning walks, and pray'rs three hours a-day;
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,
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 Heav'n.
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, tho' his jests are coarse,
And loves you best of all things-but his horse.
In some fair evening, on your elbow laid,
You dream of triumphs in the rural shade;
In pensive thought recall the fancied scene,
See coronations rise on every green:
Before you pass th' imaginary sights
Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights,
While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes,
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls!
So when your slave, at some dear idle time,
(Not plagued with headachs or the want of rhyme,)
Stands in the street abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you;
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder and you vanish quite,
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs, rush upon my sight;
Vext to be still in town I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a tune, as you may now.
TO MR. JOHN MOORE,
AUTHOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.
How much, egregious Moore! are we
Deceiv'd by shews and forms!
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see,
All humankind are worms.
Man is a very worm by birth,
Vile reptile, weak, and vain!
A while he crawls upon the earth,
Then shrinks to earth again.
That woman is a worm we find,
E'er since our grandam's evil;
She first convers'd with her own kind,
That ancient worm the devil.
The learn'd themselves we book-worms name,
The blockhead is a slow-worm;
The nymph whose tail is all on flame,
Is aptly term'd a glow-worm.
The fops are painted butterflies
That flutter for a day;
First from a worm they take their rise,
And in a worm decay.
The flatterer an car-wig grows;
Thus worms suit all conditions;
Misers are muck-worms, silk-worins beaus,
And death-watches physicians.
That statesmen have the worm, is seen
By all their winding play;
Their conscience is a worm within,
That gnaws them night and day.
Ah, Moore! thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater gain would rise,
If thou couldst make the courtier void
The worm that never dies!
O learned friend of Abchurch-lane,
Who sett'st our entrails free;
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat ev'n thee.
Our fate thou only canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more!
Ev'n Button's wits to worms shall turn,
Who maggots were before.
TO MRS. M. B.
ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
OH, be thou bless'd with all that Heav'n can send, Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend; Not with those toys the female world admire, Riches that vex, and vanities that tire.
With added years, if life bring nothing new,
But like a sieve let every blessing through,
Some joys still lost, as each vain year runs o'er,
And all we gain some sad reflection more;
Is that a birth-day? 'tis, alas! too clear,
'Tis but the funeral of the former year.
Let joy or ease, let affluence of content,
And the gay conscience of a life well-spent,
Calm every thought, inspirit every grace,
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear,
Till death, unfelt, that tender frame destroy,
In some soft dream, or ecstasy of joy,
Peaceful sleep out the sabbath of the tomb,
And wake to raptures in a life to come.
TO MR. T. SOUTHERN.
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, 1742.
RESIGN'D to live, prepar'd to die,
With not one sin but poetry,
This day Tom's fair account has run
Without one blot to eighty-one.
Kind Boyle, before his poet, lays
A table with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Presents her harp still to his fingers.
The feast his tow'ring genius marks
In yonder wild-goose and the larks!
The mushrooms shew his wit was sudden!
And for his judgment, lo, a pudden!
Roast beef, though old, proclaims him stou
And grace, although a bard, devout.
May Tom, whom Heav'n sent down to raise
The price of prologues and of plays,
Be every birth-day more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal and a coach.