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First Ariel perched upon a Matadore,
Then each according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, 35
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.

Behold, four Kings in majesty revered,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;
And .four fair Queens, whose hands sustain a

flower, The expressive emblem of their softer power; 40 Four Knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band; Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; And parti-coloured troops, a shining train, Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain. The skilful nymph reviews her force with care:

45 Let Spades be trumps ! she said, and trumps

they were." ( Now move to war her sable Matadores, a In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Spadillio first, unconquerable lord ! Led off two captive trumps, and swept the

board. As many more Manillio forced to yield, And marched a victor from the verdant field. Him Basto followed; but his fate more hard Gained but one trump and one plebeian card.

1 The usual number of players at ombre was three, and one of them, called the ombre," played against the other two. The ombre decided which suit should be trumps.

2 The whole idea of this description of a game at ombre is taken from Vida's description of a game at chess, in his poem entitled Scacchia Ludus. - Warburton. Spadillio is theace of spades; manillio is either the two or the seven of trumps, according to whether trumps are black or red; basto is the ace of clubs. These are the three highest cards in ombre, all rank. ing as trumps, and called matadores. Pam, the highest card at loo, is the knave of clubs.




With his broad sabre next, a chief in years, 55
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight revealed,
The rest, his many-coloured robe concealed.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage. 60
Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens p'er-

threw, .
And mowed down armies in the fights of Loo,
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguished by the victor Spade !

Thus far both armies to Belinda yield; Now to the Baron fate inclines the field. His warlike Amazon her host invades, The imperial consort of the crown of Spades. The Club's black tyrant first her victim died, Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride : What boots the regal circle on his head, 71 His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread; That long behind he trails his pompous robe, And of all monarchs only grasps the globe ?

The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace ! The embroidered King who shows but half his face,

76 And his refulgent Queen, with powers com

bined, Of broken troops an easy conquest find. Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen, With throngs promiscuous strow the level

green. Thus when dispersed a routed army runs, Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons, With like confusion different nations fly, Of various habit, and of various dye, The pierced battalions disunited fall, 85 In heaps on heaps; one fate o’erwhelms them



The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (oh shameful chance !) the Queen of

Hearts. At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook, A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look; 90 She sees, and trembles at the approaching ill, Just in the jaws of rain, and Codille. And now (as oft in some distempered state) On one nice trick depends the general fate : An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the King unseen

95 Lurked in her hand, and mourned his captive

Queen: He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply. 100

Oh thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate, Too soon dejected, and too soon elate. Sudden these honours shall be snatched away, And cursed for ever this victorious day. For lo ! the board with cups and spoons is

crowned, The berries crackle, and the mill turns round: On shining altars of Japan they raise The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze : From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide, While China's earth receives the smoking tide:

110 At once they gratify their scent and taste, And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. Straight hover round the fair her airy band; Some, as she sipped, the fuming liquor fanned,

i Codille, a term used when the opponents made more tricks than the ombre, who then lost the pool.

2 From hence, the first edition continues to ver. 134.-P.


Some o'er her lap their careful plumes dis-

Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut

Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain. 120
Ah cease, rash youth ! desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate! ?
Changed to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their

How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edged weapon from her shining case :
So ladies in romance assist their knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. 130
He takes the gift with reverence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her

Swift to the lock a thousand Sprites repair, 135
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the

And thrice they twitched the diamond in her


1 Vide Ovid, Metam. viii.-P.
2 In the first edition it was thus :
“ As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head,
First he expands the glittering forfex wide
To inclose the lock; then joins it to divide :
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever

From the fair head, for ever and for ever.”
All that is between was added afterwards.-P.

Thrice she looked back, and thrice the foe drew

Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought: 140
As on the nosegay in her breast reclined,
He watched the ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he viewed, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart. .
Amazed, confused, he found his power expired,
Resigned to fate, and with a sigh retired. 146
The peer now spreads the glittering forfex

To inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev’n then, before the fatal engine closed,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interposed; 150
Fate urged the shears, and cut the Sylph in

(But airy substance soon unites again)?
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flashed the living lightning from her

And screams of horror rend the affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast,
When husbands or when lap-dogs breathe their

Or when rich china vessels, fallen from high,
In glittering dust and painted fragments lie! 160
“Let wreaths of triumph now my temples

(The victor cried,) the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,

i See Milton, lib. vi., 330, of Satan cut asunder by
the Angel Michael.-P.
2 “Dum jugamontis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit,
Semper honos, nomenque tuum, laudesque mane-


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