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Others on earth o'er humane race preside,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the fair;
Not a less pleafing, tho' less glorious care.
To save the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprison'd effences exhale,
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow's,
Tofteal from rainbows e'er they drop in show's
A brighter wafh; to curl their waying hairs,
Aslift their blushes, and infpire their airs;,
Nay oft', in dreams invention we bestow,
To change a flounce, or add a furbelo.
This day, black omens threat the brightest fair
That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire disafter, or by force, or flight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrapt in night.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or some frail Chinajar receive a flaw,
Or stain her honour, or her new brocade,
Forget her pray’rs, or mifs a masquerade,
Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball;it in
Or whether heav'n has doom'd that shock minst fall.
Hafte then ye spirits! to your charge repair;
The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign; -
And Momentilla, let the watch be thine; .
Do thou, Crispisa, tend her fav'rite lock;
Ariel himself shall be the guard of shock.
To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the petticoat::
Oft' have we known that sev’nfold fence to fail,
Tho stiff with hoops, and arm’d with ribs of whale. -
Form a strong line about the filver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
Whatever fpirit, careless of his charge,
His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel sharp vengeance foon o'ertake his fins,
Be stopt in vials, or transfixt with pins;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
Gums and Pomatums fhall his flight restrain,
While clog'd he beats his filken wings in vain ;
Or alom-ftypticks with contracting pow'r
Shrink his thin essence like a rivellid flow'r:
Or as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling mill,
In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
And tremble at the sea that froths below!
He spoke; the spirits from the fails defcend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend,
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair,
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear ;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of fate... -
YLose by those meads, for ever crown'd with
Where Thames with pride surveys his rifing tow'rs,
There ftands a structure of majestic frame, vitri
Which from the neighb’ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's ftatesmen oft' the fall foredoom.
Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Doft sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea..
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit laft:
One speaks the glory of the British queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word à reputation dies..
Snuff, or the fan supplies each pause of chat,
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Mean while declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely shoots his burning raya
The hungry judges soon the sentence fign,
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine;
The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace, ,
And the long labours of the toilet cease-
Belinda. now, whom thirst of fame invités,
Burns to encounter two advent'rous knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come:
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the spreads her hand, th' aerial guard
Descend, and fit on each important card:
First Ariel perch'd upon a matadore,
Then each, according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.