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Propp'd by the spring, it lifts aloft its head,
But of a sickly beauty, soon to shed;
In summer living, and in winter dead.
For things of tender kind, for pleasure made,
Shoot up with swift increase, and sudden are decay'd.'
With humble words, the wisest I could frame, And proffer'd service, I repaid the dame: That, of her grace, she gave her maid to know The secret meaning of this moral show. And she, to prove what profit I had made Of mystic truth, in fables first convey'd, Demanded, till the next returning May, Whether the leaf or flower I would obey? I chose the leaf; she smiled with sober cheer, And wish'd me fair adventure for the year; And gave me charms and sigils, for defence Against ill tongues that scandal innocence: But I,' said she, my fellows must pursue; Already pass'd the plain and out of view.' We parted thus; I homeward sped my way, Bewilder'd in the wood till dawn of day,
And met the merry crew who danced about the
Then late refresh'd with sleep, I rose to write
The visionary vigils of the night.-
Blush, as thou mayst, my little book, for shame!
Nor hope with homely verse to purchase fame;
For such thy Maker chose; and so design'd
Thy simple style to suit thy lowly kind.
OLD as I am, for ladies' love unfit,
The power of beauty I remember yet,
[wit. Which once inflamed my soul, and still inspires my If love be folly, the severe divine 1
Has felt that folly, though he censures mine;
Pollutes the pleasures of a chaste embrace,
Acts what I write, and propagates in grace,
With riotous excess, a priestly race.
Suppose him free, and that I forge the' offence,
He show'd the way, perverting first my sense:
In malice witty, and with venom fraught,
He makes me speak the things I never thought.
Compute the gains of his ungovern'd zeal ;
Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well!
The world will think that what we loosely write,
Though now arraign'd, he read with some delight;
Because he seems to chew the cud again,
When his broad comment makes the text too plain.
And teaches more in one explaining page,
Than all the double meanings of the stage.
What needs he paraphrase on what we mean?
We were at worst but wanton, he's obscene.
1 Jeremy Collier.
I nor my fellows nor myself excuse;
But love's the subject of the comic muse:
Nor can we write without it, nor would
A tale of only dry instruction view;
Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind;
Awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul,
And, brushing o'er, adds motion to the pool.
Love, studious how to please, improves our parts
With polish'd manners, and adorns with arts.
Love first invented verse, and form'd the rhyme,
The motion measured, harmonised the chyme:
To liberal acts enlarged the narrow-soul'd;
Soften❜d the fierce, and made the coward bold:
The world, when waste, he peopled with increase,
And warring nations reconciled in peace.
Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find,
In this one legend, to their fame design'd,
When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the
In that sweet isle, where Venus keeps her court,
And every Grace, and all the Loves, resort;
Where either sex is form'd of softer earth,
And takes the bent of pleasure from their birth ;
There lived a Cyprian lord, above the rest
Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd:
But as no gift of fortune is sincere,
Was only wanting in a worthy heir.
His eldest born, a goodly youth to view,
Excell❜d the rest in shape and outward show;
Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion join'd,
But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.
His soul belied the features of his face;
Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace:
A clownish mien, a voice with rustic sound,
And stupid eyes that ever loved the ground.
He look'd like nature's error; as the mind
And body were not of a piece design'd, [join'd.
But made for two, and by mistake in one were
The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Were exercised in vain on wit's despair;
The more inform'd, the less he understood,
And deeper sunk, by floundering in the mud.
Now scorn'd of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus changed his name,
And Cymon call'd, which signifies a brute;
So well his name did with his nature suit.
His father, when he found his labour lost, And care employ'd, that answer'd not the cost, Chose an ungrateful object to remove,
And loathed to see what nature made him love;
So to his country-farm the fool confin'd:
Rude work well suited with a rustic mind.
Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went,
A squire among the swains, and pleased with
His corn and cattle were his only care,
And his supreme delight a country fair.
It happen'd on a summer's holiday,
That to the greenwood-shade he took his way; For Cymon shunn'd the church, and used not much to pray.
His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake, Hung half before and half behind his back: He trudged along unknowing what he sought, And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
By chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd,
The deep recesses of the grove he gain'd;
Where in a plain, defended by the wood,
Crept through the matted grass a crystal flood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood;
And on the margin of the fount was laid
(Attended by her slaves) a sleeping maid;
Like Dian, and her nymphs when, tired with sport,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort.
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest,
Than by the charming features of her face,
And even in slumber a superior grace:
Her comely limbs composed with decent care,
Her body shaded with a slight simar:
Her bosom to the view was only bare;
Where two beginning paps were scarcely spied,
For yet their places were but signified.
The fanning wind upon her bosom blows;
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose ;
The fanning wind, and purling streams, continue
The fool of Nature stood with stupid eyes
And gaping mouth, that testified surprise,
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight;
New as he was to love, and novice in delight:
Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh ;
Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence;
Doubted for what he was he should be known,
By his clown accent and his country tone.
Through the rude chaos, thus the running light Shot the first ray that pierced the native night: