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Lose by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs, There stands a structure of majestic frame, Which from the neighb’ring Hampton takes its name. Here Britain's statesmen oft' the fall foredoom
5 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;
IQ In various talk th’instructive hours they past, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes; 15
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, fupply 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 ray;
The hungry judges soon the sentence fign,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th’Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the Toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
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 sacred nine.
Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aerial guard
Descend, and fit on each important card :
First Ariel perch'd upon à Matadore,
Then each, according to the rank he bore ;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, 35
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard ;
And four fair Queens whose hands sustain a flow'r,
Th’expreffive emblem of their softer pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-colour'd troops, a shining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.
The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care :
Let Spades be trumps ! The said, and trumps they were.
Now move to war her fable Matadores,
In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors.
Spadillio first, unconquerable Lord !
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board. 50
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard,
Gain'd but one trump and one Plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
55 The hoary Majesty of Spades appears, Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveal'd, The rest, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd. 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 o'erthrew, And mow'd down armies in the fights of Loo, Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid, Falls undistinguilh'd by the victor Spade ! Thus far both armies to Belinda yield ;
65 Now to the Baron fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black Tyrant first her victim dy'd,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in ftaté 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; 75
Th’embroider'd King who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd,
Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen,
With throngs promiscuous strow the level green. So
Thus when dispers’d a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's fable sons,
With like confusion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The picrc'd battalions disunited fall,
In heaps on heaps ; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
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 ;
She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin and Codille.
And now, (as oft' in some distemper’d State)
On one nice Trick depends the gen'ral fate.
An Ace of Hearts steps forth : the king unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn’d his captive Queen:
to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the proftrate Ace. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
Oh thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate, , Too soon dejected, and too soon elate! Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away, And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo ! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, ios 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 smoaking tide : At once they gratify their scent and taste, And frequent cups prolong the rich repaft. Strait hover round the Fair her airy band; Some, as she fipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd, Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd, 115 Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade. Coffee, (which makes the politician wise, And see thro' all things with his half-shut eyes)
vapours to the Baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.
Ah cease, rash youth ! desift e'er 'tis too late,
Fear the juft Gods, and think of Scylla's Fate !
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to fit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus? injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit inftruments of ill?
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd 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 rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant fteams she bends her head.
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair, 135
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they iwitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice she look'a back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel fought
The close recesses of the Virgin's thought;