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What boots the regal circle on his head, For lo! the board with cups and spoons His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread; is crowned,

105 That long behind he trails his pompous The berries crackle, and the mill turns robe,

round; And, of all monarchs, only grasps the On shining altars of Japan they raise globe?

The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze: The baron now his diamonds pours | From silver spouts the grateful liquors apace;

I glide, Th' embroidered king who shows but half While China's earth receives the smoking

his face, And his refulgent queen, with powers com- At once they gratify their scent and taste, bined,

And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. Of broken troops an easy conquest find. Straight hover round the fair her airy Clubs, diamonds, hearts, in wild disorder I band; seen,

Some, as she sipped, the fuming liquor With throngs promiscuous strew the level fanned, green.

Some o'er her lap their careful plumes disThus when dispersed a routed army runs, |_ played,

115 Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons, Trembling, and conscious of the rich With like confusion different nations fly, brocade. Of various habit, and of various dye, Coffee (which makes the politician wise, The pierced battalions disunited fall, 85 And see through all things with his halfIn heaps on heaps; one fate o’erwhelms shut eyes) them all.

Sent up in vapors to the baron's brain The knave of diamonds tries his wily | New stratagems the radiant lock to gain. arts,

Ah, cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too And wins (oh shameful chance!) the late, queen of hearts.

Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's At this the blood the virgin's cheek for fate! sook,

Changed to a bird, and sent to fit in air, A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look; 90 | She dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair! She sees, and trembles at th' approaching But when to mischief mortals bend their ill,

will,

125 Just in the jaws of ruin, and codille. How soon they find fit instruments of ill! And now (as oft in some distempered | Just then Clarissa drew with tempting state)

grace On one nice trick depends the general fate. | A two-edged weapon from her shining An ace of hearts steps forth; the king un case: seen

95 So ladies in romance assist their knight, Lurked in her hand, and mourned his present the spear, and arm him for the captive queen:

fight.

130 He springs to vengeance with an eager | He takes the gift with reverence, and expace,

tends And falls like thunder on the prostrate ace. The little engine on his fingers' ends; The nymph exulting fills with shouts the This just behind Belinda's neck he spread, sky;

| As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her The walls, the woods, and long canals head. reply.

100 Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair, Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to A thousand wings, by turns, blow back fate, I the hair;

136 Too soon dejected, and too soon elate. | And thrice they twitched the diamond in Sudden, these honors shall be snatched her ear; away,

Thrice she looked back, and thrice the foe And cursed forever this victorious day. I drew near.

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Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought Steel could the works of mortal pride con-
The close recesses of the virgin's thought; I found,
As on the nosegay in her breast reclined, 141 And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
He watched th' ideas rising in her mind, What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs
Sudden he viewed, in spite of all her art, should feel
An earthly lover lurking at her heart. The conquering force of unresisted steel?”
Amazed, confused, he found his power
expired,

CANTO IV

145 Resigned to fate, and with a sigh retired. But anxious cares the pensive nymph The peer now spreads the glittering for oppressed, fex wide,

And secret passions labored in her breast. T'inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide. Not youthful kings in battle seized alive, E'en then, before the fatal engine closed, | Not scornful virgins who their charms A wretched sylph too fondly interposed; 150 . survive, Fate urged the shears, and cut the sylph in Not ardent lovers robbed of all their bliss, twain

Not ancient ladies when refused a kiss, 6 (But airy substance soon unites again). | Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, The meeting points the sacred hair dis Not Cynthia when her mantua's pinned sever

awry, From the fair head, forever, and forever! E’er felt such rage, resentment, and deThen flashed the living lightning from spair, her eyes,

155 | As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravished hair. And screams of horror rend th' affrighted | For, that sad moment, when the sylphs skies.

withdrew, Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, cast,

Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite When husbands, or when lap-dogs breathe As ever sullied the fair face of light, their last;

Down to the central earth, his proper Or when rich China vessels, fallen from scene, high,

Repaired to search the gloomy cave of In glittering dust and painted fragments Spleen. lie!

160 Swift on his sooty pinions flits the “Let wreaths of triumph now my tem gnome, ples twine,"

And in a vapor reached the dismal dome. The victor cried; "the glorious prize is No cheerful breeze this sullen region mine!

knows, While fish in streams, or birds delight in The dreaded east is all the wind that air,

blows.

20 Or in a coach and six the British fair, Here in a grotto, sheltered close from air, As long as Atalantis shall be read, 165 And screened in shades from day's de: Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed,

tested glare, While visits shall be paid on solemn days, She sighs forever on her pensive bed, When numerous wax-lights in bright order Pain at her side, and Megrim' at her head. blaze,

Two handmaids wait the throne, alike While nymphs take treats, or assignations in place, give,

But differing far in figure and in face. So long my honor, name, and praise shall Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient maid, live!

170 Her wrinkled form in black and white What Time would spare, from steel re arrayed; ceives its date,

With store of prayers for mornings, nights, And monuments, like men, submit to fate! and noons Steel could the labor of the gods destroy, Her hand is filled; her bosom with lamAnd strike to dust th' imperial towers of

poons. Troy;

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There Affectation, with a sickly mien, A nymph there is that all thy power disShows in her cheek the roses of eighteen;

dains,

65 Practised to lisp, and hang the head aside, And thousands more in equal mirth mainFaint into airs, and languishes with pride; tains. On the rich quilt sinks with becoming But oh! if e'er thy gnome could spoil a woe,

35 grace, Wrapped in a gown, for sickness, and for Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face, show.

Like citron-waters matrons' cheeks inflame, The fair ones feel such maladies as these, Or change complexions at a losing game; 70 When each new night-dress gives a new If e'er with airy horns I planted heads, disease.

Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds, A constant vapor o'er the palace flies, Or caused suspicion when no soul was rude, Strange phantoms rising as the mists | Or discomposed the head-dress of a prude, arise;

40 Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease, 75 Dreadful, as hermits' dreams in haunted Which not the tears of brightest eyes shades,

could ease: Or bright, as visions of expiring maids: Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin; Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling That single act gives half the world the

spleen.” Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple. The goddess with a discontented air fires;

Seems to reject him, though she grants Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes, 45 his prayer.

80 And crystal domes, and angels in ma- | A wondrous bag with both her hands she chines.

binds, Unnumbered throngs on every side are | Like that where once Ulysses held the seen,

I winds; Of bodies changed to various forms by | There she collects the force of female lungs, Spleen.

Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held tongues. out,

A vial next she fills with fainting fears, 85 One bent; the handle this, and that the Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing spout.

50 tears. A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod, walks; The gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, Here sighs a jar, and there a goose-pie Spreads his black wings, and slowly talks;

mounts to day. Men prove with child, as powerful fancy Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he works,

found, And maids, turned bottles, call aloud for Her eyes dejected and her hair unbound. corks.

Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he Safe passed the gnome through this rent,

91 fantastic band,

And all the furies issued at the vent. A branch of healing spleenwort in his Belinda burns with more than mortal ire, hand.

And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. Then thus addressed the power: “Hail, “O wretched maid!” she spread her hands, wayward queen!

and cried, Who rule the sex, to fifty from fifteen; (While Hampton's echoes, “Wretched Parent of vaporsand of female wit;

maid!” replied) Who give th' hysteric, or poetic fit; 60 “Was it for this you took such constant On various tempers act by various ways, care Make some take physic, others scribble | The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare? plays;

For this your locks in paper durance Who cause the proud their visits to delay, bound, And send the godly in a pet to pray. For this with torturing irons wreathed 1 coils.

around?

2 whims.

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For this with fillets strained your tender Which never more its honors shall rehead.

new,

135 And bravely bore the double loads of Clipped from the lovely head where late lead?

it grew) Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair, That while my nostrils draw the vital air, While the fops envy, and the ladies stare! This hand, which won it, shall forever Honor forbid! at whose unrivalled shrine wear.” Ease, pleasure, virtue, all, our sex re He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph sign.

106 | spread Methinks already I your tears survey, The long-contended honors of her head. 140 Already hear the horrid things they say, But Umbriel, hateful gnome! forbears Already see you a degraded toast,

not so; And all your honor in a whisper lost! 110 He breaks the vial whence the sorrows How shall I, then, your helpless fame de flow. fend?

Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief 'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend! appears, And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize, Her eyes half languishing, half drowned in Exposed through crystal to the gazing tears; eyes,

On her heaved bosom hung her drooping And heightened by the diamond's circling head, rays,

115

Which, with a sigh, she raised; and thus On that rapacious hand forever blaze?

she said: Sooner shall grass in Hyde Park Circus “Forever cursed be this detested day, grow,

Which snatched my best, my favorite curl And wits take lodgings in the sound of away! Bow:

Happy! áh, ten times happy had I been, Sooner let earth, air, sea, to chaos fall, If Hampton Court these eyes had never Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish seen! all!

| Yet am not I the first mistaken maid, She said; then raging to Sir Plume re- By love of courts to numerous ills bepairs,

trayed. And bids her beau demand the precious Oh, had I rather unadmired remained hairs

In some lone isle or distant northern land; (Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain, Where the gilt chariot never marks the And the nice conduct of a clouded cane). way,

155 With earnest eyes, and round unthinking Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste face,

125 bohea! He first the snuff-box opened, then the There kept my charms concealed from case,

mortal eye, And thus broke out—"My lord—why— Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die. what the devil!

What moved my mind with youthful lords Zounds! damn the lock! 'fore Gad, you to roam? must be civil!

Oh, had I stayed, and said my prayers at Plague on't! 'tis past a jest--nay, prithee, home!

160

'Twas this, the morning omens seemed to Give her the hair.”—He spoke, and rapped tell: his box.

Thrice from my trembling hand the patch"It grieves me much,” replied the peer 1 box fell; again,

The tottering china shook without a wind; “Who speaks so well should ever speak | Nay, Poll sat mute, and Shock was most in vain.

unkind! But by this lock, this sacred lock, I swear, A sylph, too, warned me of the threats of (Which never more shall join its parted | fate, hair,

In mystic visions, now believed too late!

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pox!

130

165

caresuld not scor

thy rapine lo

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See the poor remnants of these slighted | Who would not scorn what housewife's

hairs! My hands shall rend what e'en thy rapine Or who would learn one earthly thing of spares;

use? These in two sable ringlets taught to To patch, nay, ogle, might become a saint, break,

Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint. Once gave new beauties to the snowy But since, alas! frail beauty must deneck;

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cay;

25 The sister lock now sits uncouth, alone, Curled or uncurled, since locks will turn And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;

to grey; Uncurled it hangs, the fatal shears de- Since painted, or not painted, all shall rnands,

fade, And tempts once more, thy sacrilegious And she who scorns a man must die a hands.

maid; Oh, hadst thou, cruel! been content to What then remains but well our power to seize

175 use, Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!” And keep good humor still whate'er we

lose? CANTO V

And trust me, dear, good humor can pre

vail, She said: the pitying audience melt in When airs, and flights, and screams, and tears.

scolding fail. But Fate and Jove had stopped the baron's Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may ears.

roll; In vain Thalestris with reproach assails, Charms strike the sight, but merit wins For who can move when fair Belinda fails? the soul.” Not half so fixed the Trojan could re- ! So spoke the dame, but no applause enmain,

sued;

35 While Anna begged and Dido raged in Belinda frowned, Thalestris called her vain.

prude. Then grave Clarissa graceful waved her “To arms, to arms!” the fierce virago fan;

cries, Silence ensued, and thus the nymph began: And swift as lightning to the combat flies. “Say, why are beauties praised and All side in parties, and begin th' attack; honored most,

Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whaleThe wise man's passion, and the vain bones crack; man's toast?

Heroes' and heroines’ shouts confusedly Why decked with all that land and sea thot land and sea

rise, afford,

And bass and treble voices strike the skies. Why angels called, and angel-like adored? No common weapons in their hands are Why round our coaches crowd the white found; gloved beaux,

Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal Why bows the side-box from its inmost wound. rows?

So when bold Homer makes the gods How vain are all these glories, all our I engage, pains,

15 | And heavenly breasts with human pasUnless good sense preserve what beauty sions rage; gains;

'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes That men may say, when we the front

arms; box grace,

And all Olympus rings with loud alarms: 'Behold the first in virtue as in face!' Jove's thunder roars, Heaven trembles all Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day, / around, Charmed the small-pox, or chased old age Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps away,

20 | resound:

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