« EelmineJätka »
For gods, their betters, are too wife
To value that which men defpife.
And then, faid fhe, my fon and I
Muft ftroll in air, 'twixt land and sky;
Or elfe, fhut out from heaven and earth,
Fly to the fea, my place of birth;
There live, with daggled mermaids pent,
And keep on fish perpetual Lent.
But, fince the cafe appear'd fo nice,
She thought it best to take advice.
The Mufes, by their King's permiffion,
Though foes to love, attend the feffion,
And on the right hand took their places
In order; on the left, the Graces :
To whom the might her doubts propofe
On all emergencies that role.
The Mufes oft' were feen to frown;
The Graces half-afham'd look down ;
And 'twas obferv'd, there were but few
Of either fex among the crew,
Whom the or her affeffors knew.
The goddefs foon began to fee,
Things were not ripe for a decree;
And faid, fhe muft confult her books,
The lovers' Fletas, Bractons, Cokes.
First to a dapper clerk fhe beckon'd
To turn to Ovid, book the fecond;
She then referr'd them to a place
n Virgil (vide Dido's cafe) :
As for Tibullus's reports,
They never pafs'd for law in courts:
For Cowley's briefs, and pleas of Waller,
Still their authority was fmaller.
There was on both fides much to say:
She'd hear the caufe another day.
And fo fhe did; and then a third
She heard it-there fhe kept her word:
But, with rejoinders or replies,
Long bills, and anfwers stuff'd with lies,
Demur, imparlance, and effoign,
The parties ne'er could iffue join:
For fixteen years the caufe was fpun,
And then stood where it firft begun.
Now, gentle Clio, fing or fay,
What Venus meant by this delay.
The goddess, much perplex'd in mind
To fee her empire thus declin'd,
When first this grand debate arofe,
Above her wisdom to compofe,
Conceiv'd a project in her head
To work her ends; which, if it fped,
She threw her law-books on the shelf,
And thus debated with herfelf.
Since men alledge, they ne'er can find
Those beauties in a female mind,
Which raife a flame that will endure
For ever uncorrupt and pure;
If 'tis with reafon they complain,
This infant fhall restore my reign.
I'll fearch where every virtue dwells,
From courts inclufive down to cells:
What preachers talk, or fages write;
These I will gather and unite,
And reprefent them to mankind
Collected in that infant's mind.
This faid, the plucks in heaven's high bowers A fprig of amaranthine flowers,
A fweetnefs above all perfumes :
From whence a cleanlinefs remains,
Incapable of outward stains :
From whence that decency of mind,
So lovely in the female kind,
Where not one careless thought intrudes,
Lefs modeft than the fpeech of prudes;
Where never blufh was call'd in aid,
That fpurious virtue in a maid,
A virtue but at fecond-hand;
They blush, because they understand.
The Graces next would act their part, And fhew'd but little of their art;
Their work was half already done,
The child with native beauty fhone;
The outward form no help requir'd':
Each, breathing on her thrice, infpir'd
That gentle; foft, engaging air,
Which in old times adorn'd the fair:
And faid, "Vaneffa be the name
"By which thou shalt be known to fame; "Vaneffa, by the gods inroll'd :
"Her name on earth fhall not be told."
But ftill the work was not complete;
When Venus thought on a deceit,
Drawn by her doves, away fhe flies,
And finds out Pallas in the fkies.
Dear Pallas, I have been this morn
To see a lovely infant born;
A boy in yonder ifle below,
So like my own without his bow,
By beauty could your heart be won,
You'd fwear it is Apollo's fon:
But it fhall ne'er be faid, a child
So hopeful has by me been fpoil'd;
I have enough befides to fpare,
And give him wholly to your care.
Wisdom's above fufpecting wiles:
The Queen of Learning gravely fmiles.
Down from Olympus comes with joy,
Mistakes Vaneffa for a boy;
Then fows within her tender mind
Seeds long unknown to womankind;
For manly bofoms chiefly fit,
The feeds of knowledge, judgement, wit.
Her foul was fuddenly endued
With juftice, truth, and fortitude;
With honour, which no breath can stain,
Which malice muft attack in vain ;
With open heart and bounteous hand.
But Pallas here was at a ftand;
She knew, in our degenerate days,
Bare virtue could not live on praife;
That meat must be with money bought :
She therefore, upon fecond thought,
Infus'd, yet as it were by ftealth,
Some small regard for state and wealth;
Of which, as the grew up, there ftaid
A tincture in the prudent maid:
She manag'd her estate with care,
Yet lik'd three footmen to her chair.
But, left he should neglect his ftudies
Like a young heir, the thrifty goddess
(For fear young mafter thould be spoil'd)
Would ufe him like a younger child;
And, after long computing, found
"Twould come to just five thousand pound.
The Queen of Love was pleas'd, and proud,
To fee Vaneffa thus endow'd:
She doubted not but fuch a dame
Through every breaft would dart a flame;