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And yet a fault we often find
Mix'd in a noble generous mind ;
And may coinpare to Ætna's fire,
Which, though with trembling, all admire ;
The heat, that makes the summit glow,
Enriching all the vales below.
Those who in warmer climes complain
From Phæbus' rays they suffer pain,
Must own that pain is largely paid
By generous wines beneath a fhade.
Yet, when I find your passions rise,
And anger sparkling in your eyes,
I grieve those spirits should be spent,
For nobler ends by nature meant.
One passion with a different turn
Makes wit inflame, or anger burn:
So the sun's heat with different powers
Ripens the grape, the liquors fours :
Thus Ajax, when with rage poffeft
By Pallas breath'd into his breast,
His valour would no more employ,
Which might alone have conquer'd Troy:
But, blinded by resentment, feeks
For vengeance on his friends the Greeks.
You think this turbulence of blood
From stagnating preserves the flood,
Which thus fermenting by degrees
Exalts the spirits, finks the lees.
Stella, for once you
wrong i For, should this ferment last too long,
By time subsiding, you may find
Nothing but acid left behind ;
From passion you may then be freed,
When peevilhnefs and spleen succeed.
Say, Stella, when you copy next,
Will you keep strictly to the text ?
let thefe reproaches stand,
And to your failing set your hand ?
Or, if these lines your anger fire,
Shall they in baser flames expire ?
Whene'er they burn, if burn they must,
They'll prove my accufation juit.
Τ Ο S T E L L A,
Visiting me in my Sickness, 1720 *.
PALLAS, observing Stella's wit
Was more than for her sex was fit,
And that her beauty, soon or late,
Might breed confusion in the state,
In high concern for human-kind,
Fix'd honour in her infant mind.
But (not in wranglings to engage
With such a stupid vicious age)
If honour I would here define,
It answers faith in things divine.
As natural life the body warms,
And, scholars teach, the soul informs;
So honour animates the whole,
And is the spirit of the soul.
* See the verses on her Birth-day, 1723-4.
Those numerous virtues which the tribe
Of tedious moralifts describe,
And by such various titles call,
True honour comprehends them all.
Let melancholy rule fupreme,
Choler preside, or blood, or phlegm,
It makes no difference in the case,
Nor is complexion honour's place.
But, left we should for honour take,
The drunken quarrels of a rake;
Or think it feated in a scar,
Or on a proud triumphal car,
Or in the payment of a debt
We lose with sharpers at picquet ;
Or when a whore in her vocation
Keeps punctual to an assignation ;
Or that on which his lordship swears,
When vulgar knaves would lose their ears ;
Let Stella's fair example preach
A lesson she alone can teach.
In points of honour to be try'd,
All passions must be laid aside :
Ask no advice, but think alone ;
Suppose the question not your own,
How shall I act? is not the case;
But how would Brutus in my place?
In such a case would Cato bleed ?
And how would Socrates proceed ?
Drive all objections from your mind,
Else you relapse to human-kind :
Ambition, avarice, and lust,
And factious rage, and breach of trust,
And flattery tipt with nauseous fleer
And guilty shame, and servile fear,
Envy, and cruelty, and pride,
Will in your tainted heart preside.
Heroes and heroines of old
By honour only were inroll'd
Among their brethren in the skies,
To which (though late) shall Stella rife.
Ten thousand oaths upon record
Are not so facred as her word :
The world shall in its atoms end,
Ere Stella can deceive a friend.
By honour seated in her breast
She Nill determines what is best :
What indignation in her mind
Against inflavers of mankind !
Base kings, and ministers of state,
Eternal objects of her hare !
She thinks that nature ne'er design d
Courage to man alone confin'd.
Can cowardice her fex adorn,
Which most exposes ours to scorn ?
She wonders where the charm appears
In Floriinel's affected fears ;
For Stella never learn’d the art
proper times to scream and Itart;
Nor calls up all the house at night,
And swears she saw a thing in white,
Doll never flies to 'cut her lace,
Or throw cold water in her face,
Because she heard a sudden druin,
Or found an earwig'in a plum.
Her hearers are amaz'd from whence
Proceeds that fund of wit and sense ;
Which, though her modesty would throud,
Breaks like the sun behind a cloud:;
While gracefulness its art conceals,
And yet through every motion steals.
Say, Stella, was Prometheus blind,
And, forming you, mistook your kind?
No; 'twas for you alone he stole
The fire that forms a manly soul;
Then, to compleat it every way,
He moulded it with female clay :
To that you owe the nobler flame,
To this the beauty of your frame.
How would ingratitude delight,
And how would censure glut her spight,
If I should Stella's kindness hide
In filence, or forget with pride!
When on my fickly couch I lay
Impatient both of night and day,
Lamenting in unmanly strains,
Call'd every power to ease my pains ;
Then Stella ran to my relief
With chearful face and inward grief;
And, though by Heaven's severe decrec
She suffers hourly more than me,