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And yet a fault we often find
Mix'd in a noble generous mind;
And may compare to Etna's fire,
Which, though with trembling, all admire;
The heat, that makes the fummit glow,
Enriching all the vales below.
Those who in warmer climes complain
From Phoebus' rays they fuffer pain,
Muft own that pain is largely paid
By generous wines beneath a fhade.
Yet, when I find your paffions rife,
And anger fparkling in your eyes,
I grieve thofe fpirits fhould be fpent,
For nobler ends by nature meant.
One paffion with a different turn
Makes wit inflame, or anger burn:
So the fun'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 refentment, feeks
For vengeance on his friends the Greeks.
You think this turbulence of blood From ftagnating preferves the flood, Which thus fermenting by degrees Exalts the fpirits, finks the lees.
Stella, for once you reafon wrong; For, fhould this ferment laft too long,
By time fubfiding, you may
Nothing but acid left behind;
From paffion you may then be freed,
When peevishnefs and spleen fucceed.
Say, Stella, when you copy next,
Will you keep ftrictly to the text?
Dare you let thefe reproaches stand,
And to your failing fet your hand?
Or, if these lines your anger fire,
Shall they in bafer flames expire?
Whene'er they burn, if burn they must,
They'll prove my accufation juft.
Vifiting me in my Sickness, 1720*.
PALLAS, obferving Stella's wit
Was more than for her fex was fit,
And that her beauty, foon or late,
Might breed confufion in the state,
In high concern for human-kind,
Fix'd honour in her infant mind.
But (not in wranglings to engage
With fuch a stupid vicious age)
If honour I would here define,
It answers faith in things divine.
As natural life the body warms,
And, fcholars teach, the foul 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 fuch various titles call,
True honour comprehends them all.
Let melancholy rule fupreme,
Choler prefide, 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 fear,
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 affignation;
Or that on which his lordship swears,
When vulgar knaves would lose their ears;
Let Stella's fair example preach
A leffon fhe alone can teach.
In points of honour to be try'd,
All paffions must be laid aside :
Afk no advice, but think alone;
Suppofe the queftion not your own.
How fhall I act? is not the cafe ;
But how would Brutus in my place?
In fuch a cafe would Cato bleed?
And how would Socrates proceed?
Drive all objections from your mind,
Elfe you relapfe to human-kind :
Ambition, avarice, and luft,
And factious rage, and breach of trust,
And flattery tipt with naufeous fleer
And guilty fhame, and fervile fear,
Envy, and cruelty, and pride,
Will in your tainted heart prefide.
Heroes and heroines of old
By honour only were inroll'd
Among their brethren in the fkies,
To which (though late) fhall Stella rife.
Ten thousand oaths upon record
Are not fo facred as her word :
The world fhall in its atoms end,
Ere Stella can deceive a friend.
By honour feated in her breast
She fill determines what is best:
What indignation in her mind
Against inflavers of mankind!
Base kings, and ministers of state,
Eternal objects of her hate!
She thinks that nature ne'er defigu'd
Courage to man alone confin'd.
Can cowardice her fex adorn,
Which moft expofes ours to fcorn?
She wonders where the charm appears
In Florimel's affected fears;
For Stella never learn'd the art
At proper times to scream and start;
Nor calls up all the house at night,
And fwears the faw a thing in white.
Doll never flies to cut her lace,
Or throw cold water in her face,
Because fhe heard a fudden drum,
Or found an earwig in a plum.
Her hearers are amaz'd from whence
Proceeds that fund of wit and fenfe;
Which, though her modefty would throud,
Breaks like the fun behind a cloud;
While gracefulness its art conceals,
And yet through every motion steals.
Say, Stella, was Prometheus blind,
And, forming you, miftook your kind?
No; 'twas for you alone he stole
The fire that forms a manly foul;
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 cenfure glut her fpight,
If I fhould Stella's kindnefs hide
In filence, or forget with pride!
When on my fickly couch I lay
Impatient both of night and day,
Lamenting in unmanly ftrains,
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 fevere decrée
She fuffers hourly more than me,