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How finish'd with illustrious toil
appears This small well polish'd gem, the work of 2 years! Yet still how faint by precept is exprest The living image in the painter's breast! Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow, Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow; Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed Those tears eternal that embalm the dead ; Call round her tomb each object of desire, Each purer frame inform'd with
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife;
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore,
Then view this marble, and be vain no more!
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage,
Her modest cheek shall warm a future age.
Beauty, frail flower, that every season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.
Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise,
And other beauties envy Worsley's 3 eyes;
Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow,
And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
O, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line ;
Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
: Frances Lady Worsley, wife of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart.
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay!
Led by some rule that guides, but not constrains,
And finish'd more through happiness than pains.
The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre.
Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on every face;
Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
And these be sung till Granville's Myra die :
Alas! how little from the grave we claim !
Thou but preserv'st a face, and I a name.
EPISTLE TO MRS. PIARTHA BLOUNT,
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE,
In these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the writer lives in every line;
His easy art may happy nature seem;
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,
Who without Aattery pleas’d the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well natur’d, and with books well bred :
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share,
His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle life away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.
E'en rival wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs;
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes :
The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
A long, exact, and serious comedy;
In every scene some moral let it teach,
And, if it can, at once both please and preach :
Let mine an innocent gay farce appear,
And more diverting still than regular;
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to time and place.
Critics in wit or life are hard to please;
Few write to those, and none can live to these.
Too much your sex is by their forms confin'd, Severe to all, but most to womankind; Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide; Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride; By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame, Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame. Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase, But sets up one, a greater, in their place : Well might you wish for change by those accurst; But the last tyrant ever proves the worst.
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains,
Or bound in formal or in real chains :
Whole years neglected for some months ador'd,
The fawning servant turns a haughty lord.
Ah! quit not the free innocence of life
For the dull glory of a virtuous wife;
Nor let false shows nor empty titles please :
Aim not at joy, but rest content with ease.
The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers,
Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders' mares,
The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state,
And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate.
She glares in balls, front-boxes, and the ring,
A vain, unquiet, glittering, wretched thing!
Pride, pomp, and state, but reach her outward
part; She sighs, and is no duchess at her heart.
But, madam, if the fates withstand, and you
Are destin'd Hymen's willing victim too,
Trust not too much your now resistless charms,
Those age or sickness, soon or late, disarms;
Good-humour only teaches charms to last,
Still makes new conquests, and maintains the
Love rais'd on beauty will like that decay,
Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day,
As flowery bands in wantonness are worn,
A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn;
This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.
Thus Voiture's early care still shone the same, And Monthausier was only chang'd in name : By this e'en now they live, e'en now they charm, Their wit still sparkling, and their flames still
Now crown'd with myrtle on th' Elysian coast, Amid those lovers joys his gentle ghost; Pleas'd while with smiles his happy lines you view, And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you. The brightest eyes of France inspir'd his Muse : The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse ; And dead, as living, 'tis our author's pride Still to charm those who charm the world beside.
EPISTLE TO MRS. TERESA BLOUNT,
ON HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORONATION. '
As some fond virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the town to wholesome country air,
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh:
From the dear man unwilling she must sever,
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever :
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew;
I Mademoiselle Paulet.
2 Of George the First.