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Sudden these honours shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.

For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round;
On shining altars of Japan they raise

The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze:
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoaking tide: 110
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd, 115
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,

And see through all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New Stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain.
Ah cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla's fate!


Ver. 105. For lo! the board] It is doubtless as hard to make a coffee-pot shine in poetry, as a plough; yet our author has succeeded in giving elegance to a familiar object, as well as Virgil.


Ver. 122. and think of Scylla's fate!] Vide Ovid's Metam. viii.





Ver. 105. For lo! the board, &c.] From hence, the first Edition continues to ver. 134.


Turno tempus erit magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta; et cum spolia ista diemque



Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!

But when to Mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill?
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg❜d weapon from her shining case:
So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. 130
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair, 135
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the Virgin's thought:
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin❜d,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd in spite of all her art,
An earthly Lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expir'd, 145
Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir❜d.

The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide, T' inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide.


Ver. 134.] In the first Edition it was thus,

As o'er the fragrant stream she bends her head. Ver. 147.]

First he expands the glitt'ring Forfex wide
T' inclose the Lock; then joins it to divide :




Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;


Fate urg'd the sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain, (But airy substance soon unites again,)


Ver. 152. But airy substance] See Milton, lib. vi. of Satan cut asunder by the Angel Michael.


This line is an admirable parody on that passage of Milton, which, perhaps oddly enough, describes Satan wounded:

"The griding sword, with discontinuous wound,

Pass'd thro' him; but th' etherial substance clos'd,
Not long divisible."

The parodies are some of the most exquisite parts of this poem. That which follows from the "Dum juga montis aper," of Virgil, contains some of the most artful strokes of satire, and the most poignant ridicule imaginable.

The introduction of frequent parodies on serious and solemn passages of Homer and Virgil, gives much life and spirit to heroicomic poetry. "Tu dors, Prelat? tu dors?" in Boileau, is the “ Euders Alge& vie” of Homer, and is full of humour. The wife of the barber talks in the language of Dido, in her expostulations to her Æneas, at the beginning of the second Canto of the Lutrin. Pope's parodies of Sarpedon in Homer, and of the description of Achilles's sceptre, together with the scales of Jupiter, from Homer, Virgil, and Milton, are judiciously introduced in their several places, are perhaps superior to those Boileau or Garth have used, and are worked up with peculiar pleasantry. The mind of the reader is engaged by novelty, when it so unexpectedly finds a thought or object it had been accustomed to survey in another form, suddenly arrayed in a ridiculous garb. A mixture also of comic and ridiculous images, with such as are serious and important, adds no small beauty to this species of poetry, when real and imaginary distresses are coupled together.


The meeting points the sacred hair dissever, From the fair head, for ever, and for ever. All that is between was added afterwards.



The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!

Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heav'n are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring dust, and painted fragments lie! 160
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,
(The Victor cry'd,) the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and six the British Fair,

As long as Atalantis shall be read,

Or the small pillow grace a Lady's bed,


While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,


"Not youthful kings, in battle seiz'd alive,

Not scornful virgins who their charms survive," &c. Which is much superior to a similar passage in the Dispensary, Canto v.


Ver. 165. Atalantis] A famous book written about that time by a woman: full of Court and Party scandal; and in a loose effeminacy of style and sentiment, which well-suited the debauched taste of the better vulgar. Warburton.

Mrs. Manley, the author of it, was the daughter of Sir Roger Manley, Governor of Guernsey, and the author of the first volume of the famous Turkish Spy, published, from his papers, by Dr. Midgley. She was known and admired by all the wits of the times. She wrote three plays; Lucius, the last, 1717, was dedicated to Sir Richard Steele, with whom she had quarrelled some time before. He wrote the prologue to it, and Prior the epilogue. She was also celebrated by Lord Lansdown. She died in the house of Alderman Barber, Swift's friend; and was said to have been the mistress of the Alderman.


While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live! 170
What Time would spare, from Steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the Gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound, 175
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel
The conqu'ring force of unresisted Steel?


Ver. 163, 170.]

"Dum juga montis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit,
Semper honos, nomenque tuum, laudesque manebunt."
Virg. P.

Ver. 177.]

"Ille quoque eversus mons est, &c.

Quid faciant crines, cum ferro talia cedant ?"

CATULL. de Com. Berenices.


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