« EelmineJätka »
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves;
And all the trophies of his former loves.
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three amorous fighs to raise the fire.
Then proftrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long poffefs the prize :
The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer,
The reft, the winds difpers'd in empty air.
But now fecure the painted vessel glides,
The fun-beams trembling on the floating tides:
While melting music steals upon the sky,
And foften'd founds along the waters die;
Smooth flow the waves, the Zephyrs gently play,
Belinda fmil'd, and all the world was gay.
All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts opprest,
Th' impending woe fat heavy on his breast.
He fummons ftrait his Denizens of air;
The lucid fquadrons round the fails repair:
Soft o'er the fhrouds aerial whispers breathe,
That feem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath.
Some to the fun their infect wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or fink in clouds of gold;
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal fight,
Their fluid bodies half diffolv'd in light.
Loofe to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glittering textures of the filmy dew,
Dip'd in the richest tincture of the skies,
Where light difports in ever-mingling dyes,
While every beam new tranfient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings.
Amid the circle on the gilded mast,
Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd;
His purple pinions opening to the fun,
He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun.
Ye Sylphs and. Sylphids, to your chief give ear,
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons, hear!
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks affign'd
By laws eternal to th' aerial kind.
Some in the fields of pureft æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day.
Some guide the course of wandering orbs on high,
Or roll the planets through the boundless sky.
Some, lefs refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or fuck the mifts in groffer air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempefts on the wintery main,
Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Others on earth o'er human race prefide,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of Nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British Throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a lefs pleasing, though lefs glorious care;
To fave the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprifon'd effences exhale;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flowers;
To steal from rainbows, ere they drop in showers,
Affift their blushes, and infpire their airs;
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.
This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire difafter, or by force, or flight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrap'd in night.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or fome frail China-jar receive a flaw:
Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her prayers, or mifs a masquerade;
Or lofe her heart, or necklace at a ball;
Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must fall.
Haste then, ye spirits! to your charge repair:
The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we confign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crifpiffa, tend her favorite Lock;
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.
To fifty chofen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat:
Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail,
Though ftiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale;
Form a strong line about the filver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
Whatever spirit, carelefs of his charge,
His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel fharp vengeance foon o’ertake his fins,
Be ftop'd in viols, or transfix'd with pins;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye;
Gums and Pomatums shall his flight restrain,
While clog'd he beats his filken wings in vain;
Or Alum ftyptics with contracting power
Shrink his thin effence like a fhrivel'd flower:
Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch fhall feel
The giddy motion of the whirling Mill,
In fumes of burning Chocolate fhall glow,
And tremble at the fea that froths below!
He fpoke; the fpirits from the fails defcend;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend;
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair;
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear;
With beating hearts the dire event they wait,
Anxious, and trembling for the birth of Fate.
LOSE by thofe meads, for ever crown'd with flowers, Where Thames with pride furveys his rifing towers, There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighboring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's ftatefinen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Doft fometimes counfel take-and fometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs refort,
To taste a while the pleasures of a Court;
Ver. 1. Clofe by thofe meads,] The first edition con`
tinues from this line to ver. 24. of this Canto.
In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one defcribes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At every word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely fhoots his burning ray;
The hungry Judges foon the sentence fign,
And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two adventurous Knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And fwells her breaft with conquefts yet to come.
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the spreads her hand, th' aërial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card:
Ver. 11, 12. Originally in the first edition,
In various talk the chearful hours they past,
Of, who was bit, or who capotted last.
Ver. 24. And the long labours of the toilet ceafe.] All that follows of the game at Ombre, was added fince the first edition, till ver. 105. which connected thus:
Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd.