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Your breasts no more the fire of beauty warms,
But wicked wealth usurps the power of charms;
What pains to get the gaudy thing you hate,
To swell in show, and be a wretch in state!
At plays you ogle, at the ring you bow;
Even churches are no sanctuaries now:
There, golden idols all your vows receive,
She is no goddess that has nought to give.
Oh, may once more the happy age appear,
When words were artless, and the thoughts sincere
When gold and grandeur were unenvy'd things,
And courts less coveted than groves and springs.
Love then shall only mourn when truth complains,
And constancy feel transport in its chains
Sighs with success their own soft anguish tell,
And eyes shall utter what the lips conceal :
Virtue again to its bright station climb,
And beauty fear no enemy but time;
The fair shall listen to desert alone,
And every Lucia find a Cato's son.
WITH THE TRAGEDY OF CATO.-Nov. 1714.
THE muse that oft, with sacred raptures fir'd,
Has gen'rous thoughts of liberty inspir'd,
And, boldly rising for Britannia's laws,
Engaged great Cato in her country's cause,"
On you submissive waits, with hopes assur'd,
By whom the mighty blessing stands secur'd,
And all the glories, that our age adorn,
Are promis'd to a people yet unborn.
No longer shall the widow'd land bemoan
A broken lineage, and a doubtful throne;
But boast her royal progeny's increase,
And count the pledges of her future peace.
O born to strengthen and to grace our isle !
While you, fair PRINCESS, in your offspring smile,
Engaged great Cato in her country's cause. Some little disingenuity has been charged on the author, from this line (see Pope's Works, Ep. to Aug. v. 215, Mr. Warburton's edition), nor can I wholly acquit him of it. The truth, however, seems to be this: Mr. A. had no party-views in composing this tragedy; and he was only solicitous (whatever his friends might be), to secure the suffrage of both parties, when it was brought on the stage. But the public would only see it in a political light: and was it to be wondered at, that a poet, in a dedication too, should take advantage of the general voice, to make a merit of his imputed patriotism, with the new family? How spotless must that muse be, that, in passing through a court, had only contracted this slight stain, even in the opinion of so sevore a censor and casuist as Mr. Pope!
Supplying charms to the succeeding age,
Each heavenly daughter's triumphs we presage;
Already see th' illustrious youths complain,
And pity monarchs doom'd to sigh in vain.
Thou too, the darling of our fond desires,
Whom Albion, opening wide her arms, requires,
With manly valour and attractive air
Shalt quell the fierce and captivate the fair.
O England's younger hope! in whom conspire
The mother's sweetness, and the father's fire!
For thee, perhaps, even now, of kingly race,
Some dawning beauty blooms in every grace,
Some Carolina, to heaven's dictates true,
Who, while the sceptr'd rivals vainly sue,
Thy inborn worth with conscious eyes shall see,
And slight th' imperial diadem for thee.
Pleas'd with the prospect of successive reigns,
The tuneful tribe no more in daring strains
Shall vindicate, with pious fears opprest,
Endanger'd rights, and liberty distrest:
To milder sounds each muse shall tune the lyre,
And gratitude, and faith to kings inspire,
And filial love; bid impious discord cease,
And soothe the madding factions into peace;
Or rise ambitious in more lofty lays,
And teach the nation their new monarch's praise,
Describe his awful look, and godlike mind,
And Cæsar's power with Cato's virtue join'd.
Meanwhile, bright Princess, who, with graceful ease
And native majesty, are form'd to please,
Behold those arts with a propitious eye,
That suppliant to their great protectress fly!
Then shall they triumph, and the British stage
Improve her manners and refine her rage,
More noble characters expose to view,
And draw her finisht heroines from you.
Nor you the kind indulgence will refuse, Skill'd in the labours of the deathless muse: The deathless muse with undiminish'd rays Through distant times the lovely dame conveys: To Gloriana Waller's harp was strung; The queen still shines, because the poet sung. Even all those graces, in your frame combin'd, The common fate of mortal charms may find; (Content our short-lived praises to engage, The joy and wonder of a single age,) Unless some poet in a lasting song To late posterity their fame prolong, Instruct our sons the radiant form to prize, And see your beauty with their fathers' eyes.