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Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If She infpire, and He approve my lays.

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Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel A well-bred Lord t'affault a gentle Belle? Oh fay what stranger caufe, yet unexplor'd, Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord ? In tasks so bold, can little men engage, And in foft bofoms dwells fuch mighty Rage? Sol thro' white curtains fhot a tim'rous ray, And ope'd those eyes that muft eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the roufing shake, And fleepless lovers, juft at twelve, awake: 16 Thrice rung the bell, the flipper knock'd the ground, And the prefs'd watch return'd a filver found.

Belinda

addition of the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five Canto's. We fhall give the reader the pleasure of feeing in what manner thefe additions were inferted, fo as to feem not to be added, but to grow out of the Poem. See Notes, Can't. I. v. 19, etc. P.

This infertion he always efteemed, and juftly, the greatest effort of his skill and art as a Poet.

VARIATIONS.

VER. 11, 12. It was in the first editions,

And dwells fuch rage in foftest bofoms then, And lodge fuch daring Souls in little Men? P. VER. 13, etc. Stood thus in the first Edition, Sol thro' white curtains did his beams display, And ope'd thofe eyes which brighter fhone than they; Shock juft had giv'n himself the roufing shake, And Nymphs prepar'd their Chocolate to take; Thrice the wrought flipper knock'd against the ground,

And striking watches the tenth hour refound. P.

Belinda ftill her downy pillow preft,

Her guardian SYLPH prolong'd the balmy rest: 'Twas He had fummon'd to her filent bed

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The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head.
A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beau,
(That ev'n in flumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers faid, or feem'd to say.
Faireft of mortals, thou diftinguish'd care
Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air!
If e'er one Vision touch thy infant thought,
Of all the Nurfe and all the Prieft have taught;
Of airy Elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The filver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins vifited by Angel-pow'rs,

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With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs;
Hear and believe! thy own importance know, 35
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some fecret truths, from learned pride conceal'd,
To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd:
What tho' no credit doubting Wits may give?
The Fair and Innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly,
The light Militia of the lower sky :
These, tho' unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in Air,
And view with scorn two Pages and a Chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous mould;

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Thence

VER. 19. Belinda ftill, etc.] All the verses from hence

to the end of this Canto, were added afterwards.

Thence, by a foft tranfition, we repair

From earthly Vehicles to these of air.

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Think not, when Woman's tranfient breath is fled, That all her vanities at once are dead;

Succeeding vanities fhe ftill regards,

And tho' fhe plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.

Her joy in gilded Chariots, when alive,

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And love of Ombre, after death survive.

For when the Fair in all their pride expire,
To their firft Elements their Souls retire:
The Sprites of fiery Termagants in Flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to Water glide away,
And fip, with Nymphs, their elemental Tea.
The graver Prude finks downward to a Gnome,
In fearch of mischief still on Earth to roam.
The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of Air.

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Know farther yet; whoever fair and chafte Rejects mankind, is by fome Sylph embrac'd: For Spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease Affume what fexes and what shapes they please. What guards the purity of melting Maids, In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark, The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, When kind occafion prompts their warm defires, When mufic foftens, and when dancing fires? 76

IMITATIONS.

VER. 54, 55. Quæ gratia currûm

Armorumque fuit vivis, quæ cura nitentes
Pafcere equos, eadcm fequitur tellure repoflos.

'Tis

Virg. n. vi. P.

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"Tis but their Sylph, the wife Celestials know,
Tho' Honour is the word with Men below,

Some nymphs there are, too confcious of their
face,

For life predeftin'd to the Gnomes embrace.

These fwell their profpects and exalt their pride,
When offers are difdain'd, and love deny'd:
Then gay Ideas croud the vacant brain,

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While Peers, and Dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear,

And in soft sounds, Your Grace falutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female foul,
Inftruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll,
Teach Infant-cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a Beau:

Oft, when the World imagine women stray,
The Sylphs thro' myftic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they purfue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but muft a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio speaks what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not fqueeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They shift the moving Toyfhop of their heart;

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90

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Where

VER. 78. Tho' Honour is the word with Men below.] Parody of Homer.

VER. 79. too confcious of their face,] i. e. too fenfible of their beauty.

Where wigs with wigs, with fword-knots swordknots strive,

Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals Levity may call,

ΙΟΙ

Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.

Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star
I faw, alas! fome dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning fun descend,

But heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where :
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can :

Beware of all, but moft beware of Man!

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ΠΙΟ

He faid; when Shock, who thought the flept

too long, 115 Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. 'Twas then Belinda, if report fay true,

Thy eyes firft open'd on a Billet-doux;

Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, were no fooner read, But all the Vision vanish'd from thy head.

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And

VER: 108. In the clear Mirror] The Language of the Platonifts, the writers of the intelligible world of Spirits, etc.

P.

VER. IOI.

IMITATIONS.

Jam clypeus clypeis, umbone repellitur umbo,
Enfe minax enfis, pede pes et cufpide cufpis, etc. Stat.

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