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The bufy Sylphs furround their darling care,
These set the head, and those divide the hair,
Some fold the fleeve, whilst others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.


VER. 145. The bufy Sylphs, &c.] Antient Traditions of the Rabbi's relate, that several of the fallen Angels became amorous of Women, and particularize fome; among the rest Afael, who lay with Naamah, the wife of Noah, or of Ham; and who continuing impenitent, ftill prefides over the Women's Toilets. Bereshi Rabbi in Genef. 6. 2.

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RAPE of the LOCK.



OT with more glories, in th' etherial plain,
The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main,

Than iffuing forth, the rival of his beams

Lanch'd on the bofom of the filver Thames.

Fair Nymphs, and well-dreft Youths around her fhone,
But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone.

On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
Which Jews might kifs, and Infidels adore.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind difclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those :
Favours to none, to all fhe fmiles extends,
Oft' fhe rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the fun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the fun, they fhine on all alike.
Yet graceful eafe, and sweetness void of pride
Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide :
If to her share fome female errors fall,

Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.

This Nymph, to the deftruction of mankind,

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Nourish'd two Locks, which graceful hung behind 20


In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck
With fhining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck:
Love in these labyrinths his flaves detains,
And mighty hearts are held in flender chains.
With hairy fprindges we the birds betray,
Slight lines of hair furprize the finny prey,
Fair treffes man's imperial race infnare,
And beauty draws us with a fingle hair.


Th' advent'rous Baron the bright locks admir'd,


He faw, he wish'd, and to the prize afpir'd.
Refolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when fuccefs a Lover's toil attends,
Few afk, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.

For this, e'er Phoebus rofe, he had implor'd
Propitious heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd,
But chiefly Love- -to Love an altar built,
Of twelve vaft French Romances, neatly gilt.
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 am'rous fighs to raise the fire.
Then proftrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long poffefs the prize:



* The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray❜r, 45 The rest, the winds difpers'd in empty air.

* Virg. Æn. 11.

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But now fecure the painted veffel glides,
The fun-beams trembling on the floating tydes;
While melting mufic fteals upon the fky,
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 oppreft,
Th' impending woe fate heavy on his breast.
He summons strait his Denizens of air;
The lucid fquadrons round the fails repair;
Soft o'er the shrouds aerial whispers breathe,

That seem'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 dissolv'd in light.
Loose to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glitt'ring textures of the filmy dew,
Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies,
Where light difports in ever-mingling dyes,
While ev'ry beam new tranfient colours flings,



Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings.
Amid the circle, on the gilded maft,
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 Demons 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 wand'ring orbs on high,
Or roll the planets thro' the boundless sky.
Some lefs refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or fuck the mists in groffer air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempefts on the wintry main,
Or o'er the glebe distill 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 pleafing, tho' lefs glorious care:
To fave the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th' imprison'd effences exhale ;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs;
To steal from rainbows e'er they drop in show'rs
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Affift their blushes, and inspire their airs;
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 wrapt in night.
Whether the nymph fhall break Diana's law,
Or fome frail China jar receive a flaw,

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