Page images

Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine
Ease, pleasure, virtue, all our sex resign.
Methinks already I your tears survey,
Already hear the horrid things they say,
Already see you a degraded toast,
And all your honour in a whisper lost!
How shall I, then, your hapless fame defend?
'Twill then be infamy to seem your friend!
And shall this prize, th' inestimable prize,
Expos'd through crystal to the gazing eyes,
And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays, 115
On that rapacious hand for ever blaze?
Sooner shall grass in Hyde-Park Circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow;
Sooner let earth, air, sea, to Chaos fall,
Men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots, perish all! 120
She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
And bids her beau demand the precious hairs:
(Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain,
And the nice conduct of a clouded cane)
With earnest eyes, and round unthinking face, 125
He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case,




Ver. 121. Sir Plume repairs,] Sir George Brown. He was the only one of the Party who took the thing seriously. He was angry that the Poet should make him talk nothing but nonsense : and in truth one could not well blame him. Warburton.

An engraving of Sir Plume, with seven other figures, by Hogarth, was executed on the lid of a gold snuff-box, and presented to one of the parties concerned; the original impression of a print of it was sold, at Mr. Gulston's sale, for thirty-three pounds. Warton.

And thus broke out-" My Lord, why, what the devil!

Z-ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil.

Plague on't! 'tis past a Jest-nay prithee, pox! "Give her the hair"-he spoke, and rapp'd his box.


It grieves me much (reply'd the Peer again) Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain, But by this Lock, this sacred Lock I swear, (Which never more shall join its parted hair ; Which never more its honours shall renew, Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That while my nostrils draw the vital air, This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear. He spoke, and speaking, in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head.

140 But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so; He breaks the Vial whence the sorrows flow. Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears, Her eyes half-languishing, half-drown'd in tears; On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head, 145 Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said.




Ver. 141. But Umbriel, hateful Gnome! forbears not so;
He breaks the Vial whence the sorrows flow.]

These two lines are additional; and assign the cause of the different operation on the Passions of the two Ladies. The poem went on before without that distinction, as without any Machinery, to the end of the Canto.



Ver. 133. But by this Lock,] In allusion to Achilles's oath in Homer, Il. i.


For ever curs'd be this detested day,

Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite curl away! Happy! ah ten times happy had I been,

If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! 150 Yet am not I the first mistaken maid,

By love of Courts to num'rous ills betray'd.
Oh had I rather un-admir'd, remain'd

In some lone Isle, or distant Northern land;
Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way, 155
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
Like roses, that in desarts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful Lords to

roam ?

O had I stay'd, and said my pray'rs at home! 160
'Twas this the morning omens seem'd to tell,
Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell;
The tott'ring China shook without a wind,
Nay Poll sat mute, and Shock was most unkind!
A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of fate, 165
In mystic visions, now believ'd too late!
See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs!
My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares:
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck; 170


Ver. 163. The tott'ring China] The fatal prognostics that preceded the death of Cæsar, in the first Georgic of Virgil, are not imagined with more propriety, or could be more alarming.


The sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone,
And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal sheers demands,
And tempts, once more, thy sacrilegious hands.
Oh hadst thou, cruel! been content to seize
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!




SHE said the pitying audience melt in tears,

But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears.
In vain Thalestris with reproach assails,
For who can move when fair Belinda fails?
Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain,
While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain.
Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan ;
Silence ensu'd, and thus the Nymph began.

Say, why are Beauties prais'd and honour'd most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast?


Ver. 7. Then grave Clarissa, &c.] A new Character introduced in the subsequent Editions, to open more clearly the Moral of the Poem, in a parody of the speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus in Homer.




Ver. 9. Say why are Beauties, &c.]



Why boast we, Glaucus! our extended reign,
Where Xanthus' streams enrich the Lycian plain;
Our num'rous herds that range the fruitful field,
And hills where vines their purple harvest yield;
Our foaming bowls with purer nectar crown'd,
Our feasts enhanc'd with music's sprightly sound;
Why on those shores are we with joy survey'd,
Admir'd as heroes, and as Gods obey'd;
Unless great acts superior merit prove,
And vindicate the bounteous pow'rs above?


« EelmineJätka »