« EelmineJätka »
Who, with herself, or others, from her birth,
Finds all her life one warfare upon earth.
Shines in exposing knaves and painting fools,
Yet is whate'er she hates and ridicules.
No thought advances, but her eddy brain
Whisks it about, and down it goes again.
Full sixty years the world has been her trade,
The wisest fool much time has ever made.
From loveless youth to unrespected age
No passion gratified, except her rage:
So much the fury still outran the wit,
That pleasure miss'd her, and the scandal hit.
Who breaks with her, provokes revenge from hell,
But he's a bolder man who dares be well.
Her every turn with violence pursued,
Nor more a storm her hate than gratitude:
To that each passion turns, or soon or late;
Love, if it makes her yield, must make her hate.
Superiors? death! and equals? what a curse!
But an inferior not dependent! worse.
Offend her, and she knows not to forgive;
Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live:
But die, and she'll adore you-Then the bust
And temple rise-then fall again to dust.
Last night, her lord was all that's good and great;
A knave this morning, and his will a cheat.
Strange! by the means defeated of the ends,
By spirit robb'd of power, by warmth of friends,
By wealth of followers! without one distress
Sick of herself, through very selfishness!
Atossa, cursed with every granted prayer,
Childless with all her children, wants an heir.
To heirs unknown descends the unguarded store,
Or wanders, Heaven-directed, to the poor!
Pictures, like these, dear madam, to design,
Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;
Some wandering touches, some reflected light,
Some flying stroke alone can hit them right:
For how should equal colours do the knack?
Cameleons who can paint in white and black?
'Yet Chloe sure was form'd without a spot.'-
Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot.
With every pleasing, every prudent part,
Say, what can Chloe want?-She wants a heart. 160
She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
But never, never reach'd one generous though
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever.
So very reasonable, so unmoved,
As never yet to love, or to be loved.
She, while her lover pants upon her breast,
Can mark the figures on an Indian chest;
And when she sees her friend in deep despair
Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair.
Forbid it, Heaven, a favour or a debt
She e'er should cancel-but she may forget.
Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear;
But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
Of all her dears she never slander'd one,
But cares not if a thousand are undone.
Would Chloe know if you're alive or dead?
She bids her footman put it in her head.
Chloe is prudent-Would you too be wise?
Then never break your heart when Chloe dies. 186
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen,
Which Heaven has varnish'd out, and made a queen
The same for ever! and described by all
With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball.
Poets heap virtues, painters gems at will,
And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill.
'Tis well--but artists! who can paint or write,
To draw the naked is your true delight.
That robe of quality so struts and swells,
None see what parts of nature it conceals:
The exactest traits of body or of mind,
We owe to models of an humble kind.
If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling,
'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen.
From peer or bishop, 'tis no easy thing
To draw the man who loves his God or king;
Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail)
From honest Mahomet or plain parson Hale.
But grant, in public men sometimes are shown,
A woman's seen in private life alone:
Our bolder talents in full light display'd,
Your virtues open fairest in the shade.
Bred to disguise, in public 'tis you hide;
There, none distinguish 'twixt your shade or pride, Weakness or delicacy; all so nice,
That each may seem a virtue or a vice.
In men we various ruling passions find;
In women, two almost divide the kind :
Those, only fix'd, they first or last obey,
The love of pleasure, and the love of sway.
That nature gives; and where the lesson taught
Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault?
Experience, this; by man's oppression cursed,
They seek the second not to lose the first.
Men, some to business, some to pleasure take; But every woman is at heart a rake:
Men, some to quiet, some to public strife,
But every lady would be queen for life.
Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens!
Power all their end, but beauty all the means: 220
In youth they conquer with so wild a rage,
As leaves them scarce a subject in their age:
For foreign glory, foreign joy, they roam;
No thought of peace or happiness at home.
But wisdom's triumph is well-timed retreat,
As hard a science to the fair as great!
Beauties, like tyrants, old and friendless grown,
Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone;
Worn out in public, weary every eye,
Nor leave one sigh behind them when they die.
Pleasures the sex, as children birds pursue,
Still out of reach, yet never out of view;
Sure, if they catch, to spoil the toy at most,
To covet flying, and regret when lost;
At last, to follies youth could scarce defend,
It grows their age's prudence to pretend;
Ashamed to own they gave delight before,
Reduced to feign it, when they give no more:
As hags hold sabbaths less for joy than spite,
So these their merry, miserable night;
Still round and round the ghosts of beauty glide,
And haunt the places where their honour died.
See how the world its veterans rewards!
A youth of frolics, an old age of cards;
Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
Young without lovers, old without a friend;
A fop their passion, but their prize a sot,
Alive ridiculous, and dead forgot!
Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design:
To raise the thought, and touch the heart, be
That charm shall grow, while what fatigues the
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing:
So when the sun's broad beam has tired the sight,
All mild ascends the moon's more sober light,
Serene in virgin modesty she shines,
And unobserved the glaring orb declines.
O! bless'd with temper, whose unclouded ray
Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day;
She who can love a sister's charms, or hear
Sighs for a daughter, with unwounded ear;
She who ne'er answers till a husband cools;
Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules;
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
Yet has her humour most when she obeys;
Let fops or fortune fly which way they will,
Disdains all loss of tickets or codille;
Spleen, vapours, or small-pox, above them all,
And mistress of herself though china fall.
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill, Woman's at best a contradiction still. Heaven when it strives to polish all it can Its last best work, but forms a softer man; Picks from each sex, to make the favourite bless'd, Your love of pleasure, our desire of rest;
Blends in exception to all general rules,
Your taste of follies, with our scorn of fools;
Reserve with frankness, art with truth allied,
Courage with softness, modesty with pride;
Fix'd principles with fancy ever new;
Shakes all together, and produces-you.
Be this a woman's fame; with this unbless'd,
Toasts live a scorn, and queens may die a jest.
This Phoebus promised, (I forget the year,)
When those blue eyes first open'd on the sphere;
Ascendant Phœbus watch'd that hour with care,
Averted half your parents' simple prayer;
And gave you beauty, but denied the pelf
That buys your sex a tyrant o'er itself.
The generous god, who wit and gold refines,
And ripens spirits as he ripens mines,
Kept dross for duchesses, the world shall know it,
To you gave sense, good-humour, and a poet.
Of the Use of Riches.
That it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes, avarice or profusion, ver. 1, &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to