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As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveal'd,
The rest, his many-color'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens o'erthrew,
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade!
Ah cease, rash youth; desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew, with tempting grace,
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case:
So ladies, in Romance, assist their knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with reverence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair,
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the baron Fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black tyrant first her victim died,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barbarous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs in state unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe?
The baron now his Diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd king who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent queen, with powers combin'd,
Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen,
With throngs promiscuous strow the level green.
Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
With like confusion different nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions disunited fall,
In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.
At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook,
A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look;
She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin, and Codille.
And now (as oft in some distemper'd state)
On one nice trick depends the general fate,
An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the king unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive queen:
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
O thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.
Sudden, these honors shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round:
On shining Altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze:
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide:
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes) Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss,
Sent up in vapors to the baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die,
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry,
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew nea
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought;
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his power expir'd,
Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir'd.
The peer now spreads the glittering forfex wide
T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;
Fate urg'd the shears, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But airy substance soon unites again,)
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast,
When husbands, or when lap-dogs, breathe their last!
Or when rich China vessels, fall'n from high,
In glittering dust and painted fragments lie!
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine
(The victor cried,) the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and six the British fair,
As long as Atalantis shall be read,
Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed,
While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
When numerous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honor, name, and praise, shall live!
What time would spare, from steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to Fate.
Steel could the labor of the gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial powers of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound,
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel
The conquering force of unresisted steel?
BUT anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress'd.
And secret passions labor'd in her breast.
Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive,
Not scornful virgins who their charms survive,
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair,
As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravish'd hair.
Hear me, and touch Belinda with chagrin:
That single act gives half the world the Spleen."
The goddess with a discontented air
For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew,
And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew,
Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite,
As ever sullied the fair face of light,
Down to the central earth, his proper scene,
Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen.
Seems to reject him, though she grants his prayer.
A wondrous bag with both her hands she binds,
Like that where once Ulysses held the winds;
There she collects the force of female lungs,
Sighs, sobs, and passions, and the war of tongues.
A vial next she fills with fainting fears,
Soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears.
The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away,
Spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to-day
Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found,
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome,
And in a vapor reach'd the dismal dome.
No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows,
The dreaded east is all the wind that blows.
Here in a grotto, shelter'd close from air,
And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, Her eyes dejected, and her hair unbound.
Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent,
And all the Furies issued at the vent.
She sighs for ever on her pensive bed,
Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head.
Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in place, Belinda burns with more than mortal ire,
But differing far in figure and in face,
And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire.
Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient maid,
Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd ;
With store of prayers, for mornings, nights, and
Her hand is fill'd; her bosom with lampoons.
There Affectation, with a sickly mien,
Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen,
Practis'd to lisp, and hang the head aside,
Faints into airs, and languishes with pride,
On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
Wrapt in a gown, for sickness, and for show.
The fair-ones feel such maladies as these,
When each new night-dress gives a new disease.
A constant vapor o'er the palace flies;
Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise;
Dreadful, as hermits' dreams in haunted shades,
Or bright, as visions of expiring maids.
Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires,
Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires :
Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes,
And crystal domes, and angels in machines.
Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen,
Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen.
Here living tea-pots stand, one arm held out,
One bent; the handle this, and that the spout:
A pipkin there, like Homer's tripod, walks;
Here sighs a jar, and there a goose-pie talks;
Men prove with child, as powerful fancy works,
And maids, turn'd bottles, call aloud for corks.
Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic band,
A branch of healing spleen-wort in his hand,
Then thus address'd the power.-"Hail, wayward
Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen:
Parent of vapors, and of female wit,
Who give th' hysteric, or poetic fit,
On various tempers act by various ways,
Make some take physic, others scribble plays;
Who cause the proud their visits to delay,
And send the godly in a pet to pray.
A nymph there is, that all thy power disdains,
And thousands more in equal mirth maintains.
But, oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a grace,
Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face,
Like citron-waters, matrons' cheeks inflame,
Or change complexions at a losing game;
If e'er with airy horns I planted heads,
Or rumpled petticoats, or tumbled beds,
Or caus'd suspicion where no soul was rude,
Or discompos'd the head-dress of a prude,
Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease,
Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease:
"O wretched maid!" she spread her hands, and cried,
(While Hampton's echoes, wretched maid! replied)
"Was it for this you took such constant care
The bodkin, comb, and essence, to prepare?
For this your locks in paper durance bound,
For this with torturing irons wreath'd around?
For this with fillets strain'd your tender head,
And bravely bore the double loads of lead?
Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair,
While the fops envy, and the ladies stare!
Honor 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 honor in a whisper lost!
How shall I, then, your helpless 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,
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!"
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,
He first the snuff-box open'd, then the case,
And thus broke out:-"My Lord, why, what the
Z-ds! damn the Lock! 'fore Gad, you must be civil!
Plague on't! 'tis past a jest--nay pr'ythee, pox!
Give her the hair"-he spoke, and rapp'd his box.
"It grieves me much (replied 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 honors 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 honors of her head.
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,
Which, with a sigh, she rais'd; and thus she said:
"For ever curs'd be this detested day,
Which snatch'd my best, my favorite curl away:
Happy! ah ten times happy had I been,
If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the first mistaken maid
By love of courts to numerous ills betray'd. Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd
In some lone isle, or distant northern land;
Where the gilt chariot never marks the way,
Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea!
There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye,
Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
What mov'd my mind with youthful lords to roam?
Oh had I stay'd, and said my prayers at home!
'Twas this, the morning omens seem'd to tell,
Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell;
The tottering 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,
In mystic visions, now believ'd too late!
See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs!
My hand shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares :
These in two sable ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck;
The Sister-lock now sits uncouth, alone,
And in its fellow's fate foresees its own;
Uncurl'd it hangs, the fatal shears 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 ensued, and thus the nymph began:
"Say, why are beauties prais'd and honor'd most, The wise man's passion, and the vain man's toast? Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford, Why angels call'd, and angel-like ador'd? [beaux? Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows? How vain are all these glories, all our pains, Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains: That men may say, when we the front-box grace, Behold the first in virtue as in face!
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul."
So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued:
Belinda frown'd, Thalestris call'd her prude.
"To arms, to arms!" the fierce virago cries,
And swift as lightning to the combat flies.
All side in parties, and begin th' attack;
Fans clap, silks rustle, and tough whalebones
Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus'dly rise,
And base and treble voices strike the skies.
No common weapons in their hands are found;
Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage,
And heavenly breasts with human passions rage;
'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona Hermes arms;
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms;
Jove's thunder roars, Heaven trembles all around,
Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound:
Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height
Clapp'd his glad wings, and sate to view the fight:
Propp'd on their bodkin spears, the Sprites survey
The growing combat, or assist the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies,
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
A beau and witling perish'd in the throng,
One died in metaphor, and one in song.
"O cruel nymph! a living death I bear,"
Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast,
"Those eyes are made so killing"-was his last.
Thus on Meander's flowery margin lies
Th' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down
Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown;
She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain,
But, at her smile, the beau reviv'd again.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair; The doubtful beam long nods from side to side; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See, fierce Belinda on the baron flies, With more than usual lightning in her eyes: Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die. But this bold lord, with manly strength endu'd, She with one finger and a thumb subdued: Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw; The Gnomes direct, to every atom just, The pungent grains of titillating dust. Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
Oh! if to dance all night and dress all day,
Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old-age away:
Who would not scorn what housewife's cares pro-
Or who would learn one earthly thing of use?
To patch, nay ogle, may become a saint;
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
But since, alas, frail beauty must decay;
Curl'd or uncurl'd, since locks will turn to grey;
Since painted, or not painted, all shall fade,
And she who scorns a man must die a maid;
What then remains, but well our power to use,
And keep good-humor still, whate'er we lose?
And trust me, dear, good-humor can prevail,
When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding
"Now meet thy fate," incens'd Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. (The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck, In three seal rings; which after, melted down, Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew, The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew; Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs, Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) Boast not my fall (he cried), insulting foe! Thou by some other shalt be laid as low. Nor think, to die dejects my lofty mind: All that I dread is leaving you behind!
Rather than so, ah! let me still survive,
And burn in Cupid's flames-but burn alive."
"Restore the Lock," she cries; and all around,
Restore the Lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound.
Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.
But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd,
And chiefs contend till all the prize is lost!
The Lock, obtain'd with guilt, and kept with pain,
In every place is sought, but sought in vain :
With such a prize no mortal must be blest,
So Heaven decrees! with Heaven who can contest?
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on Earth are treasur'd there.
There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases,
And beaux in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases :
There broken vows and death-bed alras are found,
And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound;
The courtier's promises, and sick man's prayers,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea,
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise,
Though mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes:
(So Rome's great founder to the Heavens withdrew,
To Proculus alone confess'd in view :)
A sudden star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The Heaven bespangling with dishevell'd light.
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And pleas'd pursue its progress through the skies.
This the beau-monde shall from the Mall survey,
And hail with music its propitious ray.
This the blest lover shall for Venus take,
And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake.
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through Galileo's eyes;
And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
Here tears shall flow from a more generous cause,
Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws:
He bids your breasts with ancient ardor rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes.
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was :
No common object to your sight displays,
But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys,
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state.
While Cato gives his little senate laws,
What bosom beats not in his country's cause?
Who sees him act, but envies every deed?
Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed?
Ev'n when proud Cæsar midst triumphal ars,
The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars,
Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state;
As her dead father's reverend image past,
The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast;
The triumph ceas'd, tears gush'd from ev'ry eye;
The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by;
Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd,
And honor'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!
Not all the tresses that fair head can boast,
Shall draw such envy as the Lock, you lost.
For, after all the murders of your eye,
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die;
When those fair suns shall set, as set they must,
And all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
This Lock the Muse shall consecrate to fame,
And midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name.
TO MR. ADDISON'S TRAGEDY OF CATO. To wake the soul by tender strokes of art, To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold: For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage, Commanding tears to stream through every age; Tyrants no more their savage nature kept, And foes to Virtue wonder'd how they wept. Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love; In pitying Love, we but our weakness show, And wild Ambition well deserves its woe.
Britons, attend: be worth like this approv'd, And show, you have the virtue to be mov'd. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she sub
Your scene precariously subsists too long
On French translation, and Italian song.
Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage,
Be justly warm'd with your own native rage;
Such plays alone should win a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
ELOISA TO ABELARD.
Abelard and Eloïsa flourished in the twelfth cen tury; they were two of the most distinguished persons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortu nate passion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this separation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands of Eloïsa. This awakening all her tenderness, occasioned those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which give so lively a picture of the struggles of grace and na ture, virtue and passion.
IN these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heavenly-pensive Contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing Melancholy reigns;
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins ?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love!-From Abelard it came,
And Eloïsa yet must kiss the name.
Dear, fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Nor pass these lips in holy silence seal'd:
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where, mix'd with God's, his lov'd idea lies:
O, write it not, my hand-the name appears
Already written-wash it out, my tears!
In vain lost Eloïsa weeps and prays,
Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains
Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains:
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thorn!
Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep;
And pitying saints, whose statues learn to weep!
Though cold like you, unmov'd and silent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
All is not Heaven's while Abelard has part,
Still rebel Nature holds out half my heart;
Nor prayers nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears, for ages taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Oh, name for ever sad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in sighs, still usher'd with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Some dire misfortune follows close behind.
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflow,
Led through a sad variety of woe :
Now warm in love, now withering in my bloom,
Lost in a convent's solitary gloom!
There stern Religion quench'd th' unwilling flame,
There died the best of passions, love and fame.
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join Griefs to thy griefs, and echo sighs to thine. Nor foes nor Fortune take this power away; And is my Abelard less kind than they? Tears still are mine, and those I need not spare, Love but demands what else were shed in prayer; No happier task these faded eyes pursue; To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief; Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief. Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid, Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid; [spires, They live, they speak, they breathe what love inWarm from the soul, and faithful to its fires, The virgin's wish without her fears impart, Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart, Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul, And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.
Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame, When Love approach'd me under Friendship's name; My fancy form'd thee of angelic kind, Some emanation of th' All-beauteous Mind. Those smiling eyes, attempering every ray, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day. Guiltless I gaz'd; Heaven listen'd while you sung; And truths divine came mended from that tongue. From lips like those what precept fail'd to move? Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to love: Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ran, Nor wish'd an angel whom I lov'd a man. Dim and remote the joys of saints I see, Nor envy them that Heaven I lose for thee.
How oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said, Curse on all laws but those which love has made! Love, free as air, at sight of human ties Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. Let wealth, let honor, wait the wedded dame, August her deed, and sacred be her fame; Before true passion all those views remove; Fame, wealth, and honor! what are you to love? The jealous god, when we profane his fires, Those restless passions in revenge inspires,
And bids them make mistaken mortals groan,
Who seek in love for aught but love alone.
Should at my feet the world's great master fall,
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all:
Not Cæsar's empress would I deign to prove;
No, make me mistress to the man I love.
If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than mistress, make me that to thee!
Oh, happy state! when souls each other draw,
When love is liberty, and Nature law:
All then is full, possessing and possess'd,
No craving void left aching in the breast:
Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part,
And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart.
This sure is bliss (if bliss on Earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me.
Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise! A naked lover bound and bleeding lies! Where, where was Eloïsa? her voice, her hand, Her poniard had oppos'd the dire command. Barbarian, stay! that bloody stroke restrain; The crime was common, common be the pain. I can no more; by shame, by rage suppress'd, Let tears and burning blushes speak the rest.
Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day,
When victims at yon altar's foot we lay?
Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell,
When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell?
As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil,
The shrines all trembled and the lamps grew pale:
Heaven scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'd,
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made.
Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,
Not on the cross my eyes were fix'd, but you:
Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call;
And if I lose thy love, I lose my all.
Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe;
Those still at least are left thee to bestow.
Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie,
Still drink delicious poison from thy eye,
Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press'd;
Give all thou canst-and let me dream the rest.
Ah, no! instruct me other joys to prize,
With other beauties charm my partial eyes,
Full in my view set all the bright abode,
And make my soul quit Abelard for God.
Ah! think at least thy flock deserves thy care,
Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer.
From the false world in early youth they fled,
By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led.
You rais'd these hallow'd walls; the desert smil'd,
And Paradise was open'd in the wild.
No weeping orphan saw his father's stores
Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors;
No silver saints, by dying misers given,
Here bribe the rage of ill-requited Heaven;
But such plain roofs as Piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praise,
In these lone walls, (their days eternal bound,)
These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crown'd,
Where awful arches make a noon-day night,
And the dim windows shed a solemn light;
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray,
And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day.
But now no face divine contentment wears,
'Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears.
See how the force of others' prayers I try,
(O pious fraud of amorous charity!)
But why should I on others' prayers depend?
Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend!