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Those sacred Virgins whom the Bards revere,
Tun'd all her voice, and shed a sweetness there,
To make her fense with double charms abound,
Or make her lively nonsense please by found.
To dress the maid, the decent Graces brought
A robe in all the dies of beauty wrought,
And plac'd their boxes o'er a rich brocade,
Where pictur'd Loves on every cover play'd ;
Then spread those implements that Vulcan's art
Had fram’d to merit Cytherea's heart;
The wire to curl, the close indented comb
To call the locks, that lightly wander, home;
And chief, the mirrour, where the ravish'd maid
Beholds and loves her own reflected shade,
Fair Flora lent her stores ; the purpled Hours
Confin'd her treffes with a wreath of Aowers ;
Within the wreath arose a radiant crown;
A veil pellucid hung depending down ;
Back rollid her azure veil with serpent fold,
The purfied border deck'd the floor with gold,
Her robe (which closely by the girdle brac'd
Reveal’d the beauties of a slender waist)
Flowd to the feet, to copy Venus' air,
When Venus' statues have a robe to wear.
.The new-sprung creature, finih d thus for harms,
Adjusts her habit, practises her charms,
With blushes glows, or shines with lively smiles,
Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles':
Then, .conscious of her worth, with easy pace Glides by the glass, and turning views her face.
A finer flax than what they wrought before,
Through time's deep cave, the Sister Fates explore,
Then fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weave,
And thus their toil prophetic songs deceive.
Flow from the rock, my flax! and swiftly flow,
Pursue thy thread; the spindle runs below.
A creature fond and changing, fair and vain,
The creature woman, rises now to reign.
New beauty blooms, a beauty form’d to fly.;
New love begins, a love produc'd to die;
parts distress the troubled scenes of life, The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife.
Men born to labour, all with pains provide;
Women have time to sacrifice to pride :
They want the care of man, their want they know,
And dress to please with heart-alluring show;
The show prevailing, for the fway contend,
And make a fervant where they meet a friend.
Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts
A loitering race the painful bec fupports;
From fun to fun, from bank to bank he flies,
With honey loads his bag, with wax his thighs ;
Fly where he will, at home the race remain,
Prune the silk dress, and murmuring cat the gain.
Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride,
Whose temper betters by the father's side ;
Unlike the rest that double human care,
Fond to relieve, or resolute to Mare :
Happy the man whom thus his stars advance !
The curse is general, but the biefing chance.
Thus sung the Sisters, while the Gods admire
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire;
The young Pandora shc, whom all contend
To make too perfect not to gain her end:
Then bid the winds, that fly to breathe the spring,
Return to bear her on a gentle wing;
With wafting airs the winds obfequious blow,
And land the shining vengeance safe below.
A golden coffer in her hand te bore,
The present treacherous, but the bearer more;
'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain'd above,
That gold should aid, and pangs attend on love.
Her gay defcent the man perceiv'd afar,
Wondering he ran to catch the falling star :
But so surpriz’d, as none but he can tell,
Who lov'd fo quickly, and who lov'd so well.
O’er all his veins the wandering passion burns.
He calls her Nymph, and every Nymph by turns.
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers,
Or swears that Venus' must be such as hers.
She, proud to rule, yet strangely fram’d to teaze,
Neglects his offers while her airs the plays,
Shoots scornful glances from the bended frowi),
In brisk disorder trips it up and down;
Then hums' a careless tune to lay the storm,
And sits, and blushes, smiles, and yields, in form.
" Now take what Jove design'd, the softly cry'd,
“ This box thy portion, and myself the bride."
Fir'd with the prospect of the double charms,
He snatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms.
Unhappy man! to whoin so' bright she shone,
The fatal gift, her tempting felf, unknown!
The winds were silent, all the waves asleep,
And heaven was trac'd upon the flattering deep:
But, whilst he looks unmindful of a storm,
And thinks the water wears a stable form,
What dreadful din around his ears shall rise!
What frowns confuse his picture of the kies!
At first the creature man was fram'd alone,
Lord of himself, and all the world his own.
For him the Nymphs in green forsook the woods,
For himn the Nymphs in blue forsook the floods;
In vain the Satyrs rage, the Tritons rave,
They bore him heroes in the secret cave.
No care destroy'd, no ficķ disorder prey'd,
No bending age his sprightly form decay'd,
No wars were known, no females heard to rage,
And, Poets tell us, 't was a golden age.
When woman came, those ills the box confin'd
Burft furious out, and poison'd all the wind,
From point to point, from pole to pole they flew,
Spread as they went, and in the progress grew :
The Nymphs regretting left the mortal race,
And altering nature wore a sickly face :
New terms of folly rose, new states of care;
New plagues, to suffer, and to please, the Fair!
The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
Commenc'd, or finih'd, with the breach of leagues ;
The mean designs of well-dissembled love;
The sordid matches never join'd above;
Abroad the labour, and at home the noise,
(Man's double sufferings for domestic joys)
The curse of jealousy; expence and strife ;
Divorce, the public brand of Mameful life ;
The rival's sword; the qualm that takes the fair,
Disdain for pallion, passion in despair
There, and a thousand yet unnam’d, we find;
Ah fear the thousand yet unnam'd behind!
Thus on Parnallus tuneful heliod fung,
The mountain echoed, and the valley rung,
The facred groves a fix'd attention show,
The crystal Helicon forbore to flow,
The sky grew bright, and (if his verse be true)
The Muses came to give the laurel too.
But what avail'd the verdant prize of wit,
If Love swore vengeance for the tales he writ?
Ye Fair offended, hear your friend relate
What heavy judgment prov'd the writer's fate,
Though when it happen'd no relation clears,
Tis thought in five, or five and twenty years.
Where, dark and silent, with a twisted shade
The neighouring woods a native arbour made,
There oft a tender pair, for amorous play
Retiring, toyd the ravish'd hours away ;
A Locrian youth, the gentle Troilus hie,
A fair Milesian, kind Evanthe she :
But swelling nature in a fatal hour
* Betray'd the secrets of the conscious bower;
The dire disgrace her brothers count their own,
And track her steps, to make its author known.