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Thofe facred Virgins whom the Bards revere,
Tun'd all her voice, and fhed a sweetness there,
To make her fenfe with double charms abound,
Or make her lively nonfenfe 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 ftores; the purpled Hours
Confin'd her treffes with a wreath of flowers;
Within the wreath arose a radiant crown;
A veil pellucid hung depending down;
Back roll'd her azure veil with ferpent fold,
The purfled border deck'd the floor with gold.
Her robe (which closely by the girdle brac'd
Reveal'd the beauties of a flender waist)
Flow'd to the feet, to copy Venus' air,
When Venus' ftatues have a robe to wear.
The new-fprung creature, finifh'd thus for harms, Adjusts her habit, practises her charms,
With blushes glows, or fhines with lively smiles,
Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles:
Then, confcious of her worth, with eafy pace
Glides by the glafs, and turning views her face.
A finer flax than what they wrought before,
Through time's deep cave, the Sifter Fates explore,
Then fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weave,
And thus their toil prophetic fongs 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, rifes now to reign.
New beauty blooms, a beauty form'd to fly;
New love begins, a love produc'd to die;
New parts diftrefs the troubled fcenes of life,
The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife.
Men born to labour, all with pains provide;
Women have time to facrifice to pride:
They want the care of man, their want they know,
And dress to please with heart-alluring fhow;
The fhow 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 bee 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 filk drefs, and murmuring eat the gain.
Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride,
Whofe temper betters by the father's fide;
Unlike the reft that double human care,
Fond to relieve, or refolute to fhare:
Happy the man whom thus his ftars advance!
The curfe is general, but the bleffing chance.
Thus fung the Sifters, while the Gods admire
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire;
The young Pandora she, 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 fhining vengeance fafe below.
A golden coffer in her hand fhe bore,
The prefent 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 ftar:
But fo furpriz'd, as none but he can tell,
Who lov'd fo quickly, and who lov'd fo well.
O'er all his veins the wandering paffion burns.
He calls her Nymph, and every Nymph by turns.
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers,
Or fwears that Venus' must be fuch as hers.
She, proud to rule, yet strangely fram'd to teaze,
Neglects his offers while her airs the plays,
Shoots fcornful glances from the bended frown,
In brifk diforder trips it up and down;
Then hums a careless tune to lay the form,
And fits, and blufhes, fimiles, and yields, in form.
"Now take what Jove defign'd, she softly cry'd,
"This box thy portion, and myself the bride."
Fir'd with the prospect of the double charms,
He fnatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms.
Unhappy man! to whom fo bright she shone,
The fatal gift, her tempting self, unknown!
The winds were filent, 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 ftable form,
What dreadful din around his ears fhall rife!
What frowns confuse his picture of the skies!
At first the creature man was fram'd alone,
Lord of himself, and all the world his own.
For him the Nymphs in green forfook the woods,
For him the Nymphs in blue forfook the floods;
In vain the Satyrs rage, the Tritons rave,
They bore him heroes in the fecret cave.
No care deftroy'd, no fick disorder prey'd,
No bending age his fprightly form decay'd,
No wars were known, no females heard to rage,
And, Poets tell us, 't was a golden age.
When woman came, thofe 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 progrefs grew:
The Nymphs regretting left the mortal race,
And altering nature wore a fickly face:
New terms of folly rofe, new ftates of care;
New plagues, to fuffer, and to please, the Fair!
The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
Commenc'd, or finish'd, with the breach of leagues;
The mean defigns of well-diffembled love;
The fordid matches never join'd above;
Abroad the labour, and at home the noise,
(Man's double fufferings for domestic joys)
The curfe of jealoufy; expence and strife;
Divorce, the public brand of shameful life;
The rival's fword; the qualm that takes the fair;
Difdain for paffion, paffion in defpair-
Thefe, and a thoufand yet unnam'd, we find;
Ah fear the thoufand yet unnai'd behind!
Thus on Parnaffus 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 Mufes 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 filent, with a twisted fhade
The neighouring woods a native arbour made,
There oft a tender pair, for amorous play
Retiring, toy'd the ravifh'd hours away;
A Locrian youth, the gentle Troilus he,
A fair Milefian, kind Evanthe fhe:
But fwelling nature in a fatal hour
́Betray'd the secrets of the conscious bower; The dire difgrace her brothers count their own, And track her steps, to make its author known.