Page images
PDF
EPUB

His hand a flaming taper bore,
That facred fymbol, fam'd of yore ::
Virtue, adorn'd with ev'ry charm,
Suftain'd the God's incumbent arm ::
Beauty improv'd the glowing scene
With all the roses of eighteen :

Youth led the gayly smiling fair,
His purple pinions wav'd in air:

Wealth, a clofe hunks, walk'd hobbling nigh,

With vulture-claw, and eagle-eye,

Who threescore years had feen, or more,

('Tis faid his coat had seen a score ;)

Proud was the wretch, tho' clad in rags,.
Prefuming much upon his bags.

A female next her arts display'd,

Poets alone can paint the maid :

Trust me, Hogarth, (tho' great thy fame).
"Twould pose thy skill to draw the same ;
And yet thy mimic pow'r is more
Than ever painter's was before:
Now she was fair as Cygnet's down,
Now as Mat Prior's Emma, brown;
And changing as the changing flow'r,
Her drefs fhe varied every hour:
"Twas Fancy, child !—You know the fair,

Who pins your gown, and fets your hair.

Lo! the God mounts his throne of ftate,. And fits the arbiter of fate :

His head with radiant glories dreft,
Gently reclin'd on Virtue's breast :
Love took his station on the right,
His quiver beam'd with golden light.
Beauty ufurp'd the second place,
Ambitious of diftinguish'd grace;

She claim'd this ceremonial joy,
Because related to the boy;

(Said it was her's to point his dart,
And speed its paffage to the heart)
While on the God's inferior hand
Fancy and Wealth obtain'd their stand,
And now the hallow'd rites proceed,
And now a thousand heart-ftrings bleed.
I faw a blooming trembling bride,
A toothlefs lover join'd her fide;
Averfe fhe turn'd her weeping face,
And fhudder'd at the cold embrace.
But various baits their force impart
Thus titles lie at Celia's heart:
A paffion much too foul to name,
Cofts fupercilious prudes their fame :
Prudes wed to publicans and finners,,
The hungry poet weds for dinners.

The God with frown indignant view'd
The rabble covetous or lewd;
By ev'ry vice his altars ftain'd,
By ev'ry fool his rites profan'd:

When

When Love complain'd of Wealth aloud,
Affirming Wealth debauch'd the crowd';
Drew up in form his heavy charge,
Defiring to be heard at large.

The God confents, the throng divide,
The young efpous'd the plaintiff's fide;
The old declar'd for the defendant,
For age is money's fworn attendant.

Love faid, that wedlock was defign'd' By gracious heav'n to match the mind; To pair the tender and the just,

And his the delegated truft:

That Wealth had play'd a knavish part,
And taught the tongue to wrong the heart;
But what avails the faithlefs voice?

The injur'd heart disdains the choice

Wealth ftrait reply'd, that Love was blind,

And talk'd at random of the mind;
That killing eyes, and bleeding hearts,
And all th' artillery of darts,

Were long ago exploded fancies,

And laugh'd at even in romances ;
Poets indeed ftile love a treat,

Perhaps for want of better meat:
And love might be delicious fare,
Cou'd we, like poets, live on air.
But grant that angels feaft on love,.
(Those purer effences above)

Yet

Yet Albion's fons, he understood,

Preferr'd a more substantial food.

Thus while with gibes he drefs'd his cause,
His grey admirers hemm'd applause.

With feeming conquest pert and proud,
Wealth fhook his fides and chuckled loud;
When Fortune, to reftrain his pride,
And fond to favour Love befide,
Op'ning the miser's tape-ty'd vest,
Disclos'd the cares which ftung his breast:
Wealth stood abash'd at his disgrace,
And a deep crimson flush'd his face.
Love fweetly fimper'd at the fight,
His gay adherents laugh'd outright.
The God, tho' grave his temper, fmil'd,
For Hymen dearly priz'd the child.
But he who triumphs o'er his brother,
In turn is laugh'd at by another.
Such cruel fcores we often find
Repaid the criminal in kind.
For Poverty, that famifh'd fiend!
Ambitious of a wealthy friend,
Advanc'd into the mifer's place,
And ftar'd the stripling in the face;
Whofe lips grew pale, and cold as clay;
I thought the chit would swoon away.

The God was ftudious to employ
His cares to aid the vanquish'd boy:

And

And therefore iffu'd his decree,

That the two parties ftrait agree.

When both obey'd the God's commands,
And Love and Riches join'd their hands.
What wond'rous change in each was wrought,
Believe me, fair, furpaffes thought.

If Love had many charms before,

He now had charms, ten thousand more.
If Wealth had ferpents in his breast,
They now were dead, or lull'd to reft.
Beauty, that vain affected thing,
Who join'd the Hymeneal ring,
Approach'd with round unthinking face,

And thus the trifler ftates her cafe.

She faid, that Love's complaints, 'twas known,

Exactly tally'd with her own;

That Wealth had learn'd the felon's arts,
And robb'd her of a thousand hearts ;
Defiring judgment against Wealth,
For falfehood, perjury, and stealth:
All which the cou'd on oath depofe,
And hop'd the court would flit his nose.
But Hymen, when he heard her name,
Call'd her an interloping dame;
Look'd thro' the crowd with angry state,
And blam'd the porter at the gate.
For giving entrance to the fair,
When he was no effential there.

To

« PreviousContinue »