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With like confusion dif'rent nations ily,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions disunited fall,
85 In heaps on heaps ; one fate o’erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, Andwins (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, Juft in the jaws of ruin, and Codille. And now, (as oft in some distemper'd state) On one nice trick depends the gen’ral fate, An Ace of Hearts steps forth : the King unseen 95 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 proftrate Ace. The Nymph exulting fills with thoats the sky; The walls, the woods, and long canals reply. ICO
O thoughtless mortals ! ever blind to fate, Too soon dejecied, and too soon elate. Sudden, these honours 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: 106 On shining Altars of Japan they raise The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze :
VARIATIONS. VIR, 105. Sudden the board, etc.] From hence the first edition continues to ver. 134.
Nescia mens hominum fati fortisque futuræ,
Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis !
Turno tempus erit, magno cum optaverit emptum
Intactum Pallanta ; et cum spolia ifta diemque
From filver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoaking tide: 110
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repaft.
Strait hover round the Fair her airy band;
Some, as the fipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plures display'd, u5
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee (which makes the politician wife,
And see thro' all things with his half-fhut eyes)
in vapours to the Baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant Lock to gain,
Ah cease, rath youth! defilt ere 'tis too late,
Fear the juft Gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to fit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will, 125
How soon they find fit inftruments of ill?
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case:
So ladies, in Romance, aflift their knight,
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight. 130
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant fteams she bends her head.
VER. 122, and think of Scylla's fate !] Vide Ovid. Metam, viii.
VER. 134. In the first edition it was thus :
As o'er the fragrant stream she bends her head,
First he expands the glitt'ring forfex wide
T'inclose the Lock; then joins it to divide :
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever,
From the fair head, for ever and for ever,
All that is between was added afterwards,
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair,
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 near.
Juft in that inftant, anxious Ariel fought
The close recesses of the Virgin's thought;. 1.40
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,
2 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 pow'r expir'd, 145
Refign'd to fate, and with a figh retir'd.
The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring 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; igo
Fate urg'd the sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But airy substance foon unites again)
The meeting points the sacred hair diflever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes, 155
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heav'n are caft,
When husbands, or when lap.dogs breathe their last s
Or when rich China vessels fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring duft, and painted fragments lie ! 160
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine, (The Victor cry'd) the glorious Prize is mine!
VER. 152. But airy substance} See Milton, lib. iv. of Satan cu asunder by the angel Michael.
VER. 163. 170.
Dum juga montis aper, Auvios dum pifcis amabit,
Semper bonos, nomenque tuum, laudesque manebunt.
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and fix 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 num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or aflignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live! 170
What Time would spare, from Steel receives its dates
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the Gods destroy,
And ftrike to duft th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound, 175
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair Nymph! thy hairs should feel
The conqu’ring force of unrefifted steel?
VER. 165. Atalantis] A famous book written about that time by a woman : full of Court and Party-scandal; and in a Icofe efo féminacy of style and sentiment, which well suited the debauched waste of the better Vulgas.
Ille quoque eversus mons eft, etc.
Quid faciant crines, cum ferro talia cedant ?
Catull, de com, Berenices,
UT anxious cares the pensive Nymph oppress'd,
Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive,
Not scornful virgins who their charms survive,
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss,
Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss,
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die,
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair,
As thou, fad Virgin! for thy ravith'd Hair.
For, that fad moment, when the Sylphs withdrew,
And Ariel weeping from Belinda few,
Umbriel, a dasky, melancholy sprite,
As ever fully'd the fair face of light,
Down to the central earth, his proper scene, 15
Repaird to search the gloomy Cave of Spleen.
Swift on his footy pinions flits the Gnome,
And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome.
VIR. 1. At regina gravi, etc,
VER. 11. For, that sad moment, etc.] All the lines from hence to the 94th verse, that describe the house of Spleen, are not in the first edition; instead of them followed only these :
While her rack'd Soul repose and peace requires,
The fierce Thaleftris fans the rising fires, and continued at the 94th verfe of this Canto,