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She, then, that 's haunted with an impious mind, The more she charms, the more she shocks man
But charms decline : the fair long vigils keep :
They sleep no more! Quadrille has murder'd sleep. *
“ Poor K-p!” cries Livia ; “ I have not been there
These two nights; the poor creature will despair.
I hate a crowd — but to do good, you know –
And people of condition should bestow.”
Convinc'd, o'ercome, to K-p's grave matrons run;
Now set a daughter, and now stake a son ;
Let health, fame, temper, beauty, fortune, fly;
And beggar half their race — through charity.
Immortal were we, or else mortal quite,
I less should blame this criminal delight:
But since the gay assembly's gayest room
Is but an upper story to some tomb,
Methinks, we need not our short being shun,
And, thought to fly, contend to be undone.
We need not buy our ruin with our crime,
And give eternity to murder time.
The love of gaming is the worst of ills;
With ceaseless storms the blacken'd soul it fills;
Inveighs at Heaven, neglects the ties of blood;
Destroys the power and will of doing good;
Kills health, pawns honour, plunges in disgrace,
And, what is still more dreadful - spoils your face.
See yonder set of thieves that live on spoil,
The scandal and the ruin of our isle!
And see (strange sight !) amid that ruffian band,
A form divine high wave her snowy hand;
That rattles loud a small enchanted box,
Which, loud as thunder, on the board she knocks.
And as fierce storms, which Earth's foundation
From Æolus's cave impetuous broke,
From this small cavern a mix'd tempest Aies,
Fear, rage, convulsion, tears, oaths, blasphemies !
For men, I mean — the fair discharges none;
She (guiltless creature !) swears to Heaven alone.
See her eyes start! cheeks glow! and muscles
Like the mad maid in the Cumean cell.
Thus that divine one her soft nights employs!
Thus tunes her soul to tender nuptial joys !
And when the cruel morning calls to bed,
And on her pillow lays her aching head,
With the dear images her dreams are crown d,
The die spins lovely, or the cards go round;
Imaginary ruin charms her still ;
Her happy lord is cuckold by spadille :
And if she 's brought to bed, 't is ten to one,
He marks the forehead of her darling son.
O scene of horrour, and of wild despair,
Why is the rich Atrides' splendid heir
Constrain'd to quit his ancient lordly seat,
And hide his glories in a mean retreat ?
[cry? Why that drawn sword ? and whence that dismal Why pale distraction through the family? See my lord threaten, and my lady weep, And trembling servants from the tempest creep. Why that gay son to distant regions sent? What fiends that daughter's destin'd match prevent ?
Why the whole house in sudden ruin laid,
O nothing, but last night — my lady play'd.
But wanders not my Satire from her theme?
Is this too owing to the love of fame?
Though now your hearts on lucre are bestow'd,
'T was first a vain-devotion to the mode;
Nor cease we here, since 't is a vice so strong;
The torrent sweeps all woman-kind along.
This may be said, in honour of our times,
That none now stand distinguish'd by their crimes.
If sin you must, take Nature for your guide : Love has some soft excuse to soothe your pride : Ye fair apostates from love's ancient power ! Can nothing ravish, but a golden shower ? Can cards alone your glowing fancy seize; Must Cupid learn to punt, e'er he can please ? When you ’re enamour'd of a lift or cast, What can the preacher more, to make us chaste ? Why must strong youths unmarried pine away? They find no woman disengag'd from play. Why pine the married? - O severer fate ! They find from play no disengag'd — estate. Flavia, at lovers false, untouch'd, and hard, Turns pale, and trembles at a cruel card. Nor Arria's Bible can secure her age; Her threescore years are shuffling with her page. While Death stands by, but till the game is done, To
sweep that stake, in justice, long his own ; Like old cards ting'd with sulphur, she takes fire ; Or, like snuffs sunk in sockets, blazes higher. Ye gods! with new delights inspire the fair ; Or give us sons, and save us from despair.
Sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, tradesmen,
close In my complaint, and brand your sins in prose : Yet I believe, as firmly as my Creed, In spite of all our wisdom, you 'll proceed : Our pride so great, our passion is so strong, Advice to right confirms us in the wrong. I hear you cry, “ This fellow 's very odd.” When you chastise, who would not kiss the rod ? But I 've a charm your anger shall control, And turn your eyes with coldness on the vole.
The charm begins! To yonder flood of light, That bursts o'er gloomy Britain, turn your sight. What guardian power o'erwhelms your souls with
awe? Her deeds are precepts, her example law; 'Midst empire's charms, how Carolina's heart Glows with the love of virtue, and of art! Her favour is diffus’d to that degree, Excess of goodness! it has dawn’d on me: When in my page, to balance numerous faults, Or godlike deeds were shown, or generous thoughts, She smil'd, industrious to be pleas’d, nor knew From whom my pen the borrow'd lustre drew.
Thus the majestic mother of mankind *, To her own charms most amiably blind, On the green margin innocently stood, And gaz’d indulgent on the crystal flood; Survey'd the stranger in the painted wave, And, smiling, prais'd the beauties which she gave.
TO THE RIGHT HON. SIR ROBERT WALPOLE.
Carmina tum melius, cum venerit Ipse, canemus.
On this last labour, this my closing strain,
Smile, Walpole, or the Nine inspire in vain :
To thee, 't is due; that verse how justly thine,
Where Brunswick's glory crowns the whole design!
That glory, which thy counsels make so bright;
That glory, which on thee reflects a light.
Illustrious commerce, and but rarely known,
To give, and take, a lustre from the throne.
Nor think that thou art foreign to my theme;
The fountain is not foreign to the stream.
How all mankind will be surpris’d to see
This flood of British folly charg'd on thee!
Say, Britain ! whence this caprice of thy sons,
Which through their various ranks with fury runs ?
The cause is plain, a cause which we must bless;
For caprice is the daughter of success.
(A bad effect, but from a pleasing cause !)
And gives our rulers undesign'd applause ;
Tells how their conduct bids our wealth increase,
And lulls us in the downy lap of peace.
While I survey the blessings of our isle,
Her arts triumphant in the royal smile,
Her public wounds bound up, her credit high,
Her commerce spreading sails in every sky,