AN HEROI-COMICAL POEM ALEXANDER POPE Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos; Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. Mart, [Epigr, XII. 84.] TO MRS. ARABELLA FERMOR MADAM, It will be in vain to deny that I have some regard for this piece, since I dedicate it to You. Yet you may bear me witness, it was intended only to divert a few young Ladies, who have good sense and good humour enough to laugh not only at their sex's little unguarded follies, but at their own. But as it was communicated with the air of a Secret, it soon found its way into the world. An imperfect copy having been offer'd to a Bookseller, you had the good-nature for my sake to consent to the publication of one more correct: This I was forc'd to, before I had executed half my design, for the Machinery was entirely wanting to compleat it. The Machinery, Madam, is a term invented by the Critics, to signify that part which the Deities, Angels, or Dæmons are made to act in a Poem: For the ancient Poets are in one respect like many modern Ladies: let an action be never so trivial in itself, they always make it appear of the utmost importance. These Machines I determined to raise on a very new and odd foundation, the Rosicrucian doctrine of Spirits. I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hard words before a Lady; but't is so much the concern of a Poet to have his works understood, and particularly by your Sex, that you must give me leave to explain two or three difficult terms. The Rosicrucians are a people I must bring you acquainted with. The best account I know of them is in a French book call'd 'Le Comte de Gabalis', which both in its title and size is so like a Novel, that many of the Fair Sex have read it for one by mistake. According to these Gentlemen, the four Elements are inhabited by Spirits, which they call Sylphs, Gnomes, Nymphs, and Salamanders. The Gnomes or Dæmons of Earth delight in mischief; but the Sylphs whose habitation is in the Air, are the best-condition'd creatures imaginable. For they say, any mortals may enjoy the most intimate familiarities with these gentle Spirits, upon a condition very easy to all true Adepts, an inviolate preservation of Chastity. As to the following Canto's, all the passages of them are as fabulous,

just at twelve. And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. and the character of Belinda. which I always mention with reverence). (That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow) Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay. yet unexplor'd. ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view: Slight is the subject. And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake. 25 And thus in whispers said. Muse! is due: This. Humble Servant. or seem'd to say. Goddess! could compel A well-bred Lord t' assault a gentle Belle? O say what stranger cause. to have given me this occasion of assuring you that I am. The Human persons are as fictitious as the airy ones. What mighty contests rise from trivial things. If She inspire. Belinda still her downy pillow prest. A. Your most obedient. mine is happy enough. Pope CANTO I What dire offence from am'rous causes springs. thou distinguish'd care Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air! If e'er one vision touch. or the Transformation at the end. as it is now manag'd. . can little men engage. Her guardian SYLPH prolong'd the balmy rest: 20 'Twas He had summon'd to her silent bed The morning-dream that hover'd o'er her head. awake: Thrice rung the bell. I sing--This verse to the Vision at the beginning. 15 And sleepless lovers. Say what strange motive. If this Poem had as many Graces as there are in your Person. Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord? In tasks so bold. (except the loss of your Hair. And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty Rage? 5 10 Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray.'d thy infant thought. Fairest of mortals. but not so the praise. A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beau. But let its fortune be what it will. with the truest esteem. resembles you in nothing but in Beauty. and He approve my lays. yet I could never hope it should pass thro' the world half so Uncensur'd as You have done. Madam. the slipper knock'd the ground. or in your Mind.

o'erlooks the cards. is by some Sylph embrac'd: For Spirits. Hear and believe! thy own importance know. the daring spark. 40 Know. 65 And sport and flutter in the fields of Air. Think what an equipage thou hast in Air. The graver Prude sinks downward to a Gnome. For when the Fair in all their pride expire. For life predestin'd to the Gnomes' embrace. unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly. from learned pride conceal'd. and love deny'd: 80 70 75 . freed from mortal laws. What guards the purity of melting Maids. by a soft transition. their elemental Tea. and the circled green. Thence. we repair From earthly Vehicles to these of air. To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd: What tho' no credit doubting Wits may give? The Fair and Innocent shall still believe. The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair. and hover round the Ring. Succeeding vanities she still regards. and midnight masquerades. after death survive. then. Tho' Honour is the word with Men below. whoever fair and chaste Rejects mankind. when alive. When offers are disdain'd. And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous mould. To their first Elements their Souls retire: The Sprites of fiery Termagants in Flame Mount up. 60 Soft yielding minds to Water glide away. In search of mischief still on Earth to roam. "Know further yet. and when dancing fires? 'Tis but their Sylph. The silver token. tho' unseen. When kind occasion prompts their warm desires. Some nymphs there are. Safe from the treach'rous friend. As now your own. And sip. Some secret truths. our beings were of old. And tho' she plays no more. Her joy in gilded Chariots. The glance by day. The light Militia of the lower sky: These. Hang o'er the Box. These swell their prospects and exalt their pride. 45 And view with scorn two Pages and a Chair. too conscious of their face. when Woman's transient breath is fled That all her vanities at once are dead. with Nymphs. the wise Celestials know. In courtly balls. 30 Of airy Elves by moonlight shadows seen. with ease Assume what sexes and what shapes they please. With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs. 55 And love of Ombre. the whisper in the dark. 35 Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. are ever on the wing. 50 Think not. When music softens.Of all the Nurse and all the Priest have taught. Or virgins visited by Angel-pow'rs. and take a Salamander's name.

'T is these that early taint the female soul. Instruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll. but most beware of Man!" 105 110 He said. and all their sweeping train. if report say true. Teach Infant-cheeks a bidden blush to know. Your Grace salutes their ear. rob'd in white. Ere to the main this morning sun descend. Late. This casket India's glowing gems unlocks. And old impertinence expel by new. or where: Warn'd by the Sylph. To that she bends. The Sylphs thro' mystic mazes guide their way. In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star I saw. alas! some dread event impend. from ev'ry part. Wounds. Leap'd up. But heav'n reveals not what. and Ardors were no sooner read. or how. And Garters. 115 125 130 . and Dukes. Trembling begins the sacred rites of Pride. And little hearts to flutter at a Beau. who thought she slept too long. when Shock. Thy eyes first open'd on a Billet-doux. as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air. but for another's ball? When Florio speaks what virgin could withstand. Beaux banish beaux. If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand? With varying vanities. A heav'nly image in the glass appears. Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.Then gay Ideas crowd the vacant brain. who thy protection claim. But all the Vision vanish'd from thy head. the Toilet stands display'd. 'T was then. and Ariel is my name. They shift the moving Toyshop of their heart. and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue. when the world imagine women stray. Unnumber'd treasures ope at once. This erring mortals Levity may call. What tender maid but must a victim fall 95 To one man's treat. with sword-knots sword-knots strive. and Coronets appear. 85 And in soft sounds. to that her eyes she rears. From each she nicely culls with curious toil. 120 And now. While Peers. and here The various off'rings of the world appear. Of these am I. With head uncover'd. unveil'd. A watchful sprite. 90 Oft. Charms. the Cosmetic pow'rs. and coaches coaches drive. Each silver Vase in mystic order laid. First. the Nymph intent adores. at her altar's side. Stars. Th' inferior Priestess. And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring spoil. Belinda. beware! This to disclose is all thy guardian can: Beware of all. 100 Where wigs with wigs. oh pious maid.

This Nymph. and those divide the hair. He saw. Look on her face. Fair Nymphs. 135 Transformed to combs. the rival of his beams Launch'd on the bosom of the silver Thames. Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms. Than. Billet-doux. And beauty draws us with a single hair. Nourish'd two Locks. Bright as the sun. Th' advent'rous Baron the bright locks admir'd. Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey. issuing forth. and the white. Oft she rejects. to the destruction of mankind. Here files of pins extend their shining rows. Some fold the sleeve. 145 These set the head. and Infidels adore. With hairy springes we the birds betray. On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore. The busy Sylphs surround their darling care. But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone. 15 Might hide her faults. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose. Patches. Puffs. 140 Repairs her smiles. and well conspir'd to deck With shining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck. and sweetness void of pride. and to the prize aspir'd. which graceful hung behind In equal curls. The Tortoise here and Elephant unite. And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes. awakens ev'ry grace. like the sun. Quick as her eyes. Yet graceful ease. The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main. The fair each moment rises in her charms. 20 5 25 30 . Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains. Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare. whilst others plait the gown: And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own. in th' etherial plain. but never once offends. Bibles. Powders. he wish'd.And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. And calls forth all the wonders of her face. and well-drest Youths around her shone. And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. Sees by degrees a purer blush arise. to all she smiles extends. And. and as unfix'd as those: 10 Favours to none. and you'll forget 'em all. if Belles had faults to hide: If to her share some female errors fall. CANTO II Not with more glories. Which Jews might kiss. her eyes the gazers strike. they shine on all alike. the speckled.

he had implor'd 35 Propitious heav'n. neatly gilt. ere Phoebus rose. 40 With tender Billet-doux he lights the pyre. But chiefly Love--to Love an Altar built. if fraud or force attain'd his ends. Belinda smil'd. He rais'd his azure wand. Then prostrate falls. and all the world was gay. to your chief give ear! Fays. And all the trophies of his former loves. or by fraud betray. beneath the moon's pale light Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night. 65 Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes. But now secure the painted vessel glides. Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings. and ev'ry pow'r ador'd. half a pair of gloves. Loose to the wind their airy garments flew. 50 Smooth flow the waves. For this. All but the Sylph--with careful thoughts opprest. on the gilded mast. Waft on the breeze.Resolv'd to win. That seem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath. 55 The lucid squadrons round the sails repair: Soft o'er the shrouds aërial whispers breathe. and begs with ardent eyes Soon to obtain. Elves. Some to the sun their insect-wings unfold. Superior by the head. By force to ravish. and long possess the prize: The pow'rs gave ear. the winds dispers'd in empty air. 45 The rest. For when success a Lover's toil attends. and Dæmons. And bask and whiten in the blaze of day. was Ariel plac'd. Or roll the planets thro' the boundless sky. Fairies. Th' impending woe sat heavy on his breast. Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies. Their fluid bodies half dissolv'd in light. Genii. Some less refin'd. and granted half his pray'r. Thin glitt'ring textures of the filmy dew. hear! Ye know the spheres and various tasks assign'd By laws eternal to th' aërial kind. too fine for mortal sight. Some in the fields of purest Æther play. Of twelve vast French Romances. the Zephyrs gently play. There lay three garters. and thus begun. The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides: While melting music steals upon the sky. He summons strait his Denizens of air. Few ask. Amid the circle. Some guide the course of wand'ring orbs on high. While ev'ry beam new transient colours flings. And breathes three am'rous sighs to raise the fire. 70 His purple pinions op'ning to the sun. or sink in clouds of gold. And soften'd sounds along the waters die. Ye Sylphs and Sylphids. 60 Transparent forms. he meditates the way. 75 80 .

Tho' stiff with hoops. Be stopp'd in vials. His post neglects. or transfix'd with pins. Watch all their ways. Crispissa. black Omens threat the brightest Fair. 85 90 95 100 This day. of special note. Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law. Or Alum styptics with contracting pow'r Shrink his thin essence like a rivel'd flow'r: Or. Do thou. at a ball. Whatever spirit. Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie.Or suck the mists in grosser air below. Or brew fierce tempests on the wintry main. the wretch shall feel 120 125 130 . Our humbler province is to tend the Fair. Assist their blushes. 110 Haste. Or whether Heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall. To fifty chosen Sylphs. let the watch be thine. as Ixion fix'd. in dreams. To steal from rainbows e'er they drop in show'rs A brighter wash. And guard the wide circumference around. Or lose her heart. Or stain her honour or her new brocade. Forget her pray'rs. or leaves the fair at large. Some dire disaster. And. careless of his charge. We trust th' important charge. Others on earth o'er human race preside. tho' less glorious care. and all their actions guide: Of these the chief the care of Nations own. Momentilla. Brillante. we consign. or add a Furbelow. to curl their waving hairs. or slight. invention we bestow. and arm'd with ribs of whale. While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain. To change a Flounce. Or dip their pinions in the painted bow. ye spirits! to your charge repair: The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care. Nor let th' imprison'd-essences exhale. Form a strong line about the silver bound. And guard with Arms divine the British Throne. the fates have wrapt in night. or where. or by force. To save the powder from too rude a gale. But what. Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins. the Petticoat: Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail. and inspire their airs. or necklace. Nay oft. Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye: Gums and Pomatums shall his flight restrain. The drops to thee. or miss a masquerade. Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain. Not a less pleasing. 105 Or some frail China jar receive a flaw. 115 Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock. To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs. tend her fav'rite Lock. then. That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care.

Some hang upon the pendants of her ear: With beating hearts the dire event they wait. Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair. The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray. Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join. Then each. the spirits from the sails descend. At Ombre singly to decide their doom. declining from the noon of day. And wretches hang that jury-men may dine. Each band the number of the sacred nine. The hungry Judges soon the sentence sign. looks. th' aërial guard Descend. Snuff. for ever crown'd with flow'rs. And the long labours of the Toilet cease. or the fan. At ev'ry word a reputation dies. and sit on each important card: First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore. and _all that_. To taste awhile the pleasures of a Court. Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort. Mean while. Who gave the ball. Anxious. There stands a structure of majestic frame. 135 140 CANTO III Close by those meads. One speaks the glory of the British Queen. Burns to encounter two advent'rous Knights. and eyes. The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace. Belinda now. Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom Of foreign Tyrants and of Nymphs at home. around the nymph extend. In fumes of burning Chocolate shall glow. And one describes a charming Indian screen.The giddy motion of the whirling Mill. Dost sometimes counsel take--and sometimes Tea. or paid the visit last. 10 5 15 20 25 30 . and trembling for the birth of Fate. In various talk th' instructive hours they past. great ANNA! whom three realms obey. according to the rank they bore. A third interprets motions. And tremble at the sea that froths below! He spoke. And swells her breast with conquests yet to come. laughing. Here thou. Some. orb in orb. Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name. whom thirst of fame invites. ogling. supply each pause of chat. With singing. Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs. Soon as she spreads her hand.

a chief in years. With his broad sabre next. The pierc'd battalions dis-united fall. 60 Ev'n mighty Pam. and halberts in their hand.For Sylphs. And his refulgent Queen. Falls undistinguish'd by the victor spade! Thus far both armies to Belinda yield. Are. Spadillio first. and swept the board. Him Basto follow'd. With throngs promiscuous strow the level green. His warlike Amazon her host invades. The rebel Knave. The Club's black Tyrant first her victim dy'd. of all monarchs. And four fair Queens whose hands sustain a flow'r. In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. to sight reveal'd. And march'd a victor from the verdant field. Th' expressive emblem of their softer pow'r. Caps on their heads. 50 As many more Manillio forc'd to yield. Clubs. Of Asia's troops. Now to the Baron fate inclines the field. as when women. And. The rest. Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs. but his fate more hard Gain'd but one trump and one Plebeian card. and of various dye. 55 The hoary Majesty of Spades appears. in wild disorder seen. four Kings in majesty rever'd. Spite of his haughty mien. and barb'rous pride: What boots the regal circle on his head. With hoary whiskers and a forky beard. a shining train. Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades. a trusty band. Four Knaves in garbs succinct. wondrous fond of place. And particolour'd troops. Behold. His giant limbs. his many-colour'd robe conceal'd. That long behind he trails his pompous robe. 85 75 80 . and Afric's sable sons. Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain. only grasps the globe? 65 70 The Baron now his Diamonds pours apace. Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his face. Hearts. Of various habit. who dares his prince engage. that Kings and Queens o'erthrew And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu. Now move to war her sable Matadores. Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid. With like confusion different nations fly. Puts forth one manly leg. in state unwieldy spread. 35 40 The skilful Nymph reviews her force with care: 45 Let Spades be trumps! she said. Proves the just victim of his royal rage. with pow'rs combin'd Of broken troops an easy conquest find. Diamonds. unconquerable Lord! Led off two captive trumps. yet mindful of their ancient race. and trumps they were.

Clarissa drew with tempting grace A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case: So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight. The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts. And wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. Fear the just Gods. and the mill turns round. the fuming liquor fann'd. by turns. A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look. And curs'd for ever this victorious day. Trembling. and Codille. and trembles at th' approaching ill. Too soon dejected. And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. While China's earth receives the smoking tide: At once they gratify their scent and taste. Some. He takes the gift with rev'rence. She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair! But when to mischief mortals bend their will. Straight hover round the Fair her airy band. And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. and extends The little engine on his fingers' ends. Present the spear. How soon they find fit instruments of ill! Just then. As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head. On shining Altars of Japan they raise The silver lamp. At this. Ah cease. rash youth! desist ere't is too late. Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd. the woods. Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair. For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd. and long canals reply. and sent to flit in air. the blood the virgin's cheek forsook. and conscious of the rich brocade. The berries crackle.In heaps on heaps. The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky. And see thro' all things with his half-shut eyes) Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain New Stratagems. Just in the jaws of ruin. 100 Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate. This just behind Belinda's neck he spread. and think of Scylla's Fate! Chang'd to a bird. these honours shall be snatch'd away. blow back the hair. and arm him for the fight. and mourn'd his captive Queen: He springs to Vengeance with an eager pace. the radiant Lock to gain. and too soon elate. 90 She sees. The walls. (which makes the politician wise. as she sipp'd. A thousand wings. An Ace of Hearts steps forth: The King unseen 95 Lurk'd in her hand. the fiery spirits blaze: From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide. Sudden. And now (as oft in some distemper'd State) On one nice Trick depends the gen'ral fate. 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 . Coffee. one fate o'erwhelms them all.

and praise shall live! What Time would spare. now joins it. While nymphs take treats. or assignations give. When husbands. When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze. from Steel receives its date. The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide. While visits shall be paid on solemn days. and with a sigh retir'd.And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear. In glitt'ring dust and painted fragments lie! 160 Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine (The victor cry'd) the glorious Prize is mine! While fish in streams. Fate urg'd the shears. 140 As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd. An earthly Lover lurking at her heart. like men. and cut the Sylph in twain. And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy. Or in a coach and six the British Fair. And hew triumphal arches to the ground. Or when rich China vessels fall'n from high. He watch'd th' Ideas rising in her mind. confus'd. And secret passions labour'd in her breast. and thrice the foe drew near. As long as Atalantis shall be read. Thrice she look'd back. to divide. (But airy substance soon unites again) The meeting points the sacred hair dissever From the fair head. in spite of all her art. name. And monuments. . Sudden he view'd. Ev'n then. Amaz'd. before the fatal engine clos'd. submit to fate! Steel could the labour of the Gods destroy. Not louder shrieks to pitying heav'n are cast. A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd. So long my honour. and for ever! 150 Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes. Just in that instant. What wonder then. he found his pow'r expir'd. The conqu'ring force of unresisted steel? 170 175 CANTO IV But anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress'd. or birds delight in air. fair nymph! thy hairs should feel. anxious Ariel sought The close recesses of the Virgin's thought. T' inclose the Lock. 145 Resign'd to fate. 165 Or the small pillow grace a Lady's bed. for ever. or when lapdogs breathe their last. Steel could the works of mortal pride confound. 155 And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.

25 But diff'ring far in figure and in face. Down to the central earth. Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd. 30 There Affectation. Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die. Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise. and Megrim at her head. with a sickly mien. as hermit's dreams in haunted shades. when the Sylphs withdrew And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew. that sad moment. and for show. and noons. Dreadful. Elysian scenes. Umbriel. Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome. 5 10 15 20 Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in place. gaping tombs. and despair. A constant Vapour o'er the palace flies. Unnumber'd throngs on every side are seen. Now glaring fiends. Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss. Faints into airs. On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe. Here living Tea-pots stand. for mornings. And crystal domes. nights. And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome. and languishes with pride. Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen.Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive. and snakes on rolling spires. for sickness. Here stood Ill-nature like an ancient maid. She sighs for ever on her pensive bed. The fair ones feel such maladies as these. his proper scene. One bent. No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows. shelter'd close from air. Not scornful virgins who their charms survive. For. Wrapt in a gown. Or bright. When each new night-dress gives a new disease. The dreaded East is all the wind that blows. as visions of expiring maids. Her hand is fill'd. melancholy sprite. and purple fires: Now lakes of liquid gold. Practis'd to lisp. Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss. Pale spectres. like Homer's Tripod walks. Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry. resentment. her bosom with lampoons. E'er felt such rage. and that the spout: A Pipkin there. With store of pray'rs. 35 40 45 50 . As thou. a dusky. And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare. Repair'd to search the gloomy Cave of Spleen. one arm held out. Of bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen. Pain at her side. and angels in machines. Here in a grotto. As ever sully'd the fair face of light. sad Virgin! for thy ravish'd Hair. the handle this. and hang the head aside.

as pow'rful fancy works. Men prove with child. and essence to prepare? For this your locks in paper durance bound. Or discompos'd the head-dress of a Prude. or poetic fit." The Goddess with a discontented air Seems to reject him. Sighs. 90 Full o'er their heads the swelling bag he rent. and the war of tongues. 60 On various tempers act by various ways. and there a Goose-pie talks. For this with tort'ring irons wreath'd around? 100 For this with fillets strain'd your tender head. and slowly mounts to day. Her eyes dejected and her hair unbound. There she collects the force of female lungs. 65 And thousands more in equal mirth maintains. That single act gives half the world the spleen. melting griefs. 80 A wond'rous Bag with both her hands she binds. comb. and cry'd. The Gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away. Belinda burns with more than mortal ire. call aloud for corks. Who cause the proud their visits to delay. But oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a grace. Or change complexions at a losing game. A Vial next she fills with fainting fears. And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. And bravely bore the double loads of lead? Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair. or tumbled beds. others scribble plays. And maids turn'd bottles. Or e'er to costive lap-dog gave disease. 55 A branch of healing Spleenwort in his hand. Or caus'd suspicion when no soul was rude. Then thus address'd the pow'r: "Hail. Safe past the Gnome thro' this fantastic band. And send the godly in a pet to pray.Here sighs a Jar. Spreads his black wings. that all thy pow'r disdains. 85 Soft sorrows. Sunk in Thalestris' arms the nymph he found. and passions. and touch Belinda with chagrin. wayward Queen! Who rule the sex to fifty from fifteen: Parent of vapours and of female wit. Like Citron-waters matrons cheeks inflame. Like that where once Ulysses held the winds. 95 (While Hampton's echoes. A nymph there is. "Wretched maid!" reply'd) "Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin. and flowing tears. 75 Which not the tears of brightest eyes could ease: Hear me. sobs. Or raise a pimple on a beauteous face. Who give th' hysteric. Make some take physic. And all the Furies issu'd at the vent. tho' she grants his pray'r. 70 If e'er with airy horns I planted heads. Or rumpled petticoats. . "O wretched maid!" she spread her hands.

this sacred Lock I swear. perish all!" 105 110 115 120 She said. (Which never more shall join its parted hair. And the nice conduct of a clouded cane) With earnest eyes. Expos'd thro' crystal to the gazing eyes." He spoke. air. then raging to Sir Plume repairs. your helpless fame defend? 'T will then be infamy to seem your friend! And shall this prize. If Hampton-Court these eyes had never seen! Yet am not I the first mistaken maid. pox! Give her the hair"--he spoke. or distant Northern land. Clipp'd from the lovely head where late it grew) That while my nostrils draw the vital air. then the case. On her heav'd bosom hung her drooping head. On that rapacious hand for ever blaze? Sooner shall grass in Hyde-park Circus grow. you must be civil! Plague on't!'t is past a jest--nay prithee. and thus she said. parrots. He breaks the Vial whence the sorrows flow. "It grieves me much" (reply'd the Peer again) "Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain. Already see you a degraded toast. This hand. But by this Lock. half-drown'd in tears. in proud triumph spread The long-contended honours of her head. "For ever curs'd be this detested day. And heighten'd by the diamond's circling rays. 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 . monkeys. why. Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way. And all your honour in a whisper lost! How shall I. Which. But Umbriel. Her eyes half-languishing. Oh had I rather un-admir'd remain'd In some lone isle. sea. and round unthinking face. to Chaos fall. By love of Courts to num'rous ills betray'd. shall for ever wear. Then see! the nymph in beauteous grief appears. Men. Which never more its honours shall renew. and rapp'd his box. she rais'd. Sooner let earth. lap-dogs.While the Fops envy. virtue. th' inestimable prize. with a sigh. my fav'rite curl away! Happy! ah ten times happy had I been. hateful Gnome! forbears not so. all our sex resign. And thus broke out--"My Lord. And bids her Beau demand the precious hairs. And wits take lodgings in the sound of Bow. He first the snuff-box open'd. Methinks already I your tears survey. then. pleasure. what the devil? "Z--ds! damn the lock! 'fore Gad. which won it. and the Ladies stare! Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine Ease. Which snatch'd my best. (Sir Plume of amber snuff-box justly vain. and speaking. Already hear the horrid things they say.

While Anna begg'd and Dido rag'd in vain. when we the front-box grace: 'Behold the first in virtue as in face!' Oh! if to dance all night. Or who would learn one earthly thing of use? To patch. alone. What mov'd my mind with youthful Lords to roam? Oh had I stay'd. and Angel-like ador'd? Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd Beaux. Poll sat mute. Uncurl'd it hangs. alas! frail beauty must decay. But Fate and Jove had stopp'd the Baron's ears. might become a Saint. and dress all day. Silence ensu'd. For who can move when fair Belinda fails? Not half so fix'd the Trojan could remain. The wise man's passion. or any hairs but these!" CANTO V She said: the pitying audience melt in tears. and Shock was most unkind! A Sylph too warn'd me of the threats of fate. the fatal shears demands. 5 "Say why are Beauties prais'd and honour'd most. that in deserts bloom and die. and thus the nymph began. The tott'ring China shook without a wind. And in its fellow's fate foresees its own. Charm'd the small-pox. 170 The sister-lock now sits uncouth. 20 Who would not scorn what housewife's cares produce.Where none learn Ombre. In vain Thalestris with reproach assails. Then grave Clarissa graceful wav'd her fan. now believ'd too late! See the poor remnants of these slighted hairs! My hands shall rend what ev'n thy rapine spares: These in two sable ringlets taught to break. none e'er taste Bohea! There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye. Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck. 25 . Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint. or chas'd old-age away. But since. Like roses. Nay. 165 In mystic visions. And tempts once more thy sacrilegious hands. and the vain man's toast? 10 Why deck'd with all that land and sea afford. all our pains. Why bows the side-box from its inmost rows. Oh hadst thou. nay ogle. 15 Unless good sense preserve what beauty gains: That men may say. How vain are all these glories. the morning omens seem'd to tell. cruel! been content to seize 175 Hairs less in sight. and said my pray'rs at home! 160 'T was this. Thrice from my trembling hand the patch-box fell. Why Angels call'd.

and begin th' attack. must die a maid. And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day! Triumphant Umbriel on a sconce's height Clapp'd his glad wings. "Those eyes are made so killing"--was his last. and kill'd him with a frown. silks rustle. and tough whalebones crack. and flights. Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air. and one in song. "O cruel nymph! a living death I bear. the Beau reviv'd again. When airs. One died in metaphor. and screams. and scolding fail. No common weapons in their hands are found." So spoke the Dame. Hermes arms. the hairs subside. "To arms. the ground gives way. since Locks will turn to grey. but no applause ensu'd. 'Gainst Pallas. or not painted." Cry'd Dapperwit. And swift as lightning to the combat flies. And scatters death around from both her eyes. But. and as he sings he dies. And all Olympus rings with loud alarms: Jove's thunder roars. The doubtful beam long nods from side to side. Thalestris call'd her Prude. What then remains but well our pow'r to use. Charms strike the sight. at her smile. Heroes' and Heroines' shouts confus'dly rise. Chloe stepp'd in. A Beau and Witling perish'd in the throng. Thus on Mæander's flow'ry margin lies Th' expiring Swan. Mars. and sate to view the fight: Propp'd on the bodkin spears. 30 35 40 So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage. the bellowing deeps resound: 50 Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs. Weighs the Men's wits against the Lady's hair. 55 60 65 70 . and treble voices strike the skies. Since painted. All side in parties. At length the wits mount up. all shall fade. Blue Neptune storms. the Sprites survey The growing combat. Belinda frown'd. When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast. And keep good-humour still whate'er we lose? And trust me. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll. or assist the fray. She smil'd to see the doughty hero slain. Fans clap. And she who scorns a man. Latona. 45 And heav'nly breasts with human passions rage. nor dread a mortal wound. and sunk beside his chair. but merit wins the soul. And bass. Like Gods they fight. dear! good-humour can prevail. heav'n trembles all around. to arms!" the fierce Virago cries. While thro' the press enrag'd Thalestris flies.Curl'd or uncurl'd.

" 75 80 85 90 95 100 "Restore the Lock!" she cries. but sought in vain: 110 With such a prize no mortal must be blest. There broken vows and death-bed alms are found. In three seal-rings. Now meet thy fate. and the whistle blew. The courtier's promises. A charge of Snuff the wily virgin threw. and tomes of casuistry. incens'd Belinda cry'd. And burn in Cupid's flames--but burn alive. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain 105 Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.) "Boast not my fall" (he cry'd) "insulting foe! Thou by some other shalt be laid as low. and the tears of heirs. to ev'ry atom just. (The same. with starting tears each eye o'erflows.See. ah let me still survive. And chiefs contend 'till all the prize is lost! The Lock. 115 And beau's in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases. But this bold Lord with manly strength endu'd. The smiles of harlots. She with one finger and a thumb subdu'd: Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew. to die dejects my lofty mind: All that I dread is leaving you behind! Rather than so. melted down. But trust the Muse--she saw it upward rise. The Gnomes direct. And the high dome re-echoes to his nose. . obtain'd with guilt. Nor think. Dry'd butterflies. and all around "Restore the Lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound. and chains to yoke a flea. There Hero's wits are kept in pond'rous vases. So heav'n decrees! with heav'n who can contest? Some thought it mounted to the Lunar sphere. which after. Sudden. Which long she wore. Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew. Her great great grandsire wore about his neck. With more than usual lightning in her eyes: Nor fear'd the Chief th' unequal fight to try. But see how oft ambitious aims are cross'd. The pungent grains of titillating dust. In ev'ry place is sought. The bells she jingled. 120 Cages for gnats. his ancient personage to deck. fierce Belinda on the Baron flies. and kept with pain. And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound. Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs. And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. Who sought no more than on his foe to die. and sick man's pray'rs. Since all things lost on earth are treasur'd there. and now Belinda wears.

bright Nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair. and the fall of Rome. This Lock. 145 When. The heav'ns bespangling with dishevell'd light. To Proculus alone confess'd in view) A sudden Star. And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Not Berenice's Locks first rose so bright. 140 Then cease. after millions slain. This the blest Lover shall for Venus take. after all the murders of your eye. This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies. the Muse shall consecrate to fame.Tho' mark'd by none but quick. Shall draw such envy as the Lock you lost. And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom The fate of Louis. yourself shall die: When those fair suns shall set. And all those tresses shall be laid in dust. 150 . Which adds new glory to the shining sphere! Not all the tresses that fair head can boast. poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew. For. as set they must. 135 And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake. 125 130 This the Beau monde shall from the Mall survey. The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies. And pleas'd pursue its progress thro' the skies. it shot thro' liquid air. And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name. And hail with music its propitious ray. When next he looks thro' Galileo's eyes.

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