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A heav'nly image in the glafs appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes fhe rears;
Th' inferior Priestess, at her altar's fide,
Trembling, begins the facred rites of Pride.
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
The various off'rings of the world appear;
From each fhe nicely culls, with curious toil,
And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring spoil.
This casket, India's glowing gems unlocks,
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
The Tortoife here and Elephant unite,
Transform'd to combs, the fpeckled and the white.
Here files of pins extend their shining rows,
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Ribles, Billet-doux.
Now awful beauty puts on all its arms;
The fair each moment rifes in her charms,
Repairs her fmiles, awakens every grace,
And calls forth all the wonders of her face:
Sees by degrees a purer blufh arife,
And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes.
The bufy Sylphs furround their darling care,
Thefe fet the head, and thofe divide the hair;
Some fold the fleeve, whilft others plait the gown;
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
Not with more glories, in th' etherial plain,
The fun firft rifes o'er the purpled main,
Than, iffuing forth, the rival of his beams
Launch'd on the bofom of the filver'd Thames.
Fair Nymphs, and well-drefs'd Youths, around her
But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone.
On her white breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
Which Jews might kifs, and Infidels adore.
Her lively looks a fprightly mind difclofe,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those;
Favours to none, to all she smiles extends ;
Oft the rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the fun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the fun, they fhine on all alike.
Yet graceful eafe, and fweetnefs void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide :
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face and you'll forget 'em all.
This nymph, to the deftruction of mankind, Nourish'd two Locks which graceful hung behind In equal curls, and well confpir'd to deck, With fhining ringlets, the fmooth iv'ry neck. Love in these labyrinths his flaves detains,' And mighty hearts are held in flender chains. With hairy fpringes we the birds betray, Slight lines of hair furprize the fiony prey, Fair treffes men's imperial race infnare, And beauty draws us with a fingle hair.
Th' advent'rous Baron the bright locks admir'd; He faw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspir'd.] Refolv'd to win, he meditates the way, By force to ravifh, or by fraud betray; For when fuccefs a lover's toil attends, Few afk, if fraud or force attain'd his ends. For this, 'ere Phoebus rofe, he had implor'd Propitious heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd;
But chiefly Love-to Love an Altar built,
Of twelve vaft French Romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves,
And all the trophies of his former loves.
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three am'rous fighs to raise the fire.
Then proftrate falls, and begs, with ardent eyes,
Soon to obtain, and long poffefs the prize:
The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray'r,
The reft, the winds difpers'd in empty air.
But now fecure the painted veffel glides,
The fun-beams trembling on the floating tides:
While melting mufic fteals upon the sky,
And foften'd founds along the waters die ;
Smooth flow the waves, the Zephyrs gently play,
Belinda fmil'd, and all the world was gay.
All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts oppreft,
Th' impending woe fat heavy on his breast.
He fummons ftrait his Denizens of air;
The lucid fquadrons round the fails repair :
Soft o'er the fhrouds aërial whispers breathe,
That feem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath.
Some to the fun their infect-wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or fink in clouds of gold;
Tranfparent forms, too fine for mortal fight,
Their fluid bodies half dissolv'd in light.
Loofe to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glitt'ring textures of the filmy dew,
Dip'd in the richelt tincture of the skies,
Where light difports in ever-mingling dyes,
While ev'ry beam new tranfient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings.
Amid the circle on the gilded maft,
Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd ;
His purple pinions op'ning to the fun,
He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun.
Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear,
Fay, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Dæmons hear!
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks affign'd
By laws eternal to the aërial kind.
Some in the fields of pureft æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day;
Some guide the course of wand'ring orbs on high,
Or roll the planets thro' the boundless sky.
Some, lefs refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light
Pursue the ftars that shoot athwart the night,
Or fuck the mists in groffer air below,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Or brew fierce tempefts on the wintry main,
Or o'er the glebe diftil the kindly rain.
Others on earth o'er human race prefide,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of Nations own,
And guard with arms divine the British throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a lefs pleafing, tho' lefs glorious care;
To fave the powder from too rude a gale,
Nor let th❜ imprison'd effences exhale;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flow'rs;
To fteal from rainbows ere they drop in fhow'rs,
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Affift their blushes, and infpire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.
This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care; Some dire difafter, or by force, or flight; But what, or where, the fates have wrap'd in night. Whether the nymph fhall break Diana's law, Or fome frail China-jar receive a flaw; Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade; Forget her pray'rs, or miss a masquerade; Or lofe her heart or necklace at a ball; Or whether heav'n has doom'd that Shock must fall. Haste then, ye spirits! to your charge repair: The flutt'ring fan be Zephyretta's care; The drops to thee, Brillante, we confign; And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine; Do thou, Crifpiffa, tend her fav'rite Lock; Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.
To fifty chofen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat:
Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail,
'Tho' ftiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of whale;
Form a strong line about the filver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.
Whatever fpirit, careless of his charge,
His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel sharp vengeance foon o'ertake his fins,
Be ftop'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;