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No common weapons in their hands are found, Like gods they fight, nor dread a mortal wound.
So when bold Homer makes the gods engage, And heavenly breasts with human passions rage; 'Gainst Pallas Mars; Latona Hermes arms; And all Olympus rings with loud alarms; Jove's thunder roars, heaven trembles all around, Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound: Earth shakes her nodding towers, the ground gives way,
And the pale ghosts start at the flash of day!
Triumphant Umbriel, on a sconce's height, Clapp'd his glad wings, and sat to view the fight: Propp'd on their bodkin-spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, or assist the fray.
While through the press enrag'd Thalestris flies, And scatters death around from both her eyes, A beau and witling perish'd in the throng, One died in metaphor, and one in song: "O cruel nymph! a living death I bear," Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair. A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast, "Those eyes are made so killing" —was his last. Thus on Mæander's flowery margin lies Th' expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.
When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down, Chloe stepp'd in, and kill'd him with a frown; She smil❜d to see the doughty hero slain, But at her smile the beau reviv'd again.
1 The words of a song in the Opera of Camilla.
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air, Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair; The doubtful beam long nods from side to side; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside.
See fierce Belinda on the baron flies, With more than usual lightning in her eyes: Nor fear'd the chief th' unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die. But this bold lord, with manly strength endued, She with one finger and a thumb subdued: Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw; The gnomes direct, to every atom just, The pungent grains of titillating dust. Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows, And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
"Now meet thy fate," incens'd Belinda cried, And drew a deadly bodkin from her side. (The same, his ancient personage to deck, Her great great grandsire wore about his neck, In three seal-rings; which after, melted down, Form'd a vast buckle for his widow's gown: Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew, The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew; Then in a bodkin grac'd her mother's hairs, Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.)
"Boast not my fall (he cried), insulting foe! Thou by some other shalt be laid as low; Nor think to die dejects my lofty mind; All that I dread is leaving you behind!
Rather than so, ah let me still survive,
"Restore the lock!" she cries; and all around "Restore the lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound. Not fierce Othello in so loud a strain
Roar'd for the handkerchief that caus'd his pain.
Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere, Since all things lost on earth are treasur'd there. There heroes' wits are kept in ponderous vases, And beaux' in snuffboxes and tweezer-cases. There broken vows, and deathbed alms are found, And lovers' hearts with ends of ribbon bound, The courtier's promises, and sick men's prayers, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.
But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise, Though mark'd by none but quick poetic eyes: (So Rome's great founder to the heavens withdrew, To Proculus alone confess'd in view) A sudden star, it shot through liquid air, And drew behind a radiant trail of hair. Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright, The heavens bespangling with dishevell❜d light.
The sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravish'd hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die;
1 A ridiculous star-gazer, and maker of almanacks.