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Swell'd with the wanton wind, they loosely flow,
And every step and graceful motion show.
Another, like an Umbrian's sturdy spouse,
Strides all the space her petticoat allows.
Between extremes, in this, a mean adjust;
Nor show too nice a gait, nor too robust.
If snowy white your neck, you still should wear
That, and the shoulder of the left arm, bare,
Such sights ne'er fail to fire my amorous heart,
And make me pant to kiss the naked part.
Syrens, though monsters of the stormy main,
Can ships, when under sail, with songs detain:
Scarce could Ulysses by his friends be bound,
When first he listen'd to the charming sound.
Singing insinuates: learn, all ye maids;
Oft, when a face forbids, a voice persuades,
Whether on theatres loud strains we hear,
Or in Ruelle some soft Egyptian air.
Well shall she sing, of whom I make my choice,
And with her lute accompany her voice.
The rocks were stirr'd, the beasts to listen stay'd,
When on his lyre melodious Orpheus play'd;
Ev'n Cerberus and Hell that sound obey'd.
And stones officions were, thy walls to raise,
O Thebes! attracted by Amphion's lays.
The dolphin, dumb itself, thy voice admir'd,
And was, Arion, by thy songs inspir'd.
Of sweet Callimachus the works rehearse,
And read Philetas' and Anacreon's verse.
Terentian plays may inuch the mind improve;
But softest Sappho best instructs to love.
Propertius, Gallus, and Tibullus read,
And let Varronian verse to these succeed.
Then mighty Maro's work with care peruse;
Of all the Latin bards the noblest Muse,
Ev'n I, 'tis possible, in after-days,
May 'scape oblivion, and be nam'd with these.
My labour'd lines some readers may approve,
Since I've instructed either sex in love.
Whatever book you read of this soft art,
Read with a lover's voice, and lover's heart.
Tender epistles, too by me are fram'd,
A work before unthought-of, and unnam'd.
Such was your sacred will, O tuneful Nine!
Such thine, Apollo! and, Lyæus, thine!
Still unaccomplish'd may the maid be thought,
Who gracefully to dance was never taught:
That active dancing may to love engage,
Witness the well-kept dancers of the stage.
Of some old trifles I'm asham'd to tell,
Though it becomes the sex to trifle well;
To raffle prettily, or slur a dye,
Implies both cunning and dexterity.
Nor is't amiss at chess to be expert,
For games most thoughtful, sometimes, most divert.
Learn every game, you'll find it prove of use:
Parties begun at play, may love produce.
But easier 'tis to learn how bets to lay,
Than how to keep your temper while you play.
Unguarded then each breast is open laid,
And while the head's intent, the heart's betray'd.
Then base desire of gain, then rage, appears,
Quarrels and brawls arise, and anxious fears;
Then clamours and revilings reach the sky,
While losing gamesters all the gods defy.
Then horrid oths are utter'd every cast,
They grieve, and curse, and storin, nay, weep at
Good Jove, avert such shameful faults as these
From every nymph, whose heart's inclin'd to please.
Soft recreations fit the female kind;
Nature, for men, has rougher sports design'd:
To wield the sword, and hurl the pointed spear;
To stop or turn the steed in full career.
Though martial fields ill suit your tender frames,
Nor may you swim in Tiber's rapid streams;
Yet when Sol's burning wheels from Leo drive,
And at the glowing Virgin's sign arrive,
'Tis both allow'd and fit you should repair
To pleasant walks, and breathe refreshing air. '
To Pompey's gardens, or the shady groves
Which Cæsar honours, and which Phœbus loves:
Phoebus, who sunk the proud Egyptian fleet,
And made Augustus' victory complete.
Or seek those shades, where monuments of fame
Are rais'd, to Livia's and Octavia's name;
Or where Agrippa first adorn'd the ground,
When he with naval victory was crown'd.
To Isis' fane, to theatres, resort;
And in the Circus see the noble sport.
In every public place, by turns, be shown;
In vain you're fair, while you remain unknown.
Should you, in singing, Thamyras transcen;
Your voice unheard, who could your skill commend?
Had not Apelles drawn the sea-born queen,
Her beauties still beneath the waves had been.
Poets, inspir'd, write only for a name,
And think their labours well repay'd with fame.
In former days, I own, the poets were
Of gods and kings the most peculiar care;
Majestic awe was in the name allow'd,
And they with rich possessions were endow'd.
Ennius with honours was by Scipio grac'd,
And, next his own, the poet's statue plac'd.
But now their ivy crowns bear no esteem,
And all their learning's thought an idle dream.
Still, there's a pleasure, that proceeds from praise;
What could the bigh reno vn of Homer raise,
But that he sung his Hied's deathless lays?
Who could have been of Danaë's charms assur'd, Had she grown old, within her tower immur'd? This, as a rule, let every nymph pursue; That 'tis her interest oft to come in view.
A hungry wolf at all the herd will run, In hopes, through many, to make sure of one. So let the fair the gazing crowd assail, That over one, at least, she may prevail. In every place to please, be all her thought? Where, sometimes, least we think, the fish is
Sometimes, all day, we hunt the tedious foil; Anon, the stag himself shall seek the toil.
How could Andromeda once doubt relief, Whose charms are heighten'd and adorn'd by grief?
The widow'd fair, who sees her lord expire,
While yet she weeps, may kindle new desire,
And Hymen's torch re-light with funeral fire.
Beware of men who are too sprucely dress'd:
And look, you fly with speed a fop profess'd.
Such tools, to you, and to a thousand more,
Will tell the same dull story o'er and o'er.
This way and that, unsteadily they rove,
And, never fix'd, are fugitives in love.
Such fluttering things all women sure should hate,
Light as themselves, and more effeminate.
Believe me, all I say is for your good;
Had Priam been believ'd. Troy still had stood.
Many with base designs, will passion feign,
Who know no love, but sordid love of gain
But let no powder'd heads, nor essenc'd hair,
Your well-believing, easy hearts ensnare.
Rich clothes are oft by common sharpers worn,
And diamond rings felonious hands adorn.
So may your lover burn with fierce desire
Your jewels to enjoy, and best attire.
Poor Chloe, robb'd, runs crying through the
And as she runs, "Give me my own," repeats.
How often, Venus, hast thou heard such cries,
And laugh'd amidst thy Appian votaries!
Some so notorious are, their very name
Must every nymph whom they frequent, defame.
Be warn'd by ills, which others have destroy'd,
And faithless men with constant care avoid.
Trust not a Theseus, fair Athenian maid,
Who has so oft th' attesting gods betray'd.
And thou, Demophoön, heir to Theseus' crimes,
Hast lost thy credit to all future times.
Promise for promise equally afford,
But once a contract made, keep well your word.
For she for any act of Hell is fit,
And, undismay'd, may sacrilege commit,
With impious hands could quench the vestal fire,
Poison her husband in her arms for hire;
Who first to take a lover's gift complies,
And then defrauds him, and his claim denies.
But hold, my Muse, check thy unruly horse,
And more in sight pursue th' intended course.
If love-epistles tender lines impart,
And billet-doux are sent, to sound your heart;
Let all such letters, by a faithful maid,
Or confident, be secretly convey'd:
Soon from the words you'll judge, if read with care,
When feign'd a passion is, and when sincere.
Ere in return you write, some time require;
Delays, if not too long, increase desire:
Nor let the pressing youth with ease obtain,
Nor yet refuse him with too rude disdain;
Now let his hopes, now let his fears increase,
But by degrees let fear to hope give place.
Be sure avoid set phrases, when you write;
The usual way of speech is more polite.
How have I seen the puzzled lover vex'd,
To read a letter with hard words perplex'd!
A style too coarse takes from a handsome face,
And makes us wish an uglier in its place.
But since (though chastity be not your care),
You from your husband still would hide th' affair,
Write to no stranger till his truth be try'd,
Nor in a foolish messenger confide.
What agonies that woman undergoes,
Whose hand the traitor threatens to expose;
Who, rashly trusting, dreads to be deceiv'd,
And lives for ever to that dread enslav'd!
Such treachery can never be surpass'd,
For those discoveries sure as lightning blast.
Might I advise, fraud should with fraud be paid;
Let arms repel all who with arms invade.
But since your letters may be brought to light, What if in several hands you learn'd to write! My curse on him who first the sex betray'd, And this advice so necessary made. Nor let your pocket-book two hands contain, First rub your lover's out, then write again. Still one contrivance more remains behind, Which you may use as a convenient blind; As if to women writ, your letters frame, And let your friend to you subscribe a female
Now greater things to tell, my Muse prepare, And clap on all the sail the bark can bear. Let no rude passions in your looks find place; For fury will deform the finest face: It swells the lips, and blackens all the veins, While in the eye a Gorgon horrour reigns.
When on her flute divine Minerva play'd, And in a fountain saw the change it made, Swelling her cheek; she flung it quite aside: "Nor is thy music so much worth," she cry'd. Look in your glass when you with anger glow, And you'll confess, you scarce yourselves can Nor with excessive pride insult the sight, For gentle looks, alone, to love invite. Believe it as a truth that's daily try'd, There's nothing more detestable than pride. How have I seen some airs disgust create, Like things which by antipathy we hate! Let looks with looks, and smiles with smiles be And when your lover bows, incline your head. So Love preluding, plays at first with hearts, And after wounds with deeper-piercing darts. Nor me a melancholy mistress charms; Let sad Tecmessa weep in Ajax' arms, Let mourning beauties sullen heroes move, We cheerful men like gaiety in love, Let Hector in Andromache delight,
Who, in bewailing Troy, wastes all the night.
Had they not both borne children (to be plain),
I ne'er could think they'd with their husbands lain,
I no idea in my mind can frame,
That either one or t'other doleful dame
Could toy, could fondle, or could call their lords
My life, my soul;" or speak endearing words,
Why from comparisons should I refrain,
Or fear small things by greater to explain?
Observe what conduct prudent generals use,
And how their several officers they choose;
To one a charge of infantry commit,
Another for the horse is thought more fit,
So you your several lovers should select,
And, as you find them qualified, direct.
The wealthy lover store of gold should send;
The lawyer should, in courts, your cause defend.
We, who write verse, with verse alone should bribe;
Most apt to love is all the tuneful tribe.
By us, your fame shall through the world be blaz'd;
So Nemesis, so Cynthia's name was rais'd.
From east to west, Lycoris' praises ring;
Nor are Corinna's silent, whom we sing.
No fraud the poet's sacred breast can bear;
Mild are his manners, and his heart sincere:
Nor wealth he seeks, nor feels ambition's fires,
But shuns the bar; and books and shades requires,
Too faithfully, alas! we know to love,
With ease we fix, but we with pain remove;
Our softer studies with our souls combine,
And both to tenderness our hearts incline.
Be gentle, virgins, to the poet's prayer,
The god that fills him, and the Muse revere !
Something divine is in us, and from Heaven
Th' inspiring spirit can alone be given.
'Tis sin, a price from poets to exact;
But 'tis a sin no woman fears to act.
Yet hide, howe'er, your avarice from sight,
Lest you too soon your new admirer fright.
As skilful riders rein with different force,
A new-back'd courser, and a well-train'd horse
Do you, by different management, engage
The man in years, and youth of greener age.
This, while the wiles of love are yet unknown,
Will gladly cleave to you, and you alone:
With kind caresses oft indulge the boy,
And all the harvest of his heat enjoy.
Alone, thus bless'd, of rivals most beware;
Nor love nor empire can a rival bear.
Men more discretly love, when more mature,
And many things, which youth disdains, endure
No windows break, nor houses set on fire,
Nor tear their own, or mistress's attire.
In youth, the boiling blood gives fury vent,
Bat men in years more calmly wrongs resent.
As wood when green, or as a torch when wet,
They slowly burn, but long retain their heat.
More bright is youthful flame, but sooner dies;
Then swiftly seize the joy that swiftly flies.
Thus all betraying to the beauteous foe,
How surely to enslave ourselves we show!
To trust a traitor, you'll no scruple make,
Who is a traitor only for your sake.
Who yields too soon, will soon her lover lose; Would you retain him long, then long refuse. Oft at your door make him for entrance wait, There let him lie, and threaten and entreat. When cloy'd with sweets, bitters the taste restore; Ships, by fair winds, are sometimes run ashore. Hence springs the coldness of a marry'd life, The husband, when he pleases, has his wife. Bar but your gate, and let your porter cry, "Here's no admittance, sir; I must deny." The very husband, so repuls'd, will find A growing inclination to be kind.
Thus far with foils you've fought; those laid
I now sharp weapons for the sex provide;
No doubt, against myself to see them try'd.
When first a lover you design to charm,
Beware, lest jealousies his soul alarm;
Make him believe, with all the skill you can,
That he, and only he's the happy man.
Anon, by due degrees, small doubts create,
And let him fear some rival's better fate.
Such little arts make love its vigour hold,
Which else would languish, and too soon grow old.
Then strains the courser, to outstrip the wind,
When one before him runs, and one he hears
Love, when extinct, suspicions may revive;
I own, when mine's secure, 'tis scarce alive,
Yet one precaution to this rule belongs ;
Let us at most suspect, not prove our wrongs,
Sometimes, your lover to incite the more,
Pretend your husband's spies beset the door :
Though free as Thais, still affect a fright,
For seeming danger heightens the delight.
Oft let the youth in through your window steal,
Though he might enter at the door as well;
And sometimes let your maid surprise pretend,
And beg you in some hole to hide your friend.
Yet ever and anon dispel his fear,
And let him taste of happiness sincere ;
Lest, quite dishearten'd with too much fatigue,
He should grow weary of the dull intrigue.
But I forget to tell how you may try
Both to evade the husband, and the spy.
Though stuck with Argus' eyes your keeper were, Advis'd by me, you shall elude his care.
When you to wash or bathe retire from sight,
Can he observe what letters then you write?
Or, can his caution against such provide,
Which, in her breast, your confident may hide?
Can he the note beneath her garter view,
Or that, which, more conceal'd, is in her shoe!
Yet, these perceiv'd, you may her back undress,
And, writing on her skin, your mind express.
New milk, or pointed spires of flax, when green,
Will ink supply, and letters mark unseen:
Fair will the paper show, nor can be read,
Till all the writing's with warm ashes spread.
Acrisius was, with all his care, betray'd;
And in his tower of brass a grandsire made.
Can spies avail, when you to plays resort,
Or in the Circus view the noble sport?
Or, can you be to Isis' fane pursued,
Or Cybele's, whose rites all men exclude?
Though watchful servants to the bagnio come,
They're ne'er admitted to the bathing room,
Or when some sudden sickness you pretend,
May you not take to your sick bed a friend?
False keys a private passage may procure,
If not, there are more ways besides the door.
Sometimes, with wine, your watchful follower
When drunk, you may with ease his care defeat
Or, to prevent too sudden a surprise,
Prepare a sleeping draught to scal his eyes:
Or let your maid, still longer time to gain,
An inclination for his person feign;
With faint resistance let her drill him on,
And, after competent delays, be won.
But what need all these various doubtful wiles,
Since gold the greatest vigilance beguiles?
Believe me, men and gods with gifts are pleas'd:
Ev'n angry Jove with offerings is appeas'd.
With presents, fools and wise alike are caught,
Give but enough, the husband may be bought.
But let me warn you, when you bribe a spy,
That you for ever his connivance buy ;
Pay hin his price at once, for with such men
You'll know no end of giving now and then.
Once, I remember, I with cause complain'd
Of jealousy, occas on'd by a friend:
Believe me, apprehensions of that kind
Are not alone to our false sex confin'd.
Trust not too far your she-companion's truth,
Lest she sometimes should intercept the youth:
The very confident that lends the bed,
May entertain your lover in your stead;
Nor keep a servant with too fair a face,
For such I've known supply her lady's place.
But whither do I run with heedless rage,
Teaching the foe unequal war to wage?
Did ever bird the fowler's net prepare?
Was ever hound instructed by the hare?
But, all self-ends and interest set apart,
I'll faithfully proceed to teach my art:
Defenceless and unarm'd, expose my life,
And for the Lemnian ladies whet the knife.
Perpetual fondness of your lover feign,
Nor will you find it hard, belief to gain;
Full of himself, he your design will aid,
To what we wish, 'tis easy to persuade.
With dying eyes his face and form survey,
Then sigh, and wonder he so long could stay.
Now drop a tear your sorrows to assuage,
Anon reproach him, and pretend to rage:
Such proofs as these will all distrust remove,
And make him pity your excessive love.
Scarce to himself will he forbear to cry,
"How can I let this poor fond creature die?"
But chiefly one, such fond behaviour fires,
Who courts his glass, and his own charms admires.
Proud of the homage to his merit done,
He'll think a goddess might with ease be won.
Light wrongs, be sure, you still with mildness
Nor straight fly out, when you a rival fear:
Let not your passion o'er your sense prevail,
Nor credit lightly every idle tale.
Let Procris' fate a sad example be
Of what effects attend credulity.
Near where his purple head Hymettus shows,
And flowering hills, a sacred fountain flows;
With soft and verdant turf the soil is spread,
And sweetly-smelling shrubs the ground o'ershade.
There rosemary and bay their odours join,
And with the fragrant myrtle's scent combine.
The tamarisks with thick-leav'd box are found,
And cytissus and garden-pines abound:
While through the boughs soft winds of Zephyr pass,
Tremble the leaves, and tender tops of grass.
Hither would Cephalus retreat to rest,
When tir'd with hunting, or with heat opprest;
And thus to air the panting youth would pray,
"Come, gentle Aura, come, this heat allay."
But some tale-bearing, too officious friend,
By chance o'erheard him, as he thus complain'd;
Who with the news to Procris quick repair'd,
Repeating word for word what she had heard.
Soon as the name of Aura reach'd her ears,
With jealousy surpris'd, and fainting fears,
Her rosy colour fied her lovely face,
And agonics, like death, supply'd the place:
Pale she appear'd as are the falling leaves,
When first the vine the winter's blast receives.
Of ripen'd quinces, such the yellow hue,
Or, when unripe, we cornel-berries view.
Reviving from her swoon, her robes she tore,
Nor her own faultless face to wound forbore.
Now all dishevell'd, to the wood she flies,
With Bacchanalian fury in her eyes.
Thither arriv'd, she leaves below her friends,
And all alone the shady hill ascends.
What folly, Procris, o'er thy mind prevail'd?
What rage thus fatally to lie conceal'd?
"Whoe'er this Aura be" (such was thy thought)
"She now shall in the very fact be caught."
Anon, thy heart repents its rash designs,
And now to go, and now to stay inclines:
Thus love with doubts perplexes still thy mind,
And makes thee seek what thou must dread to find.
But still thy rival's name rings in thy ears,
And more suspicious still the place appears;
But more than all, excessive love deceives,
Which all it fears, too easily believes.
And now a chilness runs through every vein, Soon as she saw where Cephalus bad lain. "Twas noon, when he again retir'd, to shun The scorching ardour of the mid-day Sun: With water first he sprinkled o'er his face, Which glow'd with heat, then sought his usual place.
Procris, with anxious, but with silent care,
View'd him extended, with his bosom bare;
And heard him soon th' accustom'd words repeat,
"Come, Zephyr; Aura, come; allay this heat:"
Soon as she found her errour, from the word,
Her colour and her temper were restor❜d.
With joy she rose to clasp him in her arms,
But Cephalus, the rustling noise alarms;
Some beast he thinks be in the bushes hears,
And straight his arrows and his bow prepares.
"Hold, hold, unhappy youth!-I call in vain,
With thy own hand thou hast thy Procris slain.
Me, me," (she cries,) "thou'st wounded with thy
But Cephalus was wont to wound this heart.
Yet lighter on my ashes earth will lie,
Since, though untimely, I unrivall'd die :
Come, close with thy dear hand my eyes in death,
Jealous of air, to air I yield my breath."
Close to his heavy heart her check he laid,
And wash'd, with streaming tears, the wound he
At length the springs of life their currents leave,
And her last gasp her husband's lips receive.
Now, to pursue our voyage we provide,
Till safe to port our weary bark we guide.
You may expect, perhaps, I now should teach
What rules to treats and entertainments reach.
Come not the first, invited to a feast;
Rather come last, as a more grateful guest.
For that, of which we fear to be depriv'd,
Meets with the surest welcome when arriv'd.
Besides, complexions of a coarser kind
From candle-light no small advantage find.
During the time you eat observe some grace,
Nor let your unwip'd hands besmear your face;
Nor yet too squeamishly your meat avoid,
Lest we suspect you were in private cloy'd.
Of all extremes in either kind beware,
And still before your belly's full forbear.
No glutton-nymph, however fair, can wound,
Though more than Helen she in charms abound.
I own, I think, of wine the moderate use
More suits the sex, and sooner finds excuse;
It warms the blood, adds lustre to the eyes,
And wine and love have always been allies.
But carefully from all intemperance keep,
Nor drink till you see double, lisp, or sleep.
For in such sleeps brutalities are done,
Which, though you loathe, you have no power te
And now th' instructed nymph from table led,
Should next be taught how to behave in bed.
But modesty forbids: nor more, my Musc
With weary wings the labour'd flight pursues;
Her purple swans unyok'd the chariot leave,
And needful rest (their journey done) receive.
Thus, with impartial care, my art I show, And equal arms on either sex bestow : While men and maids, who by my rules improve, Ovid must own their master is in love.
AN EPISTLE TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE.
'Tis strange, dear Temple, how it comes to pass,
That no one man is pleas'd with what he has !
So Horace sings--and sure as strange is this,
That no one man's displeas'd with what he is.
The foolish, ugly, dull, impertinent,
Are with their persons and their parts content.
Nor is that all, so odd a thing is man,
He most would be what least he should or can.
Hence, homely faces still are foremost seen,
And cross-shap'd fops affect the nicest mien,
Cowards extol true courage to the skies,
And fools are still most forward to advise ;
Th' untrusted wretch to secresy pretends,
Whispering his nothing round to all as friends.
Dull rogues affect the politician's part,
And learn to nod, and smile, and shrug with art.
Who nothing has to lose, the war bewails,
And he who nothing pays, at taxes rails.
Thus man perverse against plain Nature strives,
And to be artfully absurd contrives.
Plautus will dance, Luscus at ogling aims,
Old Tritus keeps, and undone Probus games.
Noisome Curculio, whose envenom'd breath,
Though at a distance utter'd, threatens death,
Full in your teeth his stinking whisper throws;
Nor mends his manners, though you hold your
Thersites, who scems born to give offence,
From uncouth form, and frontless impudence,
Assumes soft airs, and with a slur comes in,
Attempts a smile, and shocks you with a grin.
Raucus harangues with a dissuasive grace,
And Helluo invites with a forbidding face.
Nature to each allots his proper sphere,
But, that forsaken, we like comets err :
Toss'd through the void, by some rude shock we're
And all her boasted fire is lost in smoke.
Next to obtaining wealth, or power, or ease,
Men most affect, in general, to please;
Of this affection vanity's the source,
And vanity alone obstructs its course;
That telescope of fools, through which they spy
Merit remote, and think the object nigh.
The glass remov'd, would each himself survey,
And in just scales his strength and weakness weigh,
Pursue the path for which he was design'd,
And to his proper force adapt his mind;
Scarce one but to some merit might pretend,
Perhaps might please, at least would not offend.
Who would reprove us while he makes us laugh,
Must be no Bavius, but a Bickerstaff.
If Garth, or Blackmore, friendly potions give,
We bid the dying patient drink and live:
When Murus comes, we cry, "Beware the pill;"
And wish the tradesman were a tradesman still.
If Addison, or Rowe, or Prior, write,
We study them with profit and delight:
But when vile Macer and Mundungus rhyme,
We grieve we've learnt to read, aye, curse the time.
All rules of pleasing in this one unite,
"Affect not any thing in Nature's spite."
Baboons and apes ridiculous we find ;
For what? For ill-resembling human-kind.
"None are, for being what they are, in faalt,
But for not being what they would be thought."
Thus I, dear friend, to you my thoughts impart,
As to one perfect in the pleasing art;
If art it may be call'd in you, who seem
By Nature form'd for love, and for esteem.
Affecting none, all virtues you possess,
And really are what others but profess.
I'll not offend you, while myself I please;
I loathe to flatter, though I love to praise.
But when such early worth so bright appears,
And antedates the fame which waits on years;
I can't so stupidly affected prove,
Not to confess it in the man I love.
Though now I aim not at that known applause
You've won in arms, and in your country's cause;
Nor patriot now, nor hero, I commend,
But the companion praise, and boast the friend.
But you may think, and some,
less partial, say,
That I presume too much in this essay.
How should I show what pleases? How explain
A rule, to which I never could attain?
To this objection I'll make no reply,
But tell a tale, which, after, we'll apply.
I've read, or heard, a learned person once
(Concern'd to find his only son a dunce)
Compos'd a book in favour of the lad,
Whose memory, it seems, was very bad.
This work contain'd a world of wholesome rules,
To help the frailty of forgetful fools.
The careful parent laid the treatise by,
Till time should make it proper to apply.
Simon, at length, the look'd-for age attains,
To read and profit by his father's pains;
And now the sire prepares the book t'impart,
Which was yclept, Of Memory the Art.
But ah! how oft is human care in vain!
For, now, he could not find his book again.
The place where he had laid it he forgot,
Nor could himself remember what he wrote.
Now to apply the story that I tell,
Which, if not true, is yet invented well.
Such is my case: like most of theirs who teach;
I ill may practise what I well may preach.
Myself not trying, or not turn'd to please,
May lay the line, and measure out the ways.
The Mulcibers, who in the minories sweat,
And massive bars on stubborn anvils beat,
Deform'd themselves, yet forge those stays of steel,
Which arm Aurelia with a shape to kill.
So Macer and Mundungus school the times,
And write in rugged prose the rules of softer rhymes.
Well do they play the careful critic's part,
Instructing doubly by their matchless art:
Rules for good verse they first with pains indite,
Then show us what are bad by what they write.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE
LORD VISCOUNT COBHAM, 1729.
Albi sermonum nostrorum candide judex.
SINCEREST critic of my prose or rhyme,
Tell how thy pleasing Stowe employs thy time,
Say, Cobham, what amuses thy retreat?
Or stratagems of war, or schemes of state?
Dost thou recal to mind with joy, or grief,
Great Marlborough's actions; that immortal chief,
Whose slightest trophy rais'd in each campaign,
More than suffic'd to signalize a reign?
Does thy remembrance rising warm thy heart
With glory past, where thou thyself hadst part?
Or dost thou grieve indignant now to see
The fruitless end of all thy victory;
To see th' audacious foe, so late subdued,
Dispute those terms for which so long they sued,