« ZurückWeiter »
Who with herself, or others, from her birth
Atossa, curs’d with every granted prayer, Childless with all her children, wants an heir: To heirs unknown descends th’unguarded store, Or wanders, heaven-directed, to the poor.
Pictures like these, dear Madam! to design, Asks no firm hand and no unerring line; Some wandering touches, some reflected light, Some flying stroke, alone can hit them right: For how should equal colours do the knack ? Chameleons who can paint in white and black ?
“ Yet Chloe 6 sure was form’d without a spot.” Nature in her then err'd not, but forgot. “ With every pleasing, every prudent part, Say, what can Chloe want?”—She wants a heart She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought, But never, never reach'd one generous thought. Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour, Content to dwell in decencies for ever. So very reasonable, so unmov'd, As never yet to love or to be lov'd. She, while her lover pants upon her breast, Can mark the figures on an Indian chest; And when she sees her friend in deep despair, Observes how much a chintz exceeds mohair. Forbid it, Heaven! a favour or a debt She e'er should cancel !—but she may forget. Safe is your secret still in Chloe's ear; But none of Chloe's shall you ever hear.
6 Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk.
Of all her dears she never slander'd one,
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen, Which heaven has varnish'd out and made a
queen; The same for ever! and describ’d by all With truth and goodness, as with crown and ball. Poets heap virtues, painters gems, at will, And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill. 'Tis well-but, artists! who can paint or write, To draw the naked is your true delight. That robe of quality so struts and swells, None see what parts of nature it conceals : Th' exactest traits of body or of mind, We owe to models of an humble kind. If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling, 'Tis from a handmaid we must take a Helen. From peer or bishop 'tis no easy thing To draw the man who loves his God or king. Alas! I copy (or my draught would fail) From honest Mah’met? or plain parson Hale. 8
7 Servant to the late king, said to be the son of a Turkish bassa, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person.
8 Dr. Stephen Hale.
But grant, in public, men sometimes are shown;
In men we various ruling passions find;
That nature gives; and where the lesson taught Is but to please, can pleasure seem a fault? Experience this: by man's oppression curst, They seek the second not to lose the first.
Men some to business, some to pleasure take; But every woman is at heart a rake: Men some to quiet, some to public strife; But every lady would be queen for life.
Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens ! Power all their end, but beauty all the means. In youth they conquer with so wild a rage, As leaves them scarce a subject in their age: For foreign glory, foreign joy they roam ; No thought of peace or happiness at home. But wisdom's triumph is well-tim'd retreat, As hard a science to the fair as great! Beauties, like tyrants, old and friendless grown, Yet hate repose, and dread to be alone;
Worn out in public, weary every eye,
Pleasures the sex, as children birds, pursue,
See how the world its veterans rewards!
Ah friend! to dazzle let the vain design ; To raise the thought and touch the heart be
thine! That charm shall grow, while what fatigues the
ring Flaunts and goes down an unregarded thing. So when the sun's broad beam has tir’d the sight, All mild ascends the moon's more sober light, Serene in virgin modesty she shines, And unobserv’d the glaring orb declines. VOL. II.