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Fiercely it ftands defying gods and men,
As fiery monfters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman's nobleft ftation is retreat;
Her fairest virtues fly from public fight,
Domeftic worth, that fhuns too strong a light.
To rougher man ambition's task refign:
'Tis ours in fenates or in courts to fhine,
To labour for a funk corrupted state,
Or dare the rage of envy, and be great.
One only care your gentle breasts should move,
Th' important bufinefs of your life is love:
To this great point direct your constant aim,
This makes your happiness, and this your fame.
Be never cool referve with paffion join'd;
With caution chufe; but then be fondly kind.
The selfish heart, that but by halves is giv'n,
Shall find no place in love's delightful heav'n;
Here fweet extremes alone can truly bless,
The virtue of a lover is excefs.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain, Nor think that conqueft juftifies difdain; Short is the period of infulting pow'r ; Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour, Soon will refume the empire which he gave, And foon the tyrant fhall become the flave.
Bleft is the maid, and worthy to be bleft,
Whofe foul, entire by him fhe loves poffefs'd,
Feels ev'ry vanity in fondness loft,
And afks no pow'r, but that of pleafing moft:
Her's is the blifs in juft return to prove
The honeft warmth of undiffembled love;
For her, inconftant man might cease to range,
And gratitude forbid defire to change.
But left harsh care the lover's peace deftroy,
And roughly blight the tender buds of joy,
Let reafon teach what paffion fain would hide,
That Hymen's bands by prudence fhould be ty'd.
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown,
If angry fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flatt'ring dream of blifs be o'er,
And cloy'd imagination cheat no more.
Then waking to the fenfe of lafting pain,
With mutual tears the nuptial couch they ftain,
And that fond love, which fhould afford relief,
Does but increase the anguish of their grief;
While both could eafier their own forrows bear,
Than the fad knowledge of each other's care.
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain, Than fell your violated charms for gain; Than wed the wretch whom you defpife, or hate, For the vain glare of úfelefs wealth or ftate.
The moft abandoned proftitutes are they,
Who not to love, but av'rice fall a prey:
Nor aught avails the fpecious name of Wife;
A maid so wedded, is a Whore for Life.
Ev'n in the happieft choice, where fav'ring heav'n Has equal love, and easy fortune giv'n,
Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done
The prize of happiness must still be won ;
And oft, the careless find it to their coft,
The lover in the hufband may be loft;
The graces might alone his heart allure;
They and the virtues meeting must secure.
Let ev'n your prudence wear the pleasing dress
Of care for him, and anxious tenderness.
From kind concern about his weal or woe,
Let each domeftic duty feem to flow;
Endearing every common act of life,
The mistress ftill fhall charm him in the wife!
And wrinkled age fhall unobferv'd come on,
Before his eye perceives one beauty gone:
Ev'n o'er your cold, and ever-facted urn,
His conftant flame fhall unextinguish'd burn.
'Tis thus, Belinda, I your charms improve,
And form your heart to all the arts of love;
The tafk were harder to fecure my own
Against the pow'r of those already known;
you twist the secret chains that bind
With gentle force the captivated mind,
Skill'd ev'ry foft attraction to employ,
Each flatt'ring hope, and each alluring joy;
I own your genius, and from you receive
The rules of pleafing, which to you I give.
IN Britain's ifle and Arthur's days,
When midnight Fairies daunc'd the maze,
Liv'd Edwin of the green;
Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth,
Endow'd with courage, fenfe, and truth,
Tho' badly fhap'd he been.
His mountain back mote well be faid
To measure height against his head,
And lift itfelf above;
Yet fpite of all that nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,
This creature dar'd to love.
He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,
Cou'd ladies look within;
But one Sir Topaz drefs'd with art,
And, if a fhape cou'd win a heart,
He had a fhape to win.