cares the pensive nymph oppressed
And secret passions laboured in her breast.
Not youthful kings in battle
virgins who their charms survive
lover robbed of all his bliss
lady when refused a kiss,
Not tyrants fierce
that unrepenting die,
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinned awry
E'er felt such rage
, and despair
As thou, sad virgin! for thy ravished hair.
While her racked soul repose
and peace requires,
Thalestris fans the rising fires.
maid!" she spread
her hands, and cried,
(And Hampton's echoes, "Wretched maid!" replied)
"Was it for this you took such constant
Combs, bodkins, leads, pomatums to prepare
For this your locks in paper durance bound
For this with tort'ring irons wreathed around?
Oh had the youth been but content
Hairs less in sight
, or any hairs but these!
Gods! shall the ravisher display
While the fops envy
, and the ladies stare
! at whose unrivalled shrine
Ease, pleasure, virtue
, all, our sex resign
Methinks already I your tears survey
Already hear the horrid
things they say,
Already see you a degraded toast,
And all your honour in a whisper lost
How shall I, then, your helpless fame defend
'T will then be infamy
to seem your friend!
And shall this prize, th' inestimable
Exposed through crystal
to the gazing eyes,
And heightened by the diamond's circling rays,
On that rapacious
hand for ever blaze
Sooner shall grass in Hyde Park Circus grow,
And wits take lodgings in the sound
Sooner let earth
, air, sea, to chaos
Men, monkeys, lapdogs, parrots, perish
She said; then raging to Sir Plume repairs,
And bids her beau demand
Sir Plume, of amber
snuff-box justly vain
And the nice conduct
of a clouded cane,
eyes, and round unthinking face,
He first the snuff-box opened, then the case,
broke out - "My lord, why, what the devil!
Zounds! damn the lock! 'fore
Gad, you must be civil
Plague on't! 't is past a jest
- nay, prithee, pox!
Give her the hair." - He spoke
, and rapped his box.
"It grieves me much," replied the peer
"Who speaks so well should ever speak in vain
But by this lock, this sacred
lock, I swear
(Which never more shall join its parted hair;
Which never more its honours shall renew
Clipped from the lovely head where once it grew)
That, while my nostrils draw the vital
This hand, which won it, shall for ever wear."
, and speaking, in proud triumph spread
The long-contended honours of her head.
But see! the nymph
Her eyes half-languishing, half drowned in tears;
Now livid pale
her cheeks, now glowing red
On her heaved bosom hung her drooping head,
Which with a sigh
she raised, and thus
"For ever cursed be this detested day,
Which snatched my best, my fav'rite curl away;
Happy! ah ten times happy had I been,
If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the first mistaken
By love of courts to num'rous ills betrayed.
O had I rather unadmired remained
In some lone isle, or distant
Where the gilt chariot
Where none learn ombre, none e'er taste bohea!
There kept my charms concealed
Like roses, that in deserts bloom
What moved my mind
with youthful lords to roam
O had I stayed, and said my pray'rs at home!
'Twas this the morning omens did foretell
Thrice from my trembling hand the patchbox fell;
The tott'ring china shook without a wind,
Nay, Poll sat mute
, and Shock was most unkind!
See the poor remnants of this slighted hair!
My hands shall rend
what ev'n thy own did spare
This in two sable
ringlets taught to break,
Once gave new beauties to the snowy neck;
The sister-lock now sits uncouth
And in its fellow's fate
foresees its own;
Uncurled it hangs, the fatal
And tempts once more thy sacrilegious
She said: the pitying audience melt
and Jove had stopped the baron
Thalestris with reproach
For who can move when fair
Not half so fixed the Trojan could remain
While Anna begged and Dido raged in vain
"To arms, to arms!" the bold
to the combat
All side in parties, and begin th' attack
, silks rustle
, and tough whalebones crack;
Heroes' and heroines' shouts confus'dly rise,
and treble voices strike
weapons in their hands are found,
Like gods they fight, nor dread
a mortal wound
So when bold
Homer makes the gods engage
And heav'nly breasts with human
'Gainst Pallas, Mars; Latona, Hermes arms,
And all Olympus rings with loud alarms;
Jove's thunder roars, heav'n trembles all around,
Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing deeps resound
Earth shakes her nodding tow'rs, the ground gives way,
And the pale
ghosts start at the flash
the press enraged
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
and witling perished 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 flow'ry margin
Th' expiring swan
, and as he sings he dies.
Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,
Chloe stepped in, and killed him with a frown
She smiled to see the doughty hero
But at her smile the beau
Now Jove suspends his golden scales in air,
Weighs the men's wits against the lady's hair;
beam long nods from side to side;
the wits mount
up, the hairs subside
Belinda on the baron
With more than usual lightning
in her eyes:
Nor feared the chief th' unequal fight to try,
Who sought no more than on his foe
But this bold
lord, with manly strength
She with one finger and a thumb subdued
Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
A charge of snuff the wily
Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
And the high dome
re-echoes to his nose.
"Boast not my fall," he said, "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
And still burn
on, in Cupid's flames, alive."
"Restore the lock!" she cries; and all around
"Restore the lock!" the vaulted roofs rebound
Othello in so loud a strain
Roared for the handkerchief
that caused his pain.
But see how oft ambitious
aims are crossed,
And chiefs contend till
all the prize is lost
The lock, obtained with guilt
, and kept with pain,
In ev'ry place is sought, but sought in vain
With such a prize no mortal
must be blessed,
So heav'n decrees! with heav'n who can contest
it mounted to the lunar sphere
Since all that man e'er lost
is treasured there.
There heroes' wits are kept in pond'rous vases,
And beaux' in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases.
There broken vows, and death-bed alms
And lovers' hearts with ends of ribbon bound
The courtier's promises, and sick man's pray'rs,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs,
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke
Dried butterflies, and tomes of casuistry
- she saw it upward rise,
by none but quick poetic
(Thus Rome's great founder
to the heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confessed in view)
A sudden star, it shot through liquid
And drew behind a radiant
trail of hair.
Not Berenice's locks first rose so bright,
The skies bespangling with dishevelled light.
(This the beau
monde shall from the Mall survey
the moonlight shade they nightly stray
with music its propitious
This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless skies,
When next he looks through
wizard shall foredoom
of Louis, and the fall of Rome.
, bright nymph
! to mourn
thy ravished hair,
Which adds new glory
to the shining sphere
Not all the tresses that fair
head can boast
Shall draw such envy
as the lock you lost
For after all the murders of your eye,
When, after millions slain, yourself shall die;
When those fair
suns shall set, as set they must,
And all those tresses shall be laid in dust,
This lock the muse
And 'midst the stars inscribe