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Yes--I could rifle grove and bow'r
And strip the beds of every flow'r,
And deck them in their fairest hue,
Merely to be out-blush'd by you.
The lily pale, by my direction,
Should fight the rose for your complexion ;
Or I could make up sweetest posies,
Fit fragrance for the ladies' noses,
Which drooping, on your breast reclining,
Should all be withering, dying, pining,
Which every songster can display,
I've more authorities than GAY;
Nay, I could teach the globe it's duty
To pay all homage to your beauty,
And, wit's creative pow'r to show,
The very fire should mix with snow ;
Your eyes, that brandish burning darts
To scorch and singe our tinder hearts,
Should be the lamps for lover's ruin,
And light them to their own undoing ;
While all the snow about your breast
Should leave them hopeless and distrest.
For those who rarely soar above
The art of coupling love and dove,
In their conceits and amorous fictions,
Are mighty fond of contradictions,
Above, in air ; in earth, beneath;
And things that do, or do not breathe,
All have their parts, and separate place,
To paint the fair one's various grace.
Her cheek, her eye, her bosom show
The rose, the lily, diamond, snow.
Jet, milk, and amber, vales and mountains,
Stars, rubies, suns, and mossy fountains,
The Poet gives them all a share
In the description of his fair.
She burns, she chills, she pierces hearts,
With locks, and bolts, and fames, and darts.
And could we trust th’ extravagancy
Of every Poet's youthful fancy,
They'd make each nymph they love so well,
As cold as snow, as hot as —
- O gentle lady, spare your fright,
No horrid rhyme shall wound your sight.
I would not for the world be heard,
To utter such unseemly word,
Which the politer parson fears
To mention to politer ears.
But, could a female form be shown, (The thought, perhaps, is not my own) Where
every circumstance should meet
To make the Poet's nymph complete,
Form'd to his fancy's utmost pitch,
She'd be as ugly as witch.
Come then, O Muse, of trim conceit,
Muse, always fine, but never neat,
Who to the dull unsated ear
Of French or Tuscan SONNETEER,
the same unvaried tone, Like the Scotch bagpipe's favourite drone, Squeezing out thoughts in ditties quaint, To Poet's mistress, whore, or saint; Whether thou dwell'st on ev'ry grace, Which lights the world from LAURA's face, Or amorous praise expatiates wide On beauties which the nymph must hide; For wit affected, loves to show Her every
charm from top to toe,
And wanton fancy oft pursues
Minute description from the Muse,
Come and pourtray, with pencil fine,
The Poet's mortal nymph dicine.
Her golden locks of classic hair,
Are nets to catch the wanton air;
Her forehead ivory, and her eyes
Each a bright sun to light the skies,
Orb’d in whose centre, Cupid aims
His darts, protect us! tipt with flames ;
While the sly god's unerring bow
Is the half circle of her brow.
Each lip a ruby, parting, shews
The precious pearl in even rows,
And all the loves and graces sleek
Bathe in the dimples of her cheek.
Her breasts pure snow, or white as milk,
Are ivory apples, smooth as silk,
Or else, as fancy trips on faster,
Fine marble hills or alabaster.
A figure made of wax wou'd please More than an aggregate of these, Which though they are of precious worth And held in great esteem on earth, What are they, rightly understood, Compar'd to real flesh and blood?
And I, who hate to act by rules
Of whining, rhyming, loving fools,
Can never twist my mind about
To find such strange resemblance out,
And simile that's only fit
To shew my plenteous lack of wit.
Therefore, omitting flames and darts,
Wounds, sighs and tears, and bleeding hearts,
Obeying, what I here declare
Makes half my happiness, the Fair,
The favourite subject I pursue,
And write, as who would not, for you.
Perhaps my Muse, a common curse,
Errs in the manner of her verse,
Which, slouching in the doggrel lay,
Goes tittup all her easy way.
Yes—an Acrostic had been better,
Where each good-natur'd prattling letter
Though it conceal the writer's aim,
Tells all the world his lady's name.
But all Acrostics, it is said,
Shew wond'rous pain of empty head,
Where wit is cramp'd in hard confines,
And fancy dare not jump the lines.
I love a fanciful disorder,
And straggling out of rule and order ;