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RAPE of the LOCK.

Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuiffe tuis. MAKT.



HAT dire offence from am'rous caufes

What mighty contests rife from trivial things,
I fing-This verse to CARYL, Muse! is due:
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view :

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*It appears, by this Motto, that the following Poem was written or published at the Lady's requeft. But there are fome further circumftances not unworthy relating. Mr. Caryl (a Gentleman who was Secretary to Queen Mary, wife of James II. whofe fortunes he followed into France, Author of the Comedy of Sir Solomon Single, and of feveral tranflations in Dryden's Mifcellanies) originally propofed the fubject to him in a view of putting an end, by this piece of ridicule to a quarrel that was rifen between two noble Families, thofe of Lord Petre and of Mrs. Fermor, on the trifling occafion of his having cut off a lock of her hair. The Author fent it to the Lady, with whom he was acquainted; and she took it fo well as to give about copies of it. That first sketch (we learn from one of his Letters) was written in less than a fortnight, in 1711. in two Canto's only, and it was fo printed; firft, in a Mifcellany of Bern. Lintot's, without the name of the Author. But it was received fo well that he made it more confiderable the next year by the addition

Slight is the fubject, but not fo the praise,
If She infpire, and He approve my lays.



Say what strange motive, Goddess! could compel A well-bred Lord t'affault a gentle Belle? Oh say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd, Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord ? In tasks fo bold, can little men engage, And in soft bofoms dwells fuch mighty Rage? Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim❜rous ray, And ope'd those eyes that must eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, And fleepless lovers, juft at twelve, awake: 16 Thrice rung the bell, the flipper knock'd the ground, And the prefs'd watch return'd a filver found.


addition of the machinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five Canto's. We fhall give the reader the pleasure of seeing in what manner these additions were inferted, fo as to feem not to be added, but to grow out of the Poem. See Notes, Cant. I. v. 19, etc.


This infertion he always efteemed, and justly, the greatest effort of his skill and art as a Poet.


VER. II, 12. It was in the first editions,

And dwells fuch rage in fofteft bofoms then,
And lodge fuch daring Souls in little Men? P.


R. 13, etc. Stood thus in the first Edition,
Sol thro' white curtains did his beams display,
And ope'd thofe eyes which brighter shone than they;
Shock juft had giv'n himself the roufing shake,
And Nymphs prepar'd their Chocolate to take ;
Thrice the wrought flipper knock'd against the

And striking watches the tenth hour refound. P.

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Belinda ftill her downy pillow prest,
Her guardian SYLPH prolong'd the balmy reft:
'Twas He had fummon'd to her filent bed


The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head.
A Youth more glitt'ring than a Birth-night Beau,
(That ev'n in flumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers faid, or feem'd to say.
Faireft of mortals, thou diftinguish'd care
Of thousand bright Inhabitants of Air!
If e'er one Vifion touch thy infant thought,
Of all the Nurfe and all the Priest have taught ;
Of airy Elves by moonlight fhadows feen,
The filver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins vifited by Angel-pow'rs,



With golden crowns and wreaths of heav'nly flow'rs;
Hear and believe! thy own importance know, 35
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some fecret truths, from learned pride conceal'd,
To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd:
What tho' no credit doubting Wits may give?
The Fair and Innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly,
The light Militia of the lower sky:

Thefe, tho' unfeen, are ever on the wing,


Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou haft in Air,
And view with scorn two Pages and a Chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous mould;

K 3



VER. 19. Belinda ftill, etc.] All the verses from hence to the end of this Canto, were added afterwards.

Thence, by a foft tranfition, we repair

From earthly Vehicles to thefe of air.


Think not, when Woman's tranfient breath is fled, That all her vanities at once are dead;

Succeeding vanities fhe ftill regards,

And tho' fhe plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded Chariots, when alive,


And love of Ombre, after death furvive.
For when the Fair in all their pride expire,
To their firft Elements their Souls retire:
The Sprites of fiery Termagants in Flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to Water glide away,
And fip, with Nymphs, their elemental Tea.
The graver Prude finks downward to a Gnome,
In fearch of mischief ftill on Earth to roam.
The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of Air.

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Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste
Rejects mankind, is by fome Sylph embrac'd:
For Spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease
Affume what fexes and what fhapes they please.
What guards the purity of melting Maids,
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades,
Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark,

The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
When kind occafion prompts their warm defires,
When music softens, and when dancing fires? 76


VER. 54, 55. Quæ gratia currúm

Armorumque fuit vivis, quæ cura nitentes
Pafcere eques, eadem fequitur tellure repoflos.


Virg. En. vi. P.

'Tis but their Sylph, the wife Celestials know, Tho' Honour is the word with Men, below.

Some nymphs there are, too confcious of their face,

For life predeftin'd to the Gnomes embrace.

These swell their prospects and exalt their pride,
When offers are difdain'd, and love deny'd:
Then gay Ideas croud the vacant brain,



While Peers, and Dukes, and all their sweeping train,
And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear,
And in foft founds, Your Grace falutes their ear.
'Tis these that early taint the female foul,
Inftruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll,
Teach Infant-cheeks a bidden blush to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a Beau:

Oft, when the World imagine women stray,
The Sylphs thro' myftic mazes guide their way,
Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but muft a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?
When Florio fpeaks what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev'ry part,
They fhift the moving Toyfhop of their heart;

K 4




VER. 78. Tho' Honour is the word with Men below.] Parody of Homer.

VER. 79. too confcious of their face,] i. e. too fenfible of their beauty,

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