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The brightest eyes of France inspir'd his Muse;
on all occasions alike. Yet was he the first that gave form and harmony to the French prose, which was still improved by the provincial letters of Pascal.
Ver. 80. beside] This last word is a blemish to the piece, otherwise so correct.
TO THE SAME,
ON HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORONATION.
As some fond Virgin, whom her mother's care Drags from the Town to wholesome Country air, Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh; From the dear man unwilling she must sever,
5 Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever : Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew, Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew; Not that their pleasures caus’d her discontent, 9 She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went.
She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashion'd halls, dull Aunts, and croaking rooks: She went from Op'ra, Park, Assembly, Play, To morning-works, and pray’rs three hours a day; To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea, 15 To muse, and spill her solitary tea, Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon, Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon:
Coronation] Of King George the First, 1715. P.
Ver. 1. As some fond Virgin,] There is so much likeness (to use Johnson's words on another poem) in the initial comparison, that there is no illustration. As one lady lamented the going out of London, so did another.
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Some Squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack: Whose
is Whisk, whose treat a toast in sack; Who visits with a Gun, presents you birds, 25 Then gives a smacking buss, and cries,—No words! Or with his hound comes hallooing from the stable; Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table : Whose laughs are hearty tho' his jests are coarse, And loves you best of all things—but his horse. 30
In some fair ev’ning, on your elbow laid,
35 Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and garter'd
Knights, While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes ; Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies. Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls, And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls ! 40
So when your Slave, at some dear idle time, (Not plagu'd with head-achs, or the want of rhyme) Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew, And while he seems to study, thinks of you;
Ver. 23. Squire,] No country Squire has ever been painted with such true and natural features and colours as Addison's Tory Foxhunter, in the Freeholder, except perhaps Western, in that capital picture of life, the History of Tom Jones. VOL. II.
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes, 45
Ver. 46. of soft Parthenia rise,] It does not seem perfectly gallant to introduce the name of another lady.
The Basset-Table spread, the Tallier come; Why stays SMILINDA in the Dressing-Room ? Rise, pensive Nymph, the Tallier waits for you :
Ver. 1. The Basset-Table spread,] There were six Town Eclogues; two written by Mr. Pope, and the rest by Lady Wortley Montague, whose fine genius and abilities are well known; and from whose hand I am glad to present the reader with the following Sonnet, preserved by Algarotti, in the seventh volume of his works :
“ Thou Silver Deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the Woodland shade;
The Lover's Guardian, and the Muse's aid.
To thee my tender grief confide;
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.
The charms of young Endymion diew,
With all thy greatness, and thy coldness too!"