« PreviousContinue »
Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed Those tears eternal that embalm the dead; Call round her tomb each object of desire, Each purer frame inform’d with
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage,
0! lasting as those colours may they shine! Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line: New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay: Led by some rule that guides, but not constrains, And finish'd more through happiness than pains. The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, And these be sung till Granville's Myra die; Alas! how little from the grave we claim ! Thou but preservest a face, and I a name.
TO MISS BLOUNT.
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE.
1717. In these gay thoughts the loves and graces shine, And all the writer lives in every line; His
easy art may happy nature seem; Trifles themselves are elegant in him. Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate, Who without flattery pleased the fair and great: Still with esteem no less conversed than read; With wit well-natured, and with books well-bred : His heart, his mistress, and his friend did share, His time, the Muse, the witty and the fair. Thus wisely careless, innocently gay, Cheerful he play'd the trifle, life, away; Till Fate scarce felt his gentle breath suppress'd, As smiling infants sport themselves to rest. E'en rival wits did Voiture's death deplore, And the
gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before; The truest hearts for Voiture heaved with sighs; Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes: The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death, But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
Critics in wit or life are hard to please ;
Too much your sex is by their forms confined,
The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers, Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders' mares, The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state, And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate. She glares in balls, front-boxes, and the ring, A vain, unquiet, glittering, wretched thing! Pride, pomp, and state, but reach her outward part; She sighs, and is no duchess at her heart.
But, madam, if the fates withstand, and you Are destined Hymen's willing victim too, Trust not too much your now resistless charms, Those age or sickness, soon or late, disarms; Good humour only teaches charms to last, Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past.
Love raised on beauty will like that decay,
Thus Voiture's early care' still shone the same,
Now crown'd with myrtle on the’ Elysian coast, Amid those lovers joys his gentle ghost; Pleased while with smiles his happy lines you view, And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you. The brightest eyes of France inspired his Muse; The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse; And dead, as living, 'tis our author's pride Still to charm those who charm the world beside.
TO THE SAME.
HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORONATION.
1715. 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, Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever :
I Mademoiselle Paulet.
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
She went to plain work, and to purling brooks,
Some squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack, Whose game is whist, whose treat a toast in sack; Who visits with a gun, présents you birds, Then gives a smacking buss, and cries--no words! Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the stable; Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are
coarse, And loves you best of all things—but his horse.
In some fair evening, on your elbow laid, You dream of triumphs in the rural shade; In pensive thought recall the fancied scene, See coronations rise on every green: Before you pass the' imaginary sights Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights, While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes; Then give one Alirt, and all the vision fies.