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Such are the smiles where drops of crystal show
As when to scare th' ungrateful or the proud
What mortal change does in thy face appear, Lost youth, she cried, since first I met thee here! With how undecent clouds are overcast Thy looks, when every cause of grief is past ! Unworthy the glad tidings which I bring, Listen while the Muse thus teaches thee to sing :
As parent earth, burst by imprison’d winds, Scatters strange agues o'er men's sickly minds, And shakes the atheist's knees; such ghastly fear Late I beheld on every face appear; Mild Dorothea, * peaceful, 'wise, and great, Trembling beheld the doubtful hand of fate; Mild Dorothea, whom we both have long Not dared to injure with our lowly song ; Sprung from a better world, and chosen then The best companion for the best of men : As some fair pile, yet spared by zeal and rage Lives pious witness of a better age; So men may see what once was womankind, In the fair shrine of Dorothea's mind.
* Sister to Sir William Temple. -S. Lady Gifford, a woman of great spirit and talents, who accompanied her brother on all his embassies.' Swift afterwards quarrelled with her irreconcileably, as appears from many passages in his Journal.
You that would grief describe, come here and
trace Its wat’ry footsteps in Dorinda's face : * Grief from Dorinda's face does ne'er depart Further than its own palace in her heart : Ah, since our fears are fled, this insolent expel, At least confine the tyrant to his cell. And if so black the cloud, that Heaven's bright
queen Shrouds her still beams; how should the stars 'be
seen? Thus when Dorinda wept, joy ev'ry face forsook, And grief Aung sables on each menial look ; The humble tribe mourn’d for the quick’ning soul, That furnish'd spirit and motion through the whole; So would earth's face turn pale, and life decay, Should Heaven suspend to act but for a day ; So nature's crazed convulsions make us dread That time is sick, or the world's mind is dead. Take, youth, these thoughts, large matter to employ The fancy furnish'd by returning joy; And to mistaken man these truths rehearse, Who dare revile the integrity of verse: Ah fav'rite youth, how happy is thy lot ! But I'm deceiv'd, or thou regard'st me not ; Speak, for I wait thy answer, and expect Thy just submission for this bold neglect.
Unknown the forms we the high-priesthood use At the divine appearance of the muse, Which to divulge might shake profane belief, And tell the irreligion of my grief;
* Lady Temple, who is described as a very extraordinary and accomplished woman.
Grief that excused the tribute of my knees,
Malignant goddess! bane to my repose,
For, let Heaven's wrath enlarge these weary days,
* What a miserable state of mind must Swift have been in when he wrote this! which was owing to the state of dependence in which he had always lived from his birth to that time, with but little prospect of his being relieved from it. How grating must this have been to such a proud and generous spirit!S. VOL. XIV.
Be this thy sure defence, thy brazen wall, 1,1 "
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S IVORY TABLE
[This is the first of Swift's poems which displays his strong and
peculiar vein of humour. His genius, seems to have thrown off its epcumbrances, and assumed proper and legitimate ex. crcise, so soon as he was released from his slavish dependence upon Temple.]
Peruse my leaves through every part,