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Thou sure Presage of ill-approaching Fates!
The Bane of Empires, and the Change of States !
Armies in vain resist thy mighty Pow'r;
Not the worst Conduct would confound them more.'
Thus Rome her self, while o'er the World she flew,
And did by Virtue all that World subdue,
Was by her own victorious Arms oppress’d,
And catch'd Infection from the conquer'd East;
Whence all those Vices came, which foon devour
The best Foundations of Renown, and Pow'r.
But, oh, what need have we abroad to roam,
Who feel too much the sad Effects at home,
Of wild Excess? which we so plainly find,
Decays the Body, and impairs the Mind.
But yet grave Fops must not presume from hence
To slight the sacred Pleasures of the Sense:
Our Appetites are Nature's Laws, and giv'n
Under the broad authentick Seal of Heax'n.
Let Pedants wrangle, and let Biggots fight,
To put restraint on innocent Delight;
But Heav'n and Nature's always in the right;
They wou'd not draw poor wretched Mortals in,
Or give Desires that shall be doom'd for Sin.
Yet, that in height of harmless Joys we may
Last to old Age, and never lose a Day;
Amidst our Pleasures we our selves should space,
And manage all with Temperance and Care.
The Gods forbid but we sometimes may steep
Our Joys in Wine, and lull our Cares asleep:
It raises Nature, ripens Seeds of Worth,
As moistning Pictures calls the Colours forth';
But if the Varnish we'too oft apply,
Alas! like Colours, we grow faint and die.
Hold, hold, impetuous Muse: I would restrain
Her over-eager Heat, but all in vain ;
Abandon’d to Delights, she longs to rove;
I check her here, and now she flies to Love.
Shews me some rural Nymph by Shepherd chas'd,
Soor. overtaken, and as soon embrac'd;
The Grass by her, as she by him is press’d;
For shame, my Muse, let Fancy guess the rest:
At such a Point Fancy can never stay,
But flies beyond whatever you can say.
Behold the filent Shades, the am'rous Grove,
The dear Delights, the very Act of Love.
This is his lowest Sphere, his Country Scene,
Where Love is humble, and his Fare but mean,
Yet springing up without the help of Art,
Leaves a sincerer Relish in the Heart ;
More healthfully, tho' not so finely fed,
And better thrives than where more nicely bred.
But 'tis in Courts where most he makes a Show,
And high enthron’d, governs the World below;
For tho’in Histories learn’d Ignorance
Attributes all to Cunning, or to Chance;
Love will in those Disguises often smile,
And knows, the Cause was Kindness all the while:
What Story, Place, or Person cannot prove
The boundless Influence of mighty Love?
Where-e'er the Sun can vig’rous Heat inspire,
Both Sexes glow, and languish with Desire.
The weary'd Swain fast in the Arms of Sleep
Love can awake, and often fighing keep;
And busy Gown-men, by fond Love disguis’d,
Will leisure find to make themselves despis’d.
The proudest Kings submit to Beauty's Sway :
Bcauty it self, a greater Prince than they,
Lies sometimes languishing with all its Pride
By a belov'd, tho'fickle Lover's Side.
I meant to slight the soft enchanting Charm,
But, oh, my Head and Heart are both too warm.
I doat on Womankind with all their Faults;
Love turns my Satire into softest Thoughts ;
Of all that Passion which our Peace destroys,
Instead of Mischiefs, I describe the Joys,
But short will be his Reign (I fear too short)
And present Cares shall be my future Sport,
Then Love's bright Torch put out, his Arrows broke, Loose from kind Chains, and fromth' engagingYoke, To all fond Thoughts I'll sing such Counter-Charms, The Fair shall liften in their Lovers Arms.
Now the Enthusiastick Fit is spent,
I feel my Weakness, and toblatè repent.
As they who walk in Dreams, oft climb too high
For Sense to follow with a waking Eye;
And in such wild Attempts are blindly bold,
Which afterwards they tremble to behold.
So Treview these Sallies of my Pen,
And modest Reason is return'd agen ;
My Confidence I curse, my Fate accuse,
Scarce hold from censuring the sacred Muse.
No wretched Poet of the railing Pit,
No Critick curs’d with the wrong side of Wit,
Is more severe from Ignorance, and Spite,
Than I with Judgment against all Iwrite.