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From hence, ye Beauties, undeceiv'd,
Know, one false step is ne'er retriev'd,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
Nor all, that glisters, gold.
THE Counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear,
Too roughly kind to please a lady's ear,.
Unlike the flatt'ries of a lover's pen,
Such truths as women seldom learn from men :
Nor think I praise you ill, when thus I show
What female vanity might fear to know;
Some merit's mine, to dare to be sincere,
But greater yours, sincerity to bear.
Hard is the fortune that your sex attends;
Women, like princes, find no real friends:
All who approach them their own ends pursue :
Lovers and ministers are never true.
Hence oft from reason heedless beauty strays, And the most trusted guide the most betrays : Hence, by fond dreams of fancy'd power amus'd, When most you tyrannize, you're most abus'd.
What is your sex's earliest, latest care, Your heart's supreme ambition? To be fair : For this the toilet ev'ry thought employs, Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys: For this, hands, lips, and eyes are put to school, And each instructed feature has its rule: And yet how few have learnt, when this is given, Not to disgrace the partial boon of heaven? How few with all their pride of form can move? How few are lovely, that were made for love? Do you, my Fair, endeavour to possess An elegance of mind, as well as dress; Be that your ornament, and know to please By graceful Nature's unaffected case..
Nor make to dang'rous wit a vain pretence,
But wisely rest content with modest sense;
For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain,
Too strong for feeble woman to sustain ;-
Of those who claim it, more than half have none,
And half of those who have it are undone.
Be still superior to your sex's arts, Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts: you the plainest is the wisest rule; A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame.
Virtue is amiable, mild, serene,
Without, all beauty, and all peace within:
The honour of a prude is rage and storm,
'Tis ugliness in its most frightful form:
Fiercely it stands, defying gods and men,
As fiery monsters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great,
A woman's noblest station is retreat;
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight,
Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
To rougher man ambition's task resign:
'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine,
To labour for a sunk corrupted state,
Or dare the rage of envy, and be great.
One only care your gentle breasts should move;
Th' important business of your life is love:
To this great point direct your constant aim,
This makes your happiness, and this your fame.
Be never cool reserve with passion join'd;
With caution chuse; but then be fondly kind.
The selfish heart, that but by halves is given,
Shall find no place in love's delightful heaven;
Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless,
The virtue of a lover is excess.
A maid unask'd may own a well-plac'd flame;
Not loving first, but loving wrong, is shame.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain,
Nor think that conquest justifies disdain :
Short is the period of insulting pow'r;
Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour,
Soon will resume the empire which he gave,
And soon the tyrant shall become the slave.
Blest is the maid, and worthy to be blest,
Whose soul, entire by him she loves possest,
Feels every vanity in fondness lost,
And asks no power, but that of pleasing most :
Hers is the bliss in just return to provė
The honest warmth of undissembled love;
For her, inconstant man might cease to range,
And gratitude forbid desife to change.
But lest harsh care the lover's peace destroy,
And roughly blight the tender buds of joy,
Let reason teach what passion fain would hide,
That Hymen's bands by prudence should be ty'd.
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown,
If angry fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flatt'ring dream of bliss be o'er,
And cloy'd imagination cheat no more.
Then waking to the sense of lasting pain,
With mutual tears the nuptial couch they stain ;
And that fond love, which should afford relief,
Does but increase the anguish of their grief;
While both could easier their own sorrows bear,
Than the sad knowledge of each other's care.
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain,
Than sell your violated charins for gain;
Than wed the wretch whom you despise, or hate,
For the vain glare of useless wealth or state.
Ev'n in the happiest choice, where fav'ring heaven Has equal love and easy fortune giv'n,
Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done;
The prize of happiness must still be won;
And oft the careless find it to their cost,
The Lover in the Husband may be lost;
The Graces might alone his heart allure;
They and the Virtues meeting must secure.
Let ev'n your Prudence wear the pleasing dress
Of care for him, and anxious tenderness.
From kind concern about his weal or woe,
Let each domestic duty seem to flow:
The Household-Sceptre if he bids you bear,
Make it your pride his servant to appear;
Endearing thus the common acts of life,
The Mistress still shall charm him in the Wife;
And wrinkled age shall unobserv'd come on,
Betore his eye perceives one beauty gone;
Evn o'er your cold and ever sacred urn,
His constant fame shall unextinguish'd burn.
Thus I, Belinda would your charms improve,
And form your heart to all the arts of love.
The task were harder to secure my own
Against the power of those already known;
For well you twist the secret chains that bind
With gentle force the captivated mind;
Skill'd every soft attraction to employ,
Each flatt'ring hope, and each alluring joy:
Town your genius, and from you receive
The rules of pleasing, which to you I give.
The LADY'S LOOKING-GLASS.
CELIA and I the other day
Walk'd o'er the sand-hills to the sea;
The setting sun adorn'd the coast,
His beams entire, his fierceness lost;
And, on the surface of the deep,
The winds lay only not asleep :
The nymph did like the scene appear,
Serenely pleasant, calmly fair;
Soft fell her words, as flew the air.
With secret joy I heard her say,
That she would never miss one day
A walk so fine, a sight so gay.
But, oh the change! the winds grew high;
Impending tempests charge the sky;
The lightning flies, the thunder roars,
And big waves lash the frighten'd shores.
Struck with the horror of the sight,
She turns her head, and wings her flight;
And trembling vows she'll ne'er again
Approach the shore, or view the main.
Once more at least look back, said I';
Thyself in that large glass descry:
When thou art in good humour drest,
When gentle reason rules thy breast,
The sun upon the calmest sea
Appears not half so bright as thee:
'Tis then that with delight I rove
Upon the boundless depth of love;
I bless my chain, I hand my oar,
Nor think on all I left on shore.
But when vain doubt and groundless fear
Do Celia's lovely bosom tear;
When the big lip and wat'ry eye
Tell me the rising storm is nigh;
'Tis then thou art yon angry main,
Deform'd by winds, and dash'd by rain;
And the poor sailor, that must try
Its fury, labours less than I.
Shipwreck'd, in vain to land I make, While love and fate still drive me back; Forc'd to doat on thee thy own way, I chide thee first, and then obey. Wretched when from thee, vext when nigh, I with thee, or without thee, die.
THE pride of every grove I chose,
The violet sweet and lily fair,
The dappled pink, and blushing rose,
To deck my charming Chloe's hair.
At morn the nymph vouchsaf'd to place
Upon her brow the various wreath,
The flowers less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath.
The flowers she wore along the day;
And ev'ry nymph and shepherd said,
That in her hair they look'd more gay
Than glowing in their native bed.