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Nor, though his priests be duly paid,
Did ever we desire his aid :
We now can better do without him,
Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him.

Cætera desiderantur.




u To make a writer miss his end,

You've nothing else to do but mend."


OFTEN tried in vain to find
A simile for womankind,
A simile I meant to fit 'em,
In every circumstance to hit 'em.
Through every beast and bird I went,
I ransack'd


And, after peeping through all nature
To find so whimsical a creature,
A cloud presented to my view,
And straight this parallel I drew :

Clouds turn with every wind about,
They keep us in suspense and doubt,
Yet oft perverse, like womankind,
Are seen to scud against the wind :
And are not women just the same?
For, who can tell at what they aim ?

Clouds keep the stoutest mortals under, When bellowing they discharge their thunder: So when the alarumbell is rung Of Xanti's everlasting tongue,



The husband dreads its loudness more
Than lightning's flash, or thunder's roar.

Clouds weep, as they do, without pain;
And what are tears but women's rain?

The clouds about the welkin roam :
And ladies never stay at home.

The clouds build castles in the air,
A thing peculiar to the fair :
For all the schemes of their forecasting,
Are not more solid nor more lasting.

A cloud is light by turns, and dark,
Such is a lady with her spark;
Now with a sudden pouting gloom
She seems to darken all the room;
Again she's pleas'd, his fears beguild,
And all is clear when she has smild.
In this they're wondrously alike,
(I hope the simile will strike)
Though in the darkest dumps you view them,
Stay but a moment, you'll see through them.

The clouds are apt to make reflection;
And frequently produce infection;
So Cælia, with small provocation,
Blasts every neighbour's reputation.

The clouds deiight in gaudy show,
(For they, like ladies, have their bow)
The gravest matron will confess,
That she herself is fond of dress.

Observe the clouds in pomp array'd,
What various colours are display'd ;
The pink, the rose, the violet's die,
In that great drawingroom the sky;
How do these differ from our Graces,
In garden-silks, brocades, and laces ?
Are they not such another sight,
When met upon a birthday night?

The clouds delight to change their fashion: (Dear ladies, be not in a passion!)

Nor let this whim to you seem strange,
Who every hour delight in change.

In them and you alike are seen
The sullen, symptoms of the spleen ;
The moment that your vapours rise,
We see them dropping from your eyes.

In evening fair you may behold
The clouds are fring'd with borrow'd gold;
And this is many a lady's case,
Who flaunts about in borrow'd lace.

Grave matrons are like clouds of snow, Their words fall thick, and soft, and slow; While brisk coquettes, like rattling hail, Our ears on every side assail.

Clouds when they intercept our sight,
Deprive us of celestial light:
So when my Chloe I pursue,
No Heaven besides I have in view,

Thus, on comparison you see,

instance they agree;
So like, so very much the same,
That one may go by t'other's name.
Let'me proclaim it then aloud,
That every woman is a cloud.

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PRESUMPTUOUS bard! how could you dare
A woman with a cloud compare?
Strange pride and insolence you

Inferiour mortals there below.
And is our thunder in your ears
So frequent or so loud as theirs ?

Alas! our thunder soon goes out;
And only makes you more devout.
Then is not female clatter worse,
That drives you not to pray, but curse?

We hardly thunder thrice a year;
The bolt discharg'd, the sky grows clear;
But every sublunary dowdy,
The more she scolds, the more she's cloudy.

Some critick may object, perhaps,
That clouds are blam'd for giving claps;
But what, alas! are claps ethereal
Compar'd for mischief to venereal ?
Can clouds give buboes, ulcers, blotches,
Or from your noses dig out notches?
We leave the body sweet and sound;
We kill, 'tis true, but never wound.

You know a cloudy sky bespeaks
Fair weather when the morning breaks ;
But women in a cloudy plight
Foretell a storm to last till night.

A cloud in proper season pours
His blessings down in fruitful showers;
But woman was by fate design'd

down curses on mankind.
When Sirius o'er the welkin rages,
Our kindly help his fire assuages;
But woman is a curst infiamer,
No parish ducking-stool can tame her:
To kindle strife, dame Nature taught her;
Like fireworks, she can burn in water.

For fickleness how durst you blame us, Who for our constancy are famous ? You'll see a cloud in gentle weather Keep the saine face an hour together; While women, if it could be reckond, Change every feature every second.

Observe our figure in a morning, Of foul or fair we give you warning:

But can you guess from women's air
One minute, whether foul or fair ?

Go read in ancient books enrollid
What honours we possess'd of old.

To disappoint Ixion's rape Jove dress'd a cloud in Juno's shape; Which when he had enjoy'd, he swore, No goddess could have pleas'd him more; No difference could be find between His cloud and Jove's imperial queen: His cloud produc’d'a race of Centaurs, Fam'd for a thousand bold adventures ; From us descended ab origine, By learned authors called nubiginæ ; But say, what eartbly nymph do you know, So beautiful to pass for Juno?

Before Æneas durst aspire
To court her majesty of Tyre,
His mother begg'd of us to dress him,
That Dido might the more caress him:
A coat we gave him, died in grain,
A flaxen wig, and clouded cane,
(The wig was powder'd round with sleet,
Which fell in clouds beneath his feet)
With which he made a tearing show;
And Dido quickly smoked the beau.

Among your females make inquiries,
What nymph on earth so fair as Iris ?
With heavenly beauty so endow'd?
And yet her father is a cloud.
We dress'd her in a gold brocade,
Befitting Juno's favourite maid.

'Tis known, that Socrates the wise
Ador'd us clouds as deities :
To us he made his daily prayers,
As Aristophanes declares;
From Jupiter took all dominion,
And died defending his opinion,

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