1 DAME Venus, a daughter of Jove's,
2 And amongst all his daughters most fair,
3 Lost, it seems, t' other day the two doves,
4 That wafted her car thro' the air.
5 The dame made a heavy sad rout,
6 Ran about heav'n and earth to condole 'em;
7 And sought high and low to find out,
8 Where the biddyes were stray'd, or who stole 'em.
9 To the God, who the stragglers shou'd meet,
10 She promis'd most tempting fine pay,
11 Six kisses than honey more sweet,
12 And a seventh far sweeter than they.
13 The proposal no sooner was made,
14 But it put all the Gods in a flame;
15 For who would not give all he had
16 To be kiss'd by so dainty a dame?
17 To Cyprus, to Paphos they run,
18 Where the Goddess oft us'd to retire;
19 Some rode round the world with the sun,
20 And search'd every country and shire.
21 But with all their hard running and riding,
22 Not a God of 'em claim'd the reward;
23 For no one could tell tale or tiding,
24 If the doves were alive or were starv'd.
25 At last the sly shooter of men
26 Young Cupid, (I beg the God's pardon)
27 Mamma, your blue birds I have seen
28 In a certain terrestrial garden.
29 Where, where, my dear child, quickly shew,
30 Quoth the dame, almost out of her wits:
31 Do but go to Chlorinda's, says Cu,
32 And you'll find 'em in shape of pewits.
33 Is it she that hath done me this wrong?
34 Full well I know her, and her arts;
35 She has follow'd the thieving trade long,
36 But I thought she dealt only in hearts.
37 I shall soon make her know, so I shall —
38 And with that to Jove's palace she run,
39 And began like a bedlam to bawl,
40 I am cheated, I'm robb'd, I'm undone.
41 Chlorinda, whom none can approach
42 Without losing his heart or his senses,
43 Has stol'n the two doves from my coach,
44 And now flaunts it at Venus' expences.
45 She has chang'd the poor things to pewits,
46 And keeps 'em like ord'nary fowls:
47 So when she robs men of their wits,
48 She turns 'em to asses or owls.
49 I cou'd tell you of many a hundred
50 Of figure, high station, and means,
51 Whom she without mercy has plunder'd,
52 Ever since she came into her teens.
53 But her thefts upon earth I'd have borne,
54 Or have let 'em all pass for mere fable;
55 But nothing will now serve her turn,
56 But the doves out of Venus's stable.
57 Is it fit, let your mighty ship say,
58 That I, like some pitiful flirt,
59 Shou'd tarry within doors all day,
60 Or else trudge it afoot in the dirt?
61 Is it fit that a mortal shou'd trample
62 On me, who am styl'd queen of beauty?
63 O make her, great Jove, an example,
64 And teach Nimble-fingers her duty.
65 Sir Jove when he heard her thus rage,
66 For all his great gravity, smil'd;
67 And then, like a judge wise and sage,
68 He began in terms sober and mild.
69 Learn, daughter, to bridle your tongue,
70 Forbear to traduce with your prattle
71 The fair, who has done you no wrong,
72 And scorns to purloin goods and chattel.
73 She needs neither gewgaw nor trinket,
74 To carry the world all before her;
75 Her deserts, I wou'd have you to think it,
76 Are enough to make all men adore her.
77 Your doves are elop'd, I confess,
78 And chuse with Chlorinda to dwell;
79 But blame not the lady for this;
80 For sure 'tis no crime to excel.
81 As for them, I applaud their high aims;
82 Having serv'd from the time of their birth
83 The fairest of heavenly dames,
84 They would now serve the fairest on earth.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): A TALE. To CHLORINDA.
Author: Anthony Alsop
Themes: sex; relations between the sexes; mythology; beauty
References: DMI 27891
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.