LOVE Triumphant over REASON.
1 Tho' gloomy Thoughts disturb'd my anxious Breast,
2 All the long Night, and drove away my Rest.
3 Just as the dawning Day began to rise,
4 A grateful Slumber clos'd my waking Eyes:
5 But active Fancy to strange Regions flew,
6 And brought surprising Objects to my View.
7 Methought I walk'd in a delightful Grove,
8 The soft Retreat of Gods, when Gods make Love.
9 Each beauteous Object my charm'd Soul amaz'd,
10 And I on each with equal Wonder gaz'd;
11 Nor knew which most delighted, all was fine,
12 The noble Product of some Pow'r Divine. [Page 9]
13 But as I travers'd the obliging Shade,
14 Which Myrtle, Jessamin, and Roses made,
15 I saw a person whose Celestial Face
16 At first declar'd her, Goddess of the Place;
17 But I discover'd, when approaching near,
18 An Aspect full of Beauty, but severe:
19 Bold, and Majestic, ev'ry awful Look
20 Into my Soul a secret Terror struck.
21 Advancing farther on, she made a stand,
22 And beckon'd me, I kneeling, kiss'd her Hand:
23 Then thus began — bright Deity! for so
24 You are, no Mortal such Perfections know;
25 I may intrude, but how I was convey'd
26 To this strange place, or by what pow'rful Aid,
27 I'm wholly ignorant, nor know I more,
28 Or where I am, or whom I do adore,
29 Instruct me then, that I no longer may
30 In Darkness serve the Goddess I obey.
31 Youth, she reply'd, this place belongs to one,
32 By whom you'll be, and Thousands are undone.
33 These pleasant Walks, and all these shady Bow'rs
34 Are in the Government of dang'rous Pow'rs.
35 Love's the capricious Master of this Coast,
36 This fatal Labyrinth where Fools are lost.
37 I dwell not here amidst these gaudy Things,
38 Whose short Enjoyment no true Pleasure brings.
39 But have an Empire of a nobler kind,
40 My regal Seat's in the celestial Mind;[Page 10]
41 Where with a God-like, and a Peaceful Hand
42 I Rule, and make those Happy, I Command.
43 For while I Govern, all within's at Rest;
44 No Stormy Passion Revels in the Breast:
45 But when my Pow'r is Despicable grown,
46 And Rebel Appetites Usurp my Throne,
47 The Soul no longer quiet Thoughts enjoys;
48 But all is Tumult, and Eternal Noise.
49 Know Youth! I'm Reason, which you've oft despiz'd,
50 I am that Reason, which you never Priz'd:
51 And tho' my Arguments Successless prove,
52 (For Reason seems Impertinence in Love.)
53 Yet I'll not see my Charge, (for all Mankind
54 Are to my Guardianship by Heav'n assign'd)
55 Into the Grasp of any Ruin run,
56 That I can warn 'em of, and they may shun.
57 Fly Youth these Guilty Shades, retreat in time
58 E'er your Mistake's converted to a Crime;
59 For Ignorance no longer can attone,
60 When once the Error, and the Fault is known.
61 You thought perhaps, as Giddy Youth inclines,
62 Imprudently to value all that Shines,
63 In these Retirements freely to possess
64 True Joy, and strong substantial Happiness.
65 But here Gay Folly keeps her Court, and here
66 In Crowds her Tributary Fops appear;
67 Who blindly Lavish of their Golden Days,
68 Consume them all in her Fallacious Ways.
69 Pert Love with her, by joint Commission Rules
70 In this Capacious Realm of Idle Fools;[Page 11]
71 Who by false Arts, and Popular Deceits,
72 The Careless, Fond, Unthinking Mortal Cheats.
73 'Tis easy to descend into the Snare,
74 By the pernicious Conduct of the Fair;
75 But Safely to return from this Abode
76 Requires the Wit, the Prudence of a God;
77 Tho' you, who have not tasted that Delight,
78 Which only at a Distance charms your Sight;
79 May with a little Toil retreive your Heart,
80 Which lost, is subject to Eternal Smart.
81 Bright Delia's Beauty, I must needs confess.
82 Is truly Great, nor would I make it less:
83 That were to wrong Her, where she Merits most,
84 But Dragons guard the Fruit, and Rocks the Coast.
85 And who would run, that's moderately Wise,
86 A Certain Danger, for a Doubtful Prize?
87 If you miscarry, you are lost so far,
88 (For there's no erring Twice in Love, and War)
89 You'll ne'er recover, but must always Wear
90 Those Chains you'll find it difficult to bear.
91 Delia has Charms I own, such Charms would move,
92 Old Age, and frozen Impotence to Love;
93 But do not Venture where such Danger lies,
94 Avoid the Sight of those Victorious Eyes,
95 Whose pois'nous Rays do to the Soul impart
96 Delicious Ruin, and a pleasing Smart.
97 You draw, Insensibly, Destruction near,
98 And Love the Danger, which you ought to fear.
99 If the light Pains, you labour under Now
100 Destroy your Ease, and make your Spirits Bow? [Page 12]
101 You'll find 'em much more grievous to be born,
102 When heavier made by an imperious Scorn.
103 Nor can you hope, she will your Passion hear
104 With softer Notions, or a kinder Ear,
105 Than those of other Swains, who always found,
106 She rather widen'd, than clos'd up the Wound.
107 But grant she should indulge your Flame, and give
108 Whate'er you'd ask, nay all you can receive;
109 The short liv'd Pleasure would so quickly cloy,
110 Bring such a weak, and such a feeble Joy,
111 You'd have but small Encouragement to boast
112 The Tinsel Rapture worth the Pains it cost.
113 Consider Strephon soberly of Things
114 What strange Inquietudes Love always brings,
115 The foolish Fears, vain Hopes, and Jealousies,
116 Which still attend upon this fond Disease:
117 How you must cringe and bow, submit and whine,
118 Call ev'ry Feature, ev'ry Look, Divine;
119 Commend each Sentence with an humble Smile,
120 Tho' Nonsense, swear it is a heavenly Stile.
121 Servilely rail at all she disapproves,
122 And as ignobly, flatter all she loves.
123 Renounce your very Sense, and silent sit,
124 While she puts off Impertinence for Wit.
125 Like Setting-Dog new whip'd for springing Game,
126 You must be made by due Correction tame
127 But if you can endure the nauseous Rule
128 Of Woman, do, love on, and be a Fool.
129 You know the Danger, your own Methods use,
130 The Good, or Evil's in your pow'r to chuse;[Page 13]
131 But who'd expect a short, and dubious Bliss
132 On the declining of a Precipice:
133 Where if he slips, not Fate it self can save
134 The falling Wretch from an untimely Grave.
135 Thou great Directress of our Minds, said I,
136 We safely on your Dictates may rely.
137 And that which you have now so kindly prest
138 Is true, and without Contradiction best;
139 But with a steady Sentence to controul
140 The Heat, and Vigour of a youthful Soul,
141 While gay Temptations hover in our Sight,
142 And daily bring new Objects of Delight,
143 Which on us with surprizing Beauty smile,
144 Is difficult, but 'tis a noble Toil.
145 The best may slip, and the most cautious fall,
146 He's more than Mortal that ne'er err'd at all;
147 And, tho' fair Delia has my Soul possest,
148 I'll chace her bright Idea from my Breast.
149 At least I'll make one Essay, if I fail,
150 And Delia's Charms o'er Reason does prevail,
151 I may be sure from rigid Censures free,
152 Love was my Foe, and Love's a Deity.
153 Then she rejoyn'd, may you successful prove,
154 In your Attempt to curb imperious Love,
155 Then will proud Passion own her rightful Lord,
156 You to your self, I to my Throne restor'd;
157 But to confirm your Courage, and inspire
158 Your Resolution with a bolder Fire,[Page 14]
159 Follow me Youth! I'll show you that shall move
160 Your Soul to Curse the Tyranny of Love.
161 Then she convey'd me to a Dismal Shade,
162 Which Melancholy Yew, and Cypress made;
163 Where I beheld an Antiquated Pile
164 Of rugged Building in a Narrow Isle;
165 The Water round it gave a Nauseous Smell,
166 Like Vapours Steeming from a Sulph'rous Cell.
167 The Ruin'd Wall compos'd of Stinking Mud,
168 O'ergrown with Hemlock, on Supporters Stood;
169 As did the Roof ungrateful to the View
170 'Twas both an Hospital, and Bedlam too.
171 Before the Entrance, mould'ring Bones were Spread
172 Some Skeletons entire, some lately Dead,
173 A little Rubbish loosely Scatter'd o'er
174 Their Bodies Uninterr'd, lay round the Door.
175 No Fun'ral Rites, to any here, were paid,
176 But Dead like Dogs into the Dust convey'd.
177 From Hence, by Reason's Conduct, I was brought
178 Thro' various Turnings to a Spacious Vault,
179 Where, I beheld, and 'twas a Mournful Sight,
180 Vast Crowds of Wretches, all debarr'd from Light,
181 But What a few dim Lamps expiring had,
182 Which made the Prospect more amazing Sad;
183 Some Wept, Some Rav'd, Some Musically Mad.
184 Some Swearing Loud, and Others Laughing; Some
185 Were always Talking, Others always Dumb.
186 Here One, a Dagger in his Breast, expires,
187 And quenches with his Blood his Am'rous Fires;[Page 15]
188 There Hangs a Second, and not far Remov'd,
189 A Third lies poison'd, who false Celia Lov'd.
190 All Sorts of Madness, ev'ry Kind of Death,
191 By which Unhappy Mortals lose their Breath,
192 Was there expos'd before my Wond'ring Eyes,
193 The sad Effect of Female Treacheries.
194 Others I saw, which were not quite bereft
195 Of Sense, tho' very Small Remains were left,
196 Cursing the fatal Folly of their Youth,
197 For trusting to Perjurious Woman's Truth,
198 These on the Left. Upon the Right a View
199 Of equal Horror, equal Mis'ry too,
200 Amazing, all employ'd my troubled thought,
201 And with New Wonder, New Aversion brought.
202 There I beheld a Wretched num'rous Throng
203 Of Pale Lean Mortals, some lay stretch'd along
204 On Beds of Straw, Disconsolate and Poor,
205 Others extended Naked on the Floor:
206 Exil'd from Human Pity, here they lie
207 And know no End of Mis'ry till they Die:
208 But Death which comes in Gay and Prosp'rous Days
209 Too Soon; in time of Misery Delays.
210 These Dreadful Spectacles had so much Pow'r,
211 I Vow'd, and Solemnly, to Love no more:
212 For sure that Flame is Kindled from Below,
213 Which breeds such Sad variety of Woe.
214 Then we descending by some few Degrees
215 From this Stupendous Scene of Miseries;[Page 16]
216 Bold Reason brought me to another Cave
217 Dark as the inmost Chambers of the Grave.
218 Here Youth, she cry'd, in the acutest Pain
219 Those Villains lie, who have their Fathers slain.
220 Stab'd their own Brothers, nay their Friends, to please
221 Ambitious, proud, revengeful Mistresses;
222 Who after all their Services, preferr'd
223 Some rugged Fellow of the brawny Herd,
224 Before these Wretches, who despairing dwell
225 In Agonies no Human Tongue can tell.
226 Darkness prevents the too amazing Sight,
227 And you may bless the happy Want of Light.
228 But my tormented Ears were fill'd with Sighs,
229 Expiring Groans, and lamentable Cries,
230 So very sad I could endure no more,
231 Methought I felt the Miseries they bore.
232 Then to my Guide said I, for pity now
233 Conduct me back, here I confirm my Vow;
234 Which if I dare infringe, be this my Fate,
235 To die thus wretched, and repent too late.
236 The Charms of Beauty I'll no more pursue;
237 Delia farewel, farewel for ever too.
238 Then we return'd to the delightful Grove,
239 Where Reason still disswaded me from Love.
240 You see, she cry'd, what Misery attends
241 On Love, and where too frequently it ends;
242 And let not that unweildy Passion sway
243 Your Soul, which none but whining Fools obey. [Page 17]
244 The Masculine, brave Spirit, scorns to own
245 That proud Usurper of my sacred Throne;
246 Nor with idolatrous Devotion pays
247 To the false God, or Sacrifice, or Praise.
248 The Syren's Musick, charms the Sailor's Ear,
249 But he is ruin'd if he stops to hear;
250 And if you listen, Love's harmonious Voice,
251 As much delights, as certainly destroys.
252 Ambrosia mix'd with Aconite may have
253 A pleasant Taste but sends you to the Grave;
254 For tho' the Latent Poison may be still
255 A while, it very seldom fails to kill.
256 But who'd partake the Food of Gods to die
257 Within a Day, or live in Misery,
258 Who'd eat with Emperours, if o'er his Hea
259 A Poniard hung, but by a single Thread? *
* The Feast of Democles.
260 Love's Banquets are extravagantly sweet,
261 And either kill, or surfeit all that eat;
262 Who, when the sated Appetite is tir'd,
263 Even loath the Thoughts of what they once admir'd.
264 You've promis'd Strephon, to forsake the Charms
265 Of Delia, tho' she courts you to her Arms;
266 And sure I may your Resolution trust,
267 You'll never want Temptation, but be just:
268 Vows of this Nature, Youth, must not be broke,
269 You're always bound, tho' 'tis a gentle Yoke,[Page 18]
270 Would Men be Wise, and my Advice pursue;
271 Love's Conquest would be small, his Triumphs few.
272 For Nothing can oppose his Tyranny,
273 With such a Prospect of Success as I:
274 Me he detests, and from my Presence flies,
275 Who know his Arts, and Stratagems despise;
276 By which he cancels mighty Wisdom's Rules
277 To make himself the Deity of Fools:
278 Him dully they Adore, him blindly Serve,
279 Some while they're Sots, and other while they Starve.
280 For those, who under his Wild Conduct go,
281 Either come Coxcombs, or he makes 'em so.
282 His Charms deprive, by their strange Influence,
283 The Brave of Courage, and the Wise of Sense;
284 In Vain Philosophy would set the Mind
285 At Liberty, if once by him Confin'd;
286 The Scholar's Learning, and the Poet's Wit
287 A while may Struggle, but at last Submit:
288 Well weigh'd Results, and Wise Conclusions seem
289 But empty Chat, Impertinence to him,
290 His Opiates seize so strongly on the Brain,
291 They make all Prudent Application Vain.
292 If therefore you resolve to Live at Ease,
293 To taste the Sweetness of Internal Peace:
294 Would not for Safety to a Battle fly,
295 Or chuse a Shipwreck, if afraid to Die,
296 Far from these pleasurable Shades remove,
297 And leave the Fond Inglorious Toil of Love
298 This said, She Vanish'd, and Methought I found
299 My self Transported to a Rising Ground,
300 From whence I did a pleasant Vale Survey;
301 Large was the Prospect, Beautiful, and Gay.
302 There I beheld th' Apartments of Delight,
303 Whose curious Forms oblig'd the Wond'ring Sight.
304 Some in full View upon the Champian plac'd,
305 With lofty Walls, and cooling Streams embrac'd:
306 Others, in Shady Groves, retir'd from Noise,
307 The Seats of Private and Exalted Joys.
308 At a great Distance I perceiv'd there stood
309 A Stately Building in a Spacious Wood,
310 Whose Gilded Turrets rais'd their beauteous Heads,
311 High in the Air to View the Neighb'ring Meads,
312 Where Vulgar Lovers spent their Happy Days
313 In Rustick Dancing and delightful Plays.
314 But while I gaz'd with Admiration round,
315 I heard from far, Celestial Musick sound,
316 So Soft, so Moving; so Harmonious all,
317 The Artful Charming Notes did rise and fall,
318 My Soul, transported with the Grateful Airs,
319 Shook off, the Pressures of its former Fears.
320 I felt afresh the little God begin
321 To stir himself, and gently move within:
322 Then I repented I had vow'd no more
323 To Love, or Delia's Beauteous Eyes adore:
324 Why am I now condemn'd to Banishment,
325 And made an Exile by my Own Consent. [Page 20]
326 I sighing cry'd; why should I live in Pain
327 Those fleeting Hours, which ne'er return again?
328 O Delia! what can wretched Strephon do?
329 Inhuman to himself, and false to you.
330 'Tis true, I've promis'd Reason to remove
331 From these Retreats, and quit bright Delia's Love:
332 But is not Reason partially unkind?
333 Are all her Votaries like me confin'd?
334 Must none, that under her Dominion live,
335 To Love, and Beauty, Veneration give?
336 Why then did Nature youthful Delia grace
337 With a majestick Mien, and charming Face?
338 Why did she give her that surprizing Air,
339 Make her so gay, so witty, and so fair?
340 Mistress of all, that can Affection move;
341 If Reason will not suffer us to Love?
342 But since it must be so, I'll haste away,
343 'Tis Fatal to return, and Death to stay.
344 From you, blest Shades, (if I may call you so
345 Inculpable) with mighty Pain I go.
346 Compell'd from hence, I leave my Quiet here
347 I may find Safety, but I buy it dear.
348 Then turning round, I saw a beauteous Boy,
349 Such as of old were Messengers of Joy:
350 Who art thou, or from whence? if sent, said I,
351 To me, my Haste requires a quick Reply.
352 I come, he cry'd, from yon Celestial Grove,
353 Where stands the Temple of the God of Love:[Page 21]
354 With whose important Favour you are grac'd,
355 And, justly in his high Protection plac'd.
356 Be grateful, Strephon, and obey that God,
357 Whose Scepter ne'er is chang'd into a Rod,
358 That God to whom the haughty, and the proud,
359 The bold, the bravest, nay the best have bow'd:
360 That God, whom all the lesser Gods adore;
361 First in Existence, and the first in Pow'r.
362 From him I come on Embassy divine,
363 To tell thee, Delia, Delia may be thine.
364 To whom all Beauties rightful Tribute pay,
365 Delia the young, the lovely, and the gay.
366 If you dare push your Fortune, if you dare
367 But be resolv'd, and press the yielding Fair.
368 Success, and Glory will your Labours crown;
369 For Fate does rarely on the Valiant frown.
370 But were you sure to be unkindly us'd,
371 Coldly receiv'd, and scornfully refus'd;
372 He greater Glory, and more Fame obtains,
373 Who looses Delia, than who Phillis gains.
374 But to prevent all Fears that may arise,
375 (Tho' Fears ne'er move the Daring and the Wise)
376 In the dark Volumes of eternal Doom,
377 Where all things past, and present, and to come
378 Are writ, I saw these Words; — It is Decreed
379 That Strephon's Love to Delia shall Succeed.
380 What would you more? while Youth and Vigour last,
381 Love, and be happy, they decline too fast:
382 In Youth alone you're capable to prove
383 The mighty Transports of a gen'rous Love. [Page 22]
384 For dull Old Age with fumbling Labour cloys
385 Before the Bliss, or gives but wither'd Joys;
386 Youth's the best time for Action Mortals have,
387 That Past, they touch the Confines of the Grave.
388 Now if you hope to lie in Delia's Arms,
389 To Die in Raptures, and Dissolve in Charms,
390 Quick to the Blissful happy Mansion fly,
391 Where all is one continu'd Extacy.
392 Delia Impatiently expects you there,
393 And sure you will not disappoint the Fair.
394 None but the Impotent, or Old, would stay,
395 When Love Invites, and Beauty calls away.
396 O, you convey, said I, dear charming Boy:
397 Into my Soul a Strange Disorder'd Joy.
398 I would, but dare not your Advice pursue;
399 I've promis'd Reason, and I must be true:
400 Reason's the Rightful Empress of the Soul,
401 Does all Exorbitant Desires controul;
402 Checks ev'ry Wild Excursion of the Mind,
403 By her Wise Dictates, Happily confin'd.
404 And he that will not her Command Obey,
405 Leaves a safe Convoy in a Dang'rous Sea.
406 True, I Love Delia to a vast Excess,
407 But I must try to make my Passion Less:
408 Try, if I can, if Possible, I Will;
409 For I have Vow'd, and must that Vow fulfil.
410 O! had I not, with what a Vig'rous Flight
411 Could I pursue the Quarries of Delight? [Page 23]
412 How could I press Fair Delia in these Arms,
413 Till I dissolv'd in Love, and she in Charms.
414 But now no more must I her Beauties View,
415 Yet Tremble at the Thoughts to leave her too.
416 What would I give, I might my Flame allow?
417 But 'tis forbid by Reason, and a Vow;
418 Two mighty Obstacles; tho' Love of Old
419 Has broke thro' greater, stronger Powers controul'd,
420 Should I offend, by high Example taught,
421 'Twould not be an inexpiable Fault.
422 The Crimes of Malice have found Grace above,
423 And sure kind Heaven will spare the Crimes of Love,
424 Could'st thou, my Angel, but instruct me how
425 I might be Happy, and not break my Vow,
426 Or by some Subtil Art dissolve the Chain;
427 You'd soon revive my dying Hopes again.
428 Reason and Love, I know, could ne'er Agree,
429 Both would command, and both Superior be.
430 Reason's supported by the Sinewy Force
431 Of Solid Argument, and Wise Discourse;
432 But Love pretends to use no other Arms
433 Than Soft Impressions, and Perswasive Charms.
434 One must be Disobey'd, and shall I prove
435 A Rebel to my Reason or to Love?
436 But then suppose I should my Flame pursue,
437 Delia may be Unkind, and Faithless too;
438 Reject my Passion with a Proud Disdain,
439 And Scorn the Love of such an Humble Swain
440 Then should I labour under Mighty Grief,
441 Beyond all Hopes, or Prospect of Relief:[Page 24]
442 So that methinks 'tis safer to obey
443 Right Reason, tho' she bears a rugged Sway,
444 Than Love's soft Rule, whose Subjects undergo
445 Early or late too sad a share of Woe,
446 Can I so soon forget that wretched Crew,
447 Reason just now expos'd before my View;
448 If Delia should be cruel, I must be
449 A sad Partaker of their Misery:
450 But your Encouragements so strongly move,
451 I'm almost tempted to pursue my Love:
452 For sure, no treacherous Designs should dwell
453 In one that argues, and perswades so well,
454 For what could Love by my Destruction gain?
455 Love's an immortal God, and I a Swain:
456 And sure I may, without Suspicion, trust
457 A God, for Gods can never be unjust.
458 Right you conclude, reply'd the smiling Boy
459 Love ruins none, 'tis Men themselves destroy;
460 And those vile Wretches, which you lately saw,
461 Transgress'd his Rules, as well as Reason's Law.
462 They're not Love's Subjects, but the Slaves of Lust,
463 Nor is their Punishment so great, as just.
464 For Love and Lust essentially divide,
465 Like Day and Night, Humility and Pride;
466 One Darkness hides, t'other does always shine,
467 This of infernal Make, and that divine.
468 Reason no gen'rous Passion does oppose;
469 'Tis Lust, (not Love) and Reason, that are Foes. [Page 25]
470 She bids you scorn a base inglorious Flame,
471 Black as the gloomy Shade, from whence it came,
472 In this, her Precepts should Obedience find,
473 But yours is not of that ignoble kind.
474 You Err, in thinking she would disapprove
475 The brave Pursuit of honourable Love,
476 And therefore judge what's harmless, an Offence,
477 Invert her Meaning, and mistake her Sense.
478 She could not such insipid Counsel give,
479 As not to love at all, 'tis not to live,
480 But where bright Virtue, and true Beauty lies,
481 And that in Delia, charming Delia's Eyes.
482 Could you, contented, see th' Angelic Maid
483 In old Alexis' dull Embraces laid?
484 Or Rough-hewn Tityrus possess those Charms,
485 Which are in Heaven, the Heaven of Delia's Arms?
486 Consider, Youth, what Transports you forego,
487 The most intire Felicity below;
488 Which is by Fate alone reserv'd for you;
489 Monarchs have been deny'd, for Monarchs sue.
490 I own 'tis difficult to gain the Prize,
491 Or 'twould be cheap, and low in noble Eyes;
492 But there is one soft Minute, when the Mind
493 Is left unguarded, waiting to be kind,
494 Which the wise Lover understanding right,
495 Steals in like Day upon the Wings of Light.
496 You urge your Vow, but can those Vows prevail
497 Whose first Foundation, and whose Reason fail?
498 You vow'd to leave fair Delia, but you thought
499 Your Passion was a Crime, your Flame a Fault;[Page 26]
500 But since your Judgment err'd, it has no Force
501 To bind at all, but is dissolv'd of Course.
502 And therefore hesitate no longer here,
503 But banish all the dull Remains of Fear.
504 Dare you be happy Youth, but dare, and be;
505 I'll be your Convoy to the charming she.
506 What still irresolute? Debating still?
507 View her, and then forsake her if you will.
508 I'll go, said I, once more I'll venture all,
509 'Tis brave to perish by a noble Fall.
510 Beauty no Mortal can resist, and Jove
511 Laid by his Grandeur, to indulge his Love.
512 Reason, if I do Err, my Crime forgive?
513 Angels alone, without offending live,
514 I go astray, but as the Wise have done,
515 And act a Folly, which they did not shun.
516 Then we, descending to a spacious Plain,
517 Were soon saluted by a num'rous Train
518 Of happy Lovers, who consum'd their Hours,
519 With constant Jollity, in shady Bow'rs.
520 There I beheld the blest Variety
521 Of Joy, from all corroding Troubles free;
522 Each follow'd his own Fancy to Delight;
523 Tho' all went diff'rent Ways, yet all went right,
524 None err'd, or miss'd the Happiness he sought
525 Love to one Center every Twining brought.
526 We past thro' num'rous pleasant Fields, and Glades,
527 By murm'ring Fountains, and by peaceful Shades,[Page 27]
528 Till we approach'd the Confines of the Wood,
529 Where mighty Love's immortal Temple stood,
530 Round the Celestial Fane in goodly Rows,
531 And beauteous Order, am'rous Myrtle grows,
532 Beneath whose Shade, expecting Lovers wait
533 For the kind Minute of indulgent Fate:
534 Each had his Guardian Cupid, whose chief Care,
535 By secret Motions was to warm the Fair,
536 To kindle eager Longings for the Joy,
537 To move the Slow, and to incline the Coy.
538 The glorious Fabrick charm'd my wond'ring Sight,
539 Of vast Extent, and of prodigious Height;
540 The Case was Marble, but the polish'd Stone
541 With such an admirable Lustre shone,
542 As if some Architect Divine had strove
543 T' out-do the Palace of Imperial Jove.
544 The pond'rous Gates of Massy Gold were made
545 With Diamonds of a mighty Size inlaid.
546 Here stood the winged Guards in order plac'd,
547 With shining Darts, and golden Quivers grac'd:
548 As we approach'd, they clap'd their joyful Wings;
549 And cry'd aloud, tune, tune the warbling Strings;
550 The grateful Youth is come to sacrifice
551 At Delia's Altar, to bright Delia's Eyes:
552 With Harmony Divine his Soul inspire,
553 That he may boldly touch the sacred Fire.
554 Hnd ye, that wait upon the blushing Fair,
555 Celestial Incense and Perfumes prepare;[Page 28]
556 While our great God her panting Bosom warms,
557 Refines her Beauties and improves her Charms.
558 Ent'ring the spacious Dome, my ravish'd Eyes
559 A wond'rous Scene of Glory did surprize.
560 The Riches, Symmetry, and Brightness, all
561 Did equally for Admiration call:
562 But the Description is a Labour fit
563 For none beneath a Laureat Angel's Wit.
564 Amidst the Temple was an Altar made
565 Of solid Gold, where Adoration's paid.
566 Here I perform'd the usual Rites with Fear,
567 Not daring boldly to approach too near;
568 Till from the God a smiling Cupid came
569 And bid me touch the consecrated Flame;
570 Which done, my Guide my eager Steps convey'd
571 To the Apartment of the beauteous Maid.
572 Before the Entrance was her Altar rais'd,
573 On Pedestals of polish'd Marble plac'd.
574 By it, her Guardian Cupid always stands,
575 Who Troops of missionary Loves commands.
576 To him with soft Addresses all repair;
577 Each for his Captive humbly begs the Fair;
578 Tho' still in vain they importun'd, for he
579 Would give Encouragement to none, but me.
580 There stands the Youth, he cry'd, must taste the Bliss,
581 The lovely Delia can be none, but his,[Page 29]
582 Fate has selected him, and mighty Love
583 Confirms below, what that decrees above.
584 Then press no more, there's not another Swain
585 On Earth, but Strephon can bright Delia gain.
586 Kneel Youth, and with a grateful Mind renew
587 Your Vows, swear you'll eternally be true:
588 But if you dare be false, dare perjur'd prove,
589 You'll find in sure Revenge, affronted Love,
590 As hot, as fierce, as terrible as Jove.
591 Hear me, ye Gods, said I, now hear me swear
592 By all that's sacred, and by all that's fair!
593 If I prove false to Delia, let me fall
594 The common Obloquy, condemn'd by all.
595 Let me the utmost of your Vengeance try,
596 Forc'd to live wretched, and unpity'd die.
597 Then he expos'd the lovely, sleeping Maid
598 Upon a Couch of New-blown Roses laid.
599 The blushing Colour in her Cheeks exprest,
600 What tender Thoughts inspir'd her heaving Breast.
601 Sometimes a Sigh half smother'd stole away,
602 Then she would Strephon, charming Strephon say.
603 Sometimes she smiling cry'd, you love, 'tis true;
604 But will you always, and be faithful too?
605 Ten Thousand Graces play'd about her Face,
606 Ten Thousand Charms attended ev'ry Grace
607 Each admirable Feature did impart
608 A secret Rapture to my throbbing Heart. [Page 30]
609 The Nymph*
* Danäe. imprison'd in the brazen Tower,
610 When Jove descended in a Golden Shower,
611 Less beautiful appear'd, and yet her Eyes
612 Brought down that God from the neglected Skies.
613 So moving, so transporting was the Sight,
614 So much a Goddess Delia seem'd, so bright,
615 My ravish'd Soul with secret Wonder fraught,
616 Lay all dissolv'd in Extacy of Thought.
617 Long time I gaz'd, but as I trembling drew
618 Nearer, to take a more obliging View:
619 It thunder'd loud, and the ungrateful Noise
620 Wak'd me, and put an end to all my Joys.