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AN HEROI-COMICAL POEM.
Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame; importance These machines i determined to Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame : raise on a very new and odd foundation, the Rosi. Averse alike, to flatter or offend ;
crusian doctrine of spirits. Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend, I know how disagrecable it is to make use of
bard words before a lady; but it is so much the concern of a poet to have his works understood,
and particularly by your sex, that you inust give THE RAPE OF THE LOCK;
me leave to explain two or three difficult terms.
The Rosicrusians are a people I must bring you WRITTEN IN THE YEAR M DCC XII,
acquainted with. The best, account I know of
them is in a French book called Le Comte de Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos ,
Gabalis, which, both in its title and size, is so Sed juvat, hoc precibus me trịbuisse tuis.
like a novel, that many of the fair sex have read Mart.
it for one by mistake. According to these gentle
men, the four elements are inhabited by spirits Ir appears by the motto, that the following poem which they call Sylphs, Gnomes, Nymphs, and
was written or published at the lady's request : Salananders. The Gnomes, or Demons of Farth, But there are some further circumstances not delight in mischiet'; but the Sylphs, whose habiunworthy relating. Mr. Caryl (a gentleman | tation is in the air, are the best conditioned crea. who was secretary to queen Mary, wife of tures imaginable ; for they say, any mortals say .James II. whose fortunes he followed into France, enjoy the most intimate familiarities with these author of the coinedy of Sir Solomon Single, gentle spirits, upon a condition very easy to all and of several translations in Dryden's Miscel- true adepts, an inviolate preservation of chasJanies) originally proposed the subject to him, tity. in a view of putting an end, hy this piece of As to the following cantos, all the passages of ridicule, to a quarrel that was risen between them are as fabulous as the vision at the beginning, two noble families, those of lord Petre and of or the transformation at the end (except "he lovs Mrs. Fermor, on the trifing occasion of his hav. of your hair, which I always mention with reveing cut off a lock of her hair. The author sent rence). The human persons are as fictitious as it to the lady, with whom he was acquainted; the airy ones, and the character of Belinda, as it and she took it so well as too give about copies is now managed, resembles you in nothing but in of it. That first sketch (we learn from one of beauty. his letters) was written in less than a fortnight, If this poem had as many graces as there are in 1711, in two Cantos only; and it was so your person, or in your mind, yet I could never printed, 'first, in a Miscellany of Bern. Lintot's, hope it should pass through the world half so unwithout the name of the author : but it was re censured as you have done. But let its fortune be ceived so well, that he made it more consider what it will, mine is happy enough, to have given able the next year, by the addition of the ma me this occasion of assuring you, that I am, with chinery of the Sylphs, and extended it to five the tracst esteem, Cantos. We shall give the reader the pleasure
madam, of seeing in what manner these additions were your most obedient, humble servant, inserted, so as to seem not to be added, but to
A. POPE. grow out of the poem. See Canto l. ver. 19, &c.
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK. This insertion he always esteemed, and justly, the greatest effort of his skill and art as a poet,
What dire offence from amorous causes springs, TO MRS. ARABELLA FERMOR, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, MADAM,
I singthis verse to Caryl, Muse! is due:
This ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view : It will be in vain to deny that I have some regard Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, for this piece, since I dedicate it to you; yet you if she inspire, and he approve my lays. may bear me witness, it was intended only to di Say what strange motive, goddess ! could compel xert a few young ladies, who have good sense and
A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle? good bumour enough to laugh not only at their | O say what stranger cause, yet unexplord, sox's little unguarded follies, but at their own. Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ? But as it was communicated with the air of a In tasks so bold, can little men engage ? 11 secret, it soon found its way into the world. An And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ? imperfect copy having been offered to a book Sol through white curtains shot a timnorous ray, seller, you had the good-nature for my sake to And ope'd those eyes that must eclipse the day: consent to the publication of one more correct. This I was forced to, before I had executed half
VARIATIONS. my design, for the machinery was entirely want
Ver. 11, 12. It was in the first editions, ing to complete it.
And dwells such rage in softest bosoms then, The machinery, madam, is a term invented by
And lodge such daring souls in little men? the critics, to signify that part which the deities, angels, or demons, are made to act in a poem :
Ver. 13, &c. stood thus in the first edition : for the ancient poets are in one respect like many
Sol through white curtains did his beams display, modern ladies ; let an action be never so trivial in
And ope'd those eyes which brighter shone thas itself, they always make it appear of the utmost they;
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rouzing shake, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring spark, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground, When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. When music softens, and when dancing fires? Belinda still her downy pillow prest,
19 Tis but their Sylph, the wise celestials know, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest : Though honour is the word with men below. $'Twas he had summon’d to her silent bed
“ Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their The morning dreain that hover'd o'er her head.
face, A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau For life predestin'd to the Gnomes embrace. (That erin in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow) These swell their prospects, and exalt their pride, Seem'd to her car his winning lips to lay,
When offers are disdain'd, and love deny'd: And thus in whispers said, or scem'd to say: Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain,
“ Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care While peers, and dukes, and all their sweepingtrain, Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
And garters, stars, and coronets appear, If e'er one vision touch thy infant thought, And in soft sounds, your grace' salutes their ear. Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught; "I'is these that early taint the female soul, Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll, The silver token, and the circled green,
Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know, Or virgins visited by angel-powers,
And little hearts to fluttes at a beau. With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers; “ Oft, when the world inagine women stray, Hear, and believe! thy own importance know, The Sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way, Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. Through all the giddy eircle they pursue, Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd, And old impertinence expel by new. To maids alone and children are reveal'd ;
What tender maid but must a victim fall What, tlough no credit doubting wits may give, To one man's treat, but for another's ball ? The fair and innocent shall still believe.
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thec fly, If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand ? The light militia of the lower sky:
With varying vanities, from every part, These, though unseen, are ever on the wing, They shift the moving Toy-shop of their heart; Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring. Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots swordThink what an equipage thou hast in air,
knots strive, And view with scorn two pages and a chair. Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive, As now your own, our beings were of old,
This erring mortals, levity may call; And once enclos'd in woman's beauteous mould; Oh, blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all, Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
“ Of these am I, who thy protection claim, From earthly vehicles to these of air.
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name. Think not, when woman's transient breath is filed, late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air, That all her vanities at once are dead :
In the clear mirror of thy ruling star Succeeding vanities she still regards,
I saw, alas ! some dread event impend, And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards. Ere to the main this morning sun descend; Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
But Heaven reveals not what, or how, or where : And love of ombre, after death survive.
Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware! For when the fair in all their pride expire, This to disclose is all thy guardian can: To their first elements their souls retire :
Beware of all, but most beware of man!” (long, The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too Mount up, and take a Salamander's name. Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, And sip, with nynıphis, their elemental tea. Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux; The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome, Wounds, charms, and ardours were no sooner read, In search of mischief still on Earth to roam. But all the vision vanish'd from thy head. The light coquettes in Sylplıs aloft repair,
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd, -And sport and futter in the fields of air.
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
T'h' inferior priestess, at her altar's side,
Innumber'd treasures ope at once, and here
I'roin each she nicely culls with curious toil, Shock just had given himself the rouzing shake, And decks the coddess with the glittering spoil.' And nyinphs prepar'd their chocolate to take; This casket India's glowing gems unlocks, Thrice the wrought slipper knock'd against the And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. ground,
The tortoise here and elephant unite, And striking watches the tenth hour resound. Transform'd to combs, the speckled and the white. Ver. 19. Belinda still, &c.] All the verses from Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet doux.
Here files of pins extend their shining rows, hence to the end of this cants were added after- Now awful Beanty puts on all its arms; wards.
| The fair each moment rises in her charms,
Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace, Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gentle play,
All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts oppreste
Some to the Sun their insect wings unfold,
Transparent forins, too fine for mortal sight,
Their Auid bodies half dissolv'd in light.
Loose to the wind their airy garments flew, Not with more glories in th’ ethereal plain, Thin glittering textures of the filmy dew, The Sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Dipp'd in the richest tinctures of the skies, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes, Lanch'd on the bosom of the silver'd Thames. 4 While every beam new transient colours flings, Fair nymphs and well-dress'd youths around her Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings. But every eye was fix'd on her alone. [shone, Ainid the circle on the gilded mast, On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd; Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. His purple pinions opening to the Sun, Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun: Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those :
“ Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chief give ear; Favours to none, to all she smile's extends;
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Demons, hear! Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks assign'd Bright as the Sun, her eyes the gazers strike, By laws eternal to th' aërial kind, And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike. Some in the fields of purest ether play, Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, And bask and whiten in the blaze of day ; Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide:
Some guide the course of wondering orbs on high, If to her share some fernale errours fall,
Or roll the planets through the boundless sky; Look on her face, and you'll forget them all. Some, less refin'd, beneath the Moon's pale light This nymph, to the destruction of mankind,
Pursue the stars that shoot athwart the night,
Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
And guard with arms divine the British throne. And Beauty draws us with a single hair.
“ Our humbler province is to tend the fair, Th’ adventuous baron the bright locks admir'd; Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care; He saw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspir'd. To save the powder from too rude a gale, Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
Nor let th' imprison'd essences exhale; By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
To draw fresh colours from the vernal flowers; For when success a lover's toil attends,
To steal from rainbows, ere they drop in showers, Few ask if fraud or force attain'd his ends.
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs, For this, crc Phæbus rose, he had implor'd Assist their blushes, and inspire their airs; Propitious Heaven, and every power ador'd; Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow, But chiefly Love to Love an altar built,
To change a flounce, or add a furbelow. Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt. “This day, black omens threat the brightest fad There lay three garters, balf a pair of gloves, That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care: And all the trophies of his former loves.
Some dire disaster, or by force, or slight; With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre, But what, or where, the Fates have wrapp'd in night. And breathes three amorous sighs to raise the fire.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Or some frail China-jar receive a faw: Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize: Or stain her honour, or her new brocade; The powers gave ear, and granted half his prayer; Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade; The rest, the winds dispers'd in empty air. 46 Or lose her heart, or necklace at a ball;
But now secure the painted vesscl glides, Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must fald The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides: Haste then, ye spirits! to your charge repair: While melting music steals upon the sky,
The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favourite lock; Ver. 4. Lanch'd on the bosom.] From hence Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock the poem continues, in the first edition, to ver. “ To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note, 46.
We trust th' important charge, the petticoat : The rest the winds dispers'd in empty air ;
Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, all after, to the end of this canto, being additional. | Though stiff with boops, and arm'd with ribs of whale
Form a strong line about the silver bound,
Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aërial guard And guard the wide circunference around.
Descend, and sit on each important card : Whatever spirit, careless of his charge,
First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore, His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Then each according to the rank they bore; Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins; Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place. Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Behold, four kings in majesty rever'd, Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard ; Gums and pomatuins shall his flight restrain, And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower, While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain; Th'expressive emblem of their softer power ; Or alum styptics with contracting power
Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band; Shrink his thin essence like a shrivel'd Power: Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel
And party-coloured troops, a shining train, "The giddy motion of the whirling mill,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain. In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow,
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care: And tremble at the sea that froths below!”
Letspades betrumps ! she said, and trumps they were, He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend: Now move to war her sable Matadores, Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ;
In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors, Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair ;
Spadillie tirst, unconquerable lord ! Some hang upon the pendants of her ear;
led off two captive trumps, and swept the boarda With beating hearts the dire event they wait, As many more Manillio forc'd to yield, Anxious, and trembling for the birth of Fate, And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one plebeian card. CANTO III.
With bis broad sabre next, a chief in years, Close bythose meads, for ever crown'd with flowers,
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears, Where Thames with pride surveys his rising towers, The rest, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveal'd, There stands a structure of majestic frame,
The rebel knave, who dares his prince engage, Which from the neighbouring Hampton takes its
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens o'erg Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoam
threw, Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;
And mow'd down armies in the fights of Lu,
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade !
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield ;
Now to the baron Fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her kost invades,
Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades
The Club's black tyrant first her victim dy'd, A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
Spite of his baughty mien, and barbarous pride
What boots the regal circle on his head, At every word a reputation dies.
His giant limbs in state unwieldy spread ; Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
That long behind he trails his pompous robe, With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
And, of all monarchs, only grasps the globe? Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The baron now his Diamonds pours apace; The Sun obliquely shoots his burning ray:
Th' embroider'd king who shows but half his face, The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine;
And his refulgent queen, with powers combin'd, The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace; Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen,
Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
With like confusion different nations fly, And swells her breast with conquests yet to come,
Of various habit, and of various dye, Straight the three bands prepare in arins to join,
The pierc'd lrattalions disunited fall, Each band the number of the sacred nine.
In beaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, : VARIATIONS. Ver. 1. Close by those meads,] The first edi
And wius (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of
A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look ;
In various talk the cheerful hours they past, Just in the jaws of ruin, and Codille.
And now (as oft in some distemper'd state) Ver. 24. And the long labours of the toilet | On one nice trick depends the general fate, cease. All that follows of the game at Ombre, was
An Ace of Hearts steps forth : the king unscení added since the first edition, till ver. 105, which Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive queen i connected thus :
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, Sudden the board with cups and spoons is crown'd. | And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace,
The nymph exulting ills with shouts the sky; Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast,
last ! Too soon dejected, and too soon elate.
Or when rich China vessels, fall’n from high, Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away, 103 In glittering dust and painted fragments lie! 'And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine For lo ! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, (The victor cry'd), the glorious prize is mine! The berries crackle, and the mill turns round: While fish in streams, or birds delight in air, On shining Altars of Japan they raise
Or in a coach and six the British fair,
As long as Atalantis shall be read,
When numerous wax-lights in bright order blazer And frequent cups prolong the rich repast. While nyinphs take treats, or assignations give, Strait hover round the fair her airy band;
So long my honour, name, and praise, shall live! Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd, What time would spare, from steel receives its date, Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd, And monuments, like men, submit to Fate, Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade, Steel could the labour of the gods destroy, Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And strike to dust th' imperial powers of Troy ; And see through all things with his half-shut eyes) Steel could the works of mortal pride confound, Sent up in vapours to the baron's brain
And hew triumphal arches to the ground. New stratagerns, the radiant lock to gain.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should Ah cease, rash youth ; desist ere 'tis too late, The conquering force of unresisted steel ? [feel Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla's fate! Chang'd to a bird, and sent to fit in air, She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will, How soon they find it instruments of ill !
But anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress'd, Just then, Clarissa drew, with tempting grace,
And secret passions labour'd in her breast. A two edg'd weapon from her shining case:
Not youthful kings in battle seiz'd alive, So ladies, in Romance, assist their knight,
Not scornful virgins who their charms survive, Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
Not ardent lovers robb'd of all their bliss, He takes the gift with reverence, and extends
Not ancient ladies when refus'd a kiss, The little engine on his fingers ends ;
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die, This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinn'd awry, As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head. 134 Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprites repair,
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair,
As thou, sad virgin ! for thy ravish'd hair. A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair;
For, that sad moment, when the Sylphs withAnd thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear;
And Ariel weeping from Belinda flew, (drew, 11 Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Umbriel, a dusky, melancholy sprite, Just in that inst:unt, anxious Ariel sought
As ever sully'd the fair face of light, The close recesses of the virgin's thought ;
Down to the central earth, his proper scene, As on the nosegay in her breast recliud,
Repair'd to search the gloomy cave of Spleen. He watch'd th’ ideas rising in her mind,
Swift on his sooty pinions flits the Gnome, Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
And in a vapour reach'd the dismal dome. An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows, Amaz'd, confus’d, he found his power expird,
The dreaded east is all the wind that blows. Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retird.
Here in a grotto, shelter'd close from air, The peer now spreads the glittering forfex wide,
And screen'd in shades from day's detested glare, T enclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide.
She sighs for ever on her pensive bed,
Pain at her side, and Megrim at her head.
Two handmaids wait the throne: alike in placo, (But airy substance soon unites again)
Here stood IIl-nature like an ancient maid, The meeting points the sacred hair dissever Her wrinkled form in black and white array'd ; ! From the fair head, for ever, and for ever! 154 Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
With store of prayers, for mornings, nights, and
noons, And screams of horrour rend th' affrighted skies.
Her hand is fillid; her bosom with lampoons.
There Affectation, with a sickly mien,
Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen,
Ver. 11. For, that sad moment, &c.] All the
While her rack'd soul
repose and peace requires; From the fair head, for ever and for ever. Ver. The fierce Thalestris fans the rising fires ; All that is between was added afterwards. (154) and continued at the 94th verse of this canto.