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That there his eyes took distant aim,
And glanc'd respect to that bright dame,
In whose delight his hope was centred,
And for whose glove his life he ventur'd?
Objections to my general System
May rise perhaps ; and I have milt them :
But I can call to my assistance
Proximity (mark that!) and distance :
Can prove, that all things, on occasion,
Love union, and desire adhesion;
That Alma merely is a scale ;
And motives, like the weights, prevail.
If neither side turn down or up,
With loss or gain, with fear or hope ;
The balance always would hang ev'n,
Like Mah’met's tomb, 'twixt earth and heav'n.
This, Richard, is a curious case :
Suppose your eyes sent equal rays,
Upon two distant pots of ale,
Not knowing, which was mild or stale :
In this fad ftate your doubtful choice
Would never have the casting voice :
Which beft or worst, you could not thinks
And die you must, for want of drink;
Unless some chance inclines your light,
Betting one pot in fairer light;
Then you prefer or A, or B, .
As lines and angles best agree :
Your sense resolv'd in pells your will:
She guides your hand,- so drink your fill.
Have you not seen a baker's maid
Between two equal panniers sway'd ?
Her tallies useless lie, and idle,
If plac'd exactly in the middle: .
But forc'd from this unactive state,
By virtue of some casual weigħe ;
On either side you hear 'em clatter, · And judge of right and left-hand matter.
Now, Richard, this coercive force, Without your choice, must take its course, Great kings to wars are pointed forth, Like loaded needles to the North. And thou and I, by pow'r unseen, Are barely passive, and suck'd in To Henault's vaults, or Celia's chamber, As straw and paper are by amber. If we sit down to play or set (Suppose at Ombre or Baffet) Let people call us cheats' or fools ; Our cards and we are equal tools. We fure in vain the cards condemn : Ourselves both cut and shuff’d them. In vain on fortune's aid rely : She only is a standeroby, Poor men! poor papers! we and they Do some impulsive force obey ; And are but play'd with - Do not play. But space and matter we should blame; They palm’d the trick that lost the game.
Thus to save further contradiction, Against what you nay think but ficlion : I for attraction, Dick, declare : Deny it those bold men that dare.
As well your motion, as your thought
Is all by hidden impulse wrought :
Ev'n saying, that you think or walk,
How like a country 'Squire you talk ?
Mark then;--where fancy or delire
Collects the beams of vital fire;
Into that limb.fair Alma slides,
And there, pro tempore, resides.
She dwells in Nicholini's tongue,
When Pyrrhus chants the heav'nly song:
When Pedro does the lute command,
She guides the cunning artist's hand.
Thro' Macer's gullet she runs down,
When the vile glutton dines alone.
And void of modesty and thought,
She follows Bibo's endless draught.
Through the soft sex again the ranges;
As youth, caprice, or fashion changes.
Fair Alma careless and serene,
In Fanny's sprightly eyes is seen ;
While they diffuse their infant beams,
Themselves not conscious of their flames.
Again fair Alma Gits.confest,
On Florimel's experter breast;
When the the rising sigh constrains,
And by concealing speaks her pains.
In Cynthia's neck fair Alma glows,
When the vain thing her jewels shows:
When Jenny's stays are newly lac’d,
Fair Alma plays about her waste;
And when the swelling hoop sustains
The rich brocard, fair Alma deigns
Into that lower space to enter,
Of the large round, herself the centre.
Again : that single limb or feature
(Such is the cogent force of nature)
Which most did Alma's passion move,
In the first object of her love,
For ever will be found confeft,
And printed on the am'rous breast.
0 Abelard, ill fated youth,
Thy tale will justify this truth :
But well I weet, thy cruel wrong
Adorns a nobler poet's long.
Dan Pope for thy misfortune griev'd,
With kind concern, and skill has weave
A filken web; and ne'er shäll fade
Its colours : gently has he laid
The mantle o'er thy sad distress,
And Venus shall the texture bless. .
He o'er the weeping nun has drawn
Such artful folds of sacred lawn ;
That love with equal grief and pride,
Shall see the crime, he strives to hide :
And fostly drawing back the veil,
The god shall to his vot’ries tell
Each conscious tear, each blushing grace,
That deck'd dear Eloisa's face.
Happy the poet, bleft the lays,
Which Buckingham has deign'd to praise.
Next Dick, as youth and habit sways,
A hundred gambols Alma plays.
If, whilst a boy, Jack' ran from school,
Fond of his hunting-horn, and pole ;
Tho' gout and age his speed detain,
Old John halloo's his hounds again :
By his fire-fide he starts the hare ;
And turns her in his wicker chair :
His feet, however lame, you find,
Have got the better of his mind.
If while the mind was in her leg,
The dance affected nimble Peg:;
Old Madge, bewitch'd at.fixty one,
Calls for Green Sleeves, and Jumping Joan,
In public malk, or private ball,
From Lincoln's-Inn, to Goldsmith's-Hall,
All Christmas long away she trudges
Trips it with prentices.and judges ;
In vain her children urge her stay.;
And age or palsy bar the way.
But if those images prevail,
Which-whilom did affect the tail.
She still reviews the ancient scene ;
Forgets the forty years between ;
Aukwardly gay, and oddly merry,
Her scarf pale pink, her head-knot cherry,
O'er-heated with ideal rage,
She cheats her son, to wed her page.
If Alma, whilst the man was young, Slip'd up too soon into his tongue : Pleas'd with his own fantastic skill, He lets that weapon ne'er lie still. On any point if you dispute, Depend upon it, he'll confute : Change sides ; and you increase your pain: For he'll confute you back again.