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Venus dispatches a messenger to remonstrate with Cupid, and to

bring him back to Wisdom,

Swift through the air Irene pass’d,
And finds deluded Love at last,
Gazing on Folly's beauteous face,
Feasting his eyes on every grace,
And thunders in his ears a peal
Of bold plain truths, with honest zeal :
Tells him the dreadful news she brings,
And the plain consequence of things ;
Shew'd all his mother's letters to him,
And vow'd Moria would undo him ;
Said twice as much as Venus bid her,
And begg'd of Cupid to consider,
How his vile pranks and broken vows,
Would Jove's insulted vengeance rouse;
Then adding threats, vow'd o'er and o'er,
The Gods would be deceiv'd no more :
In short, she made his conduct look
So black, like aspen leaves he shook.

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FROM CANTO IV.

Folly, after the departure of Irene, holds a long dialogue with

Love, in which she argues her own superiority over Wisdom, and the beneficial influence which she exercises in the world, pretty much in the manner of Erasmus's Praise of Folly. She perceives, however, that Cupid is so sadly terrified by the threats lately held out to him, that her empire over bim is still in danger. Intranc'd in sleep while Cupid lies, And downy, slumbers seal his eyes.

Distracting cares Moria's breast
Disturb'd, and banish'd balmy rest;
She saw her charmer's fluttering heart
Was almost on the wing to part.

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She doubted fear might banish love,
As frights will ague-fits remove.

*

Rack'd with despair, she rose and walk'd,
And wildly to herself she talk’d.

*

Till rous'd at last her delug'd eyes,
Charm’d with a great design she tries :
Flush'd with the thought, she wings her flight
To the dun Goddess of the Night:
She found her on a mountain's side,
Where rocks her palace portals hide;
Walls of thick mist its precincts close,
No groves, lodge, cawing rooks, or crows,

But solemn Silence, still as Death,
Lay slumb'ring on th' extended heath:
Old Nature built it under ground,
Shut from the day, remote from sound;
Its outstretch'd columns arch'd inclose
Vast voids devoted to repose,
Form'd of huge caverns so obscure,
As 'twere of light the sepulture,

*

Stretch'd on her couch the Queen she found,
Her head with wreaths of poppy crown'd,
Each sense dissolv'd in soft repose.

1

While storms of grief her bosom swell,
Prostrate the nymph before her fell,
And thus the slothful power address’d:
“Wake, Night's great Goddess, give me rest,
Assist your child-my birth I owe
To you and Erebus below";
With millions made to me a prey,
I've throng'd the gloomy realms you sway;
Yet Love, who gods and men deceives,
Moria soon perfidious leaves ;
Unless your skill divine can find
Some means to keep him true and kind.”

· Erebus, the infernal deity, was married to Nox, the goddess, as all mythologists agree; and even Cicero tells us this in his 3d book of the Nature of the Gods. This marriage produced a crowd of horrid children, such as Deceit, Fear, Labour, Envy, and many others, among whom Folly is set down as one.

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* Slow the yawning Goddess sighs, And, half asleep, with pain replies:

« As I saw Love was false as fair,
Know, child, I made your peace my care:
While fond to fix his fickle heart,
I've form'd this masterpiece of art:
Here, take this phial, which I've fill'd
With oils from female tears distill’d.

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Warm’d with your sighs, bedew it round
His eye-lids, seal'd in trance profound,
And by lov'd Erebus I swear,
The God your chains shall raptur'd wear:
Haste, use it-leave me to my rest."
She sunk, with dozing fumes oppress'd.

So quick as airy Fancy flies,
Or beamy light shoots round the skies,
To Cupid's couch she wings her way,
Where, sunk in sleep, the dreamer lay;
Warm'd with her sighs, the oil, in rills,
Soft round his eye-lids she distils,
Then unperceiv'd to bed she stole,
While joys enraptur'd swellid her soul.

Wake, wretched Cupid, haste, arise,
Or never shall thy radiant eyes
Nature's fair face again survey,
Or the bright sun's delightful ray;

For by the magic arts of Night
Folly will rob thee of thy sight,
And by mad fondness, undesign'd,
Will make thee senseless, dark, and blind.

And now the virgin Light had rear'd
Her head, and o'er the mountains peer'd,
When Folly, glad her grand design
Was near the springing, like a mine,
Impatient for the great event
Of her dread mother's liniment,
Drew the bed-curtains, wild with joy,
To rouse the soul subduing boy,
And
cry'd,

“Awake, my dear, the sun
Already has its course begun;
Whole nature smiles, while thus we use
The morn, fresh bath'd in limpid dews.”

Pleas'd he awakes; his ears rejoice
To hear her sweet bewitching voice,
And, fond, to see her turn'd his eyes,
But, starting, found, with deep surprise,
Though in their own warm melting rain
He bath'd and rubb’d them long in vain;
Their powers of vision die away,
While dimm'd, nor conscious of the day;
Fruitless they roll their shining orbs,
Which the dark gloom of night absorbs.

“O Heav'n!” he cries, “ the Gods, I find, The cruel Gods, have struck me blind;

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