Epistle to Damon and Delia

Hear , Damon! Delia! hear, in candid lays,
Truth without anger, without flatt'ry praise.
A bookish mind, with pedantry unfraught,
Oft' a sedate, yet never gloomy thought;
Prompt to rejoice when others pleasure know,
And prompt to feel the pang for others woe;
To soften faults to which a foe is prone,
And in a friend's perfection praise your own;
A will sincere, unknown to selfish views,
A heart of love, of gallantry a Muse;
A delicate yet not a jealous mind;
A passion ever fond yet never blind,
Glowing with am'rous yet with guiltless fires,
In ever-eager never gross desires;
A modest honour, sacred to contain
From tattling vanity when smiles you gain;
Constant, most pleas'd when beauty most you please;
Damon! your picture's shown in tints like these.
Say, Delia! must I chide you or commend?
Say, must I be your flatt'rer or your friend?
To praise no graces in a rival fair,
Nor your own foibles in a sister spare;
Each lover's billet bant'ring to reveal,
And never known one secret to conceal;
Young, fickle, fair, a levity inborn,
To treat all sighing slaves with flippant scorn;
An eye expressive of a wand'ring mind,
Nor this to read nor that to think inclin'd;
Or when a book or thought from whim retards,
Intent on songs or novels, dress or cards;
Choice to select the party of delight,
To kill time, thought, and fame, in frolic flight;
To flutter here, to flurry there, on wing;
To talk, to teaze, to simper, or to sing;
To prude it, to coquette it,—him to trust
Whose vain loose life should caution or disgust;
Him to dislike whose modest worth should please;—
Say, is your picture shewn in tints like these?
Your's!—you deny it—Hear the point then try'd,
Let Judgment, Truth, the Muse, and Love decide.
What! yours!—Nay, fairest Trifler! frown not so:
Is it? the Muse with doubt—Love answers No:
You smile—Is't not? Again the question try—
Yes Judgment thinks, and Truth will Yes reply.
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