The Fan

B REAK , silly boy, and snap in two the bow;
Away your torches and your quiver throw;
To coward-stags, and birds, confine the dart;
Nor waste your flame upon a Lover's heart!
Another implement of dread command
Is arm'd against him in a Lady's hand;
There a machine its archery supplies,
Whose playful doom with keen precision flies.
Though Phaebus may to thee his lightning yield,
The Fair, thus arm'd, superior engines wield;
Divide the shafts, and split them, to the size
Which Beauty here imparts to her allies!
Were Mars himself to be in conflict here,
He would have other Diomedes to fear;
But with delight would hail his own defeat,
And would prefer submission to retreat.
The lovely Nymph, assur'd of her success,
Enlarges the machine, or makes it less;
Developes, or compresses all its force,
When grace and beauty guide the shifted course.
Furl'd, or in ample sail — and mute, or loud,
She catches by surprize the amorous crowd;
Her panting bosom feels and cooler breath,
Her Lover only is in flames of death.
To Orithyia , delicate and chaste,
This gift of Boreas he dispatch'd in haste:
" Thee " (whisper'd the Gallant, who gave the name)
Thee, Orithyia will not, cannot blame:
She will accept thee, and caress thee too,
Dear to her touch as well as to her view.
I envy my own gift, if, scorning me,
Her smiles adopt her playfellow in thee;
But, if my gifts to her themselves endear,
Why of my own reception should I fear? "
She catches at the gift, and courts the gale;
Plays with its breath, and spreads the little sail,
Plies in its varied form the subtle hand,
And light as air coquettes with her demand.
Ill-fated Boreäs! thou art lov'd, and scorn'd —
Crush'd by her frowns, and by her smiles adorn'd:
Ill-fated Boreäs! in that missive air
Thy heated love sends coolness to the Fair:
Thy gift resume; in Love's capricious aim,
What is thy fever, cools the Virgin's flame.
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.