Fan, The. A Poem. In Three Books - Book 2


Olympus'gates unfold; in heav'n's high towers
Appear in council all th' immortal Powers;
GreatJoveabove the rest exalted sate,
And in his mind revolv'd succeeding fate,
His awful eye with ray superiour shone,
The thunder-grasping eagle guards his throne;
On silver clouds the great assembly laid,
The whole creation at one view survey'd.
But see, fairVenuscomes in all her state,
The wantonLovesandGracesround her wait;
With her loose robe officiousZephyrsplay,
And strow with odoriferous flowers the way,
In her right hand she waves the flutt'ring fan,
And thus in melting sounds her speech began.
Assembled Powers, who fickle mortals guide,
Who o'er the sea, the skies and earth preside,
Ye fountains whence all human blessings flow,
Who pour your bounties on the world below;
Bacchusfirst rais'd and prun'd the climbing vine,
And taught the grape to stream with gen'rous wine;
IndustriousCerestam'd the savage ground,
And pregnant fields with golden harvests crown'd;
Florawith bloomy sweets enrich'd the year,
And fruitful autumn isPomona's care.
I first taught woman to subdue mankind,
And all her native charms with dress refin'd:
Celestial Synod, this machine survey,
That shades the race, or bids coolZephyrsplay;
If conscious blushes on her cheek arise,
With this she veils them from her lover's eyes;
No levell'd glance betrays her am'rous heart,
From the fan's ambush she directs the dart.
The royal scepter shines inJuno's hand,
And twisted thunder speaks greatJove's command;
OnPallas'arm theGorgonshield appears,
AndNeptune's mighty grasp the trident bears:
Ceresis with the bending sickle seen,
And the strung bow points out theCynthianQueen
Henceforth the waving fan my hands shall grace,
The waving fan supply the scepter's place.
Who shall, ye Powers, the forming pencil hold?
What story shall the wide machine unfold?
LetLovesandGraceslead the dance around,
With myrtle wreaths and flow'ry chaplets crown'd;
LetCupid's arrows strow the smiling plains
With unresisting nymphs, and am'rous swains:
May glowing picture o'er the surface shine,
To melt slow virgins with the warm design.
Dianarose; with silver crescent crown'd,
And fix'd her modest eyes upon the ground;
Then with becoming mien she raised her head,
And thus with graceful voice the virgin said,
Has woman then forgot all former wiles,
The watchful ogle, and delusive smiles?
Does man against her charms too pow'rful prove,
Or are the sex grown novices in love?
Why then these arms? or why should artful eyes,
From this slight ambush, conquer by surprize?
No guilty thought the spotless virgin knows,
And o'er her cheek no conscious crimson glows;
Since blushes then from shame alone arise,
Why should we veil them from her lover's eyes?
LetCupidrather give up his command,
And trust his arrows in a female hand.
Have not the Gods already cherish'd pride,
And women with destructive arms supply'd?
Neptuneon her bestows his choicest stores,
For her the chambers of the deep explores;
The gaping shell its pearly charge resigns,
And round her neck the lucid bracelet twines:
Plutusfor her bids earth its wealth unfold,
Where the warm oar is ripen'd into gold;
Or where the ruby reddens in the soil,
Where the green emerald pays the searcher's toil.
Does not the di'mond sparkle in her ear,
Glow on her hand, and tremble in her hair?
From the gay nymph the glancing lustre flies,
And imitates the lightning of her eyes.
But yet ifVenus' wishes must succeed,
And this fantastick engine be decreed,
May some chast story from the pencil flow,
To speak the virgin's joy, andHymen's woe.
Here let the wretchedAriadnestand,
Seduc'd byTheseusto some desart land,
Her locks dishevell'd waving in the wind,
The crystal tears confess her tortur'd mind;
The perjur'd youth unfurles his treach'rous sails,
And their white bosoms catch the swelling gales.
Be still, ye winds, she crys, stay,Theseus, stay;
But faithlessTheseushears no more than they.
All desp'rate, to some craggy cliff she flies,
And spreads a well-known signal in the skies;
His less'ning vessel plows the foamy main,
She sighs, she calls, she waves the sign in vain.
PaintDidothere amidst her last distress,
Pale cheeks and blood-shot eyes her grief express:
Deep in her breast the reeking sword is drown'd,
And gushing blood streams purple from the wound:
Her sisterAnnahov'ring o'er her stands,
Accuses heav'n with lifted eyes and hands,
Upbraids theTrojanwith repeated cries,
And mixes curses with her broken sighs.
View this, ye maids; and then each swain believe;
They'reTrojansall, and vow but to deceive.
Here drawO Enonein the lonely grove,
WhereParisfirst betray'd her into love;
Let wither'd garlands hand on ev'ry bough,
Which the false youth wove forO Enone's brow,
The garlands lose their sweets, their pride is shed,
And like their odours all his vows are fled;
On her fair arm her pensive head she lays,
AndXanthus' waves with mournful look surveys;
That flood which witness'd his inconstant flame,
When thus he swore, and won the yielding dame:
These streams shall sooner to their fountain move,
Than I forget my dearO Enone'slove.
Roll back, ye streams, back to your fountain run,
Parisis false,O Enoneis undone.
Ah wretched maid! think how the moments flew,
E'er you the pangs of this curs'd passion knew,
When groves could please, and when you lov'd the plain,
Without the presence of your perjur'd swain.
Thus may the nymph, whene'er she spreads the fan,
In his true colours view perfidious man,
Pleas'd with her virgin state in forests rove,
And never trust the dang'rous hopes of love.
The Goddess ended. MerryMomusrose,
With smiles and grins he waggish glances throws,
Then with a noisie laugh forestalls his joke,
Mirth flashes from his eyes while thus he spoke.
Rather let heav'nly deeds be painted there,
And by your own examples teach the fair.
Let chastDianaon the piece be seen,
And the bright crescent own theCynthianQueen;
OnLatmos' top see youngEndymionlies,
Feign'd sleep hath clos'd the bloomy lover's eyes,
See, to his soft embraces how she steals,
And on his lips her warm caresses seals;
No more her hand the glitt'ring Jav'lin holds,
But round his neck her eager arms she folds.
Why are our secrets by our blushes shown?
Virgins are virgins still — while 'tis unknown.
Here let her on some flow'ry bank be laid,
Where meeting beeches weave a grateful shade,
Her naked bosom wanton tresses grace,
And glowing expectation paints her face,
O'er her fair limbs a thin loose veil is spread,
Stand off, ye shepherds; fearActaeon's head;
Let vig'rousPanth' unguarded minute seize,
And in a shaggy goat the virgin please.
Why are our secrets by our blushes shown?
Virgins are virgins still — while 'tis unknown.
There with just warmthAurora's passion trace,
Let spreading crimson stain her virgin face;
SeeCephalusher wanton airs despise,
While she provokes him with desiring eyes;
To raise his passion she displays her charms,
His modest hand upon her bosom warms;
Nor looks, nor pray'rs, nor force his heart persuade,
But with disdain he quits the rosie maid.
Here let dissolvingLedagrace the toy,
Warm cheeks and heaving breasts reveal her joy;
Beneath the pressing swan she pants for air,
While with his flutt'ring wings he fans the fair.
There let all-conqu'ring gold exert its pow'r,
And softenDanaein a glitt'ring show'r.
Would you warn beauty not to cherish pride,
Nor vainly in the treach'rous bloom confide,
On the machine the sageMinervaplace,
With lineaments of wisdom mark her face;
See, where she lies near some transparent flood,
And with her pipe chears the resounding wood:
Her image in the floating glass she spies,
Her bloated cheeks, worn lips, and shrivell'd eyes;
She breaks the guiltless pipe, and with disdain
Its shatter'd ruins flings upon the plain.
With the loud reed no more her cheek shall swell,
What, spoil her face! no. Warbling strains, farewell.
Shall arts, shall sciences employ the fair?
Those trifles are beneathMinerva's care.
FromVenuslet her learn the married life,
And all the virtuous duties of a wife.
Here on a couch extend theCypriandame,
Let her eye sparkle with the growing flame;
The God of war within her clinging arms.
Sinks on her lips, and kindles all her charms.
Paint limpingVulcanwith a husband's care,
And let his brow the cuckold's honours wear;
Beneath the net the captive lovers place,
Their limbs entangled in a close embrace.
Let these amours adorn the new machine,
And female nature on the piece be seen;
So shall the fair, as long as fans shall last,
Learn from your bright examples to be chast.
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