What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though nor real voice nor sound
Amidst their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice:
Forever singing as they shine,
‘The hand that made us is divine.’
TO A CHILD OF QUALITY FIVE YEARS OLD THE AUTHOR FORTY
Lords, knights, and squires, the numerous
That wear the fair Miss Mary’s fetters,
Were summoned, by her high command,
To show their passions by their letters.
My pen amongst the rest I took,
Lest those bright eyes that cannot read
Should dart their kindling fires, and look
The power they have to be obeyed.
Nor quality nor reputation
Forbid me yet my flame to tell;
Dear five years old befriends my passion,
And I may write till she can spell.
For while she makes her silk-worms beds
With all the tender things I swear,
Whilst all the house my passion reads
In papers round her baby’s hair,
She may receive and own my flame;
For though the strictest prudes should know it,
She’ll pass for a most virtuous dame,
And I for an unhappy poet.
Then, too, alas! when she shall tear
The lines some younger rival sends,
She’ll give me leave to write, I fear,
And we shall still continue friends;
For, as our different ages move,
’Tis so ordained (would fate but mend it!)
That I shall be past making love
When she begins to comprehend it.
TO A LADY
SHE REFUSING TO CONTINUE A DISPUTE WITH
ME, AND LEAVING ME IN THE
Spare, generous victor, spare the slave
Who did unequal war pursue,
That more than triumph he might have
In being overcome by you.
In the dispute whate’er I said,
My heart was by my tongue belied,
And in my looks you might have read
How much I argued on your side.
You, far from danger as from fear,
Might have sustained an open fight:
For seldom your opinions err;
Your eyes are always in the right.
Why, fair one, would you not rely
On reason’s force with beauty’s joined?
Could I their prevalence deny,
I must at once be deaf and blind.
Alas! not hoping to subdue,
I only to the fight aspired;
To keep the beauteous foe in view
Was all the glory I desired.
But she, howe’er of victory sure,
Contemns the wreath too long delayed,
And, armed with more immediate power,
Calls cruel silence to her aid.
Deeper to wound, she shuns the fight:
She drops her arms, to gain the field;
Secures her conquest by her flight,
And triumphs when she seems to yield.