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Jove sent, and found, far in a country scene, Truth, innocence, good nature, look serene : From which ingredients first the dextrous boy
, The Graces, from the court did next provide Breeding, and wit, and air, and decent pride : These Venus cleans from every spurious grain Of nice, coquet, affected, pert, and vain. Jove mix'd up all, and the best clay employ'd ; Then call’d the happy composition Floyd.
[These verses were first printed by the learned Dr Barrett, from
the Whimsical Medley, a Manuscript from which he recovered several of Dr Swift's lighter pieces. It seems to be alluded to as Swift's, in a stupid imitation of the Liliputian Ode, occur. ring among other trash in the Gulliveriana.
House of Van, Mother Cludd
I do not, however, pretend to deny that the line may only relate to the poem on Van's house, which begins
When Mother Cladd rose up from play.
In that case the authenticity will rest on the intrinsic evi. dence.]
Venus one day, as story goes,
Straight ope'd 'scrutore, and forth he took
But now came on his greatest care,
PHOEBUS, now shortening every shade,
Up to the northern tropic came, And thence beheld a lovely maid,
Attending on a royal dame. The god laid down his feeble
rays, Then lighted from his glittering coach; But fenc'd his head with his own bays,
Before he durst the nymph approach.
Under those sacred leaves, secure
From common lightning of the skies, He fondly thought he might endure
The flashes of Ardelia's eyes.
The nymph, who oft had read in books
Of that bright god whom bards invoke, Soon knew Apollo by his looks,
And guess'd his business ere he spoke.
He, in the old celestial cant,
Confess'd his flame, and swore by Styx, Whate'er she would desire, to grant
But wise Ardelia knew his tricks.
* Afterwards Countess of Winchelsea.
Ovid had warn'd her, to beware
Of strolling gods, whose usual trade is, Under pretence of taking air,
To pick up sublunary ladies.
Howe'er she gave' no flat denial, "}
As having malice in her heart; And was resoly'd upon a trial,
To cheat the god in his own art. 1:
* Hear my request,” the virgin said ;
“ Let which I please, of all the Nine Attend, whene'er I want their aid,
Obey my call, and only mine.” By vow oblig'd, by passion led,
The god could not refuse her prayer: He way'd his wreath thrice o'er her head,
Thrice mutter'd something to the air,
And now he thought to seize his due;
But she the charm already tried: Thalia heard the call, and flew
To wait at bright Ardelia's side.
On sight of this celestial prude,
Apollo thought it vain to stay ; Nor in her presence durst be rude,
But made his leg and went away.
He hop'd to find some lucky hour,
When on their queen the Muses wait; But Pallas owns Ardelia's power :
For vows divine are kept by Fate.