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THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION.
While all their hours were pass'd between
Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus, as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shews
Or thins her lip, or points her nose-
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phyz;
And tho' her fops are wond'rous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravellid noose,
As each a diff'rent way pursues,
While fullen or loquacious strife
Promis'd to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless pow'r
Withers the beauty's transient flow'r;
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Levell’d its terrors at the fair-
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face!
The glass, grown hateful to her fight,
Reflected now a perfect fright;
Each former art the vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes :
In vain she tries her paste and creams,
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens;
The 'squire himself was seen to yield,
And even the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzled to behold
Her present face surpass the old;
With modesty her cheeks are dy'd,
Humility displaces pride;
For tawdry finery is seen
A person ever neatly clean :
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good-nature every day-
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
This tomb, inscrib'd to gentle Parnel's name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
That leads to truth thro' pleasure's flowery way?
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid
And heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below-
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While converts thank their poet in the skies.
Long had I fought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite :
'Till, reading, I forget wliat day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there
To suit my purpose to a hair;
But let us not proceed too furious-
First please to turn to God Mercurius;
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth.
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis-pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather, very right;
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bards decreed:
A just comparison-proceed.
In the next place, his feet perufe-
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design’d, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air;
And here my simile unites-
For in a modern poet's fights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-incircled wand;
By classic authors term’d caduceus,
And highly fam'd for several uses:
To wit-most wond'rously endu'd,
No poppy-water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's fuch,
Tho' ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore ,
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy Naver, venom’d bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep.
This diff'rence only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart’rus with his rod;
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he:
But even this deity's existence
Shall lend my fimile assistance.
Our modern bards! why, what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
TO IRIS IN BOW-STREET, COVENT-GARDEN.
SAY, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual off'ring shall I make
Expressive of my duty?
My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair-one prize.
The gift, who llights the giver?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give-and let 'em.
If gems, or gold, import a joy,
I'll give them--when I get 'em.
I'll give but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion;
Such short-liv'd off'rings but disclose
A tranfitory paflion.
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less fincere, than civil:
I'll give thee-ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee-to the devil.