Rome, February 14th, 1793.
WO facts are alledg'd, and they're strong ones, you'll own,
Why sunshine and virtue here settled their throne ;
As none for their crimes by the rope e'er expire,
And the chimneys are seldom polluted with fire :
Yet people are stab'd in each street, as I'm told,
And in this genial climate, I'm shiv'ring with cold.
If a lady looks chill, the soft Cicisbe' begs,
To convey some hot embers, between her fair legs ;
From the fuming expansion she feels a fine glow,
As it gradually spreads from her hip to her toe ;
And as vapours ascend from their primitive place,
They cherish the hands, shed a blush on the face ;
For a blush is'nt otherwise quite a-la-mode,
And it's only by charcoal that colour's bestow'd.
Pray what is this rouge, but the sign of a fault,
When the blood rashly mounts, to reveal the sly thought:
But Italia's free dames by their converse so gay,
Have banish'd most justly this traytor away :
The double entendre, with them's a prim prude,
Like their statues, their ideas are perfectly nude ;
Hence Ladies we see, who delightfully roam,
In this sweet Cyprian clime, are so knowing at home :
They describe every part of a statue with glee,
And adjust the proportion of nose, and of knee :
With eyes so inform'd they examine the beaux,
As if they would measure them quite thro' their cloaths ;
*Peace to good Taylor's soul, ah how little he weens,
That Miss can distinguishere come to her teens!
Hence her nuptial perceptions we justly admire,
And her fancy phosphoric, that's almost on fire ;
So inflam'd by warm novels, and amorous plays,
Like the marsh's rich stream, ev'ry spark make it blaze.
WHEN the bitter tea I sip,
Tea that's bitter to the lip ;
Yet receiving it from you,
Makes it sweet, and gives it gout.
Coming from your fair white hand,
Makes it soft, and makes it bland.
That white hand which Kings might kiss,
Prelude dear to future bliss.
Since the happy lover trips,
From the fingers to the lips ;
Lips that shame the roses bloom,
Both in colour and perfume.
Lips from which such accents fall,
As must win the hearts of all.
Accents breathing wit and fire,
Kindling chaste, yet warm desire ;
Accents match'd with such a face,
Such an air, and such a grace ;
As must ravish every heart,
Run like life through every part ;
Did not Juno's lofty air,
(Seldom found in any fair)
Did not Pallas' martial mien,
Pallas, War's and Wisdom's Queen ;
Did not Dian's virgin fear,
Check the free, and wanton leer ;
Which like Venus you excite,
Venus Goddess of delight ;
Venus who so sweetly reigns,
On the flowery Cyprian plains ;
Goddess of exstatic joy,
Mother of the winged boy ;
Mars's mistress, Vulcan's wife,
Emblem of connubial life.
Shewing thus the roseate way,
How the Fair may sweetly stray :
And devote their blooming charms,
To a Cicisbeo's arms.
Yet you shun this dear example,
Giving us no common sample ;
How a beauty must combine,
All the attributes divine ;
And singly in her person bear,
What Juno, Pallas, Dian, share ;
Or like others you would stray,
Yield yourself a tempting prey ;
Like those who boast a pretty face,
Venus' air, and Venus grace :
Nor have that superior sense
Of Chastity, and excellence ;
Which three Goddesses divine,
Bid around your person shine.
To Letter 6
N O T E S.
* "Virgins must contend for a singular modesty ; whose first part must be an ignorance in the distinction of sexes." Jer. Taylor's Holy Living, page 73.
"The head of the spear that wounded Christ; St. Veronica's handkerchief, with the miraculous impression of his face upon it; and a piece of the true Cross." Mason's Edition of Gray, Vol. II, p. 114.
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