Now to pursue our voyage we must provide,
Till safe to port our weary bark we guide.
You may expect, perhaps, I now should teach
What rules to treats and entertainments reach.
Come not the first, invited to a feast;
Rather come last, as a more grateful guest,
For that of which we fear to be depriv'd,
Meets with the surest welcome when arriv'd.
Besides, complexions of a coarser kind,
From candle-light no small advantage find.
During the time you eat, observe some grace,
Nor let your unwip'd hands besmear your face;
Nor yet too squeamishly your meat avoid,
Lest we suspect you were in private cloy'd.
Of all extremes in either kind forbear
And still, before your belly's full, beware.
No glutton nymph, however fair, can wound,
Tho' more than Helen she in charms abound.
I own I think of wire the moderate use
More suits the sex, and sooner finds excuse;
It warms the blood, adds lustre to the eyes,
And wine and love have always been allies.
But carefully from all intemperance keep,
Nor drink till you see double, lisp, or sleep;
For in such sleeps brutalities are done,
Which, tho' you loath, you have no pow'r to shun.
And now th' instructed nymph from table led,
Should next be taught how to behave in bed;--
But modesty forbids: nor more my muse
With weary wings the labour'd flight pursues;
Her purple swans unyok'd, the chariot leave,140
And needful rest (their journey done) receive.
Thus, with impartial care, my art I show,
And equal arms on either sex bestow;
White men and maids, who by my rules improve,
Ovid, must own, their master is in love.
Ovid's Remedy of Love
The title of this book when Cupid spied,141
"Treason! a plot against our state," he cried.
Why should you thus your loyal poet wrong,142
Who in your war has serv'd so well and long?
So savage and ill-bred I ne'er can prove,
Like Diomede, to wound the queen of love.
Others by fits have felt your am'rous flame,
I still have been, and still your martyr am;
Rules for your vot'ries I did late impart.
Refining passion, and made love an art.
Nor do I now of that or thee take leave,
Nor does the muse her former web unweave.
Let him who loves, where love success may find,
Spread all his sails before the prosp'rous wind;
But let poor youths who female scorn endure,
And hopeless burn, repair to me for cure:
For why should any worthy youth destroy
Himself, because some worthless nymph is coy?
Love should be nature's friend; let hemp and steel
Hangmen and heroes use, whose trade's to kill.
Where fatal it would prove, let passion cease;
Nor love destroy, who should our race increase.
A child you are, and like a child should play;
And gentle as your years should be your sway.
Keen arrows, and to wound the hardest hearts,
You are permitted-but no mortal darts.
Let your step-father, Mars,143 on sword and spear,
The crimson stains of cruel conquest wear;
You should your mother's milder laws observe,
Who ne'er did childless parent's curse deserve;
Or if you must employ your wanton pow'r,
Teach youths by night to force their mistress' door:
How lovers safe and secretly may meet,
And subtle wives the cautious husband cheat.
Let now th' excluded youth the gate caress,
A thousand wheedling soothing plaints express;
Then on th' ill-natur'd timber vent his spite,
And to some doleful tune weep out the night.
For tears, not blood, love's altar should require:
Love's torch, design'd to kindle kind desire,
Must seem profan'd to light a fun'ral fire."
Thus I. The god his purple wings display'd.
And, "Forward, finish your design," he said.