chapter  74
To Alexis in Answer to his Poem against Fruition. ODE.
Pages 2

Ah hapless sex! who bear no charms, But what like lightning flash and are no more, False fires sent down for baneful harms, Fires which the fleeting Lover feebly warms 5 And given like past [D]eboches o’re, Like Songs that please, (thô bad,) when new, But learn’d by heart neglected grew. In vain did Heav’n adorn the shape and face With Beautyes which by Angels forms it drew: 10 In vain the mind with brighter Glories Grace, While all our joys are stinted to the space Of one betraying enterview, With one surrender to the eager will We’re short-liv’d nothing, or a real ill. 15 Since Man with that inconstancy was born, To love the absent, and the present scorn. Why do we deck, why do we dress For such a short-liv’d happiness? Why do we put Attraction on, 20 Since either way tis we must be undon? They fly if Honour take our part, Our Virtue drives ‘em o’re the field. We lose ‘em by too much desert, And Oh! they fly us if we yeild. 25 Ye Gods! is there no charm in all the fair To fix this wild, this faithless, wanderer. Man! our great business and our aim, For whom we spread our fruitless snares, No sooner kindles the designing flame, 27330 But to the next bright object bears The Trophies of his conquest and our shame: Inconstancy’s the good supream The rest is airy Notion, empty Dream! Then, heedless Nymph, be rul’d by me 35 If e’re your Swain the bliss desire; Think like Alexis he may be Whose wisht Possession damps his fire; The roving youth in every shade Has left some sighing and abandon’d Maid, 40 For tis a fatal lesson he has learn’d, After fruition ne’re to be concern’d.