A Satyr from the Greek
We know not who

What antient times these times we fancy wise
Have told of woman’s faults and whence they rise
What morals teach it and what fables hid
What author wrote it, how that author died
All these I sing — In Greece they fram’d the tale
In Greece a poet was allowed to rail
Buthad he liv’d in George’s golden days
The charms of woman had engross’d his lays
Oh had he heard the notes by Laura sung
The lively sense that flows from Myra’s tongue
Or Delia’s lambent wit and humour sly
Or seen the loves that sport in Denman’s eye
Or felt the gentle charms of Celia’s face
Or in the dance Matilda’s matchless grace
Or the sweet magic of Miranda’s strain
The chords of Satyr he had touch’d in vain
The strings in censure had refus’d to move
Or like Anacreon’s echo’d praise and love
Then maids and matrons where the poet drew
With softest pencil think he dreamt of you
And warn’d by him ye wanton pens beware
How heaven’s concern’d to vindicate the fair
The case was Hesiod’s he the fable writ
Some think we meaning some with idle wit
’Tis both or either — as he ladies please
I wave the contest and commence the lays.

In days of yore (no matter where or when
’Twas ere the low creation swarm’d with men)
That one Prometheus, sprung of heavenly birth
(Our author’s song can witness) liv’d on Earth
He carv’d the turf to mould a manly frame
And stole from Jove his animating flame
The sly contrivance o’er Olympics ran
When thus the monarch of the stars began
 Oh vers’d in arts! whose daring thoughts aspire
To kindle clay with never-dying fire!
Enjoy thy glory past, that gift was thine;
The next thy creature meets be fairly mine:
And such a gift, a vengeance so design’d
As suits the counsel of a god to find
A pleasing bosom cheat; a specious ill
Which felt th[e]y curse, yet covet still to feel
 He said and Vulcan strait the sire commands
To temper mortals with ethereal hands
In such a shape to mold a rising fair
As virgin goddesses are proud to wear
To make her eyes with diamond water shine
And form her organs for a voice divine
’Twas thus the sire ordained; the pow’r obey’d
And work’d and wondered at the work he made
The fairest, softest, sweetest frame beneath
Now made to seem; now more than seem to breathe
 A Vulcan ends, the cheerful queen of charms
Clasp’d the new panting creature in her arms
From that embrace a fine complexion spread
Where mingled whiteness glow’d with softer red
Then in a kiss she breath’d her various arts
Of trifling prettily with wounded hearts
A mind for love, but still a changing mind
The lisp affected and the glance design’d
The sweet confusing blush, the secret wink
The gentle swimming walk, the courteous sink
The stare for strangeness, fit for scorn the frown
For decent yielding looks declining down
Gay smiles to comfort, April showers to move
And all the nature all the art of love

Gold-scepter’d Juno next exalts the fair;
Her touch endows her with imperious air,
Self-valuing fancy, highly-crested pride,
Strong sov’reign will, and some desire to chide;
For which, an eloquence, that aims to vex,
With native tropes of anger, arms the sex.
 Minerva, skilful goddess, train’d the mind
To twirl the spindle by the twisting thread
To fix the loom, instruct the reeds to part
Cross the long weft and close the web with art,
An useful gift, but what profuse expence
What world of fashions, took its rise from hence
 Young Hermes next, a close contriving god
Her brows encircled with his serpent rod
Then plots and fair excuses fill’d her brain
The views of breaking am’rous vows for gain;
The price of favours; the designing arts
That aim at riches in contempt of hearts
And for a comfort in the marriage life
The little pilf’ring temper of a wife
Full on the fair his beams Apollo flung
And fond persuasion tip’d her easy tongue
He gave her words, where oily flatt’ry lays
The pleasing colours of the art of praise
And wit, to scandal exquisitely prone,
Which frets, another’s spleen to cure its own
Those sacred virgins whom the bards revere
Tun’d all her voice, and shed a sweetness there
To make her sense with double charms abound
Or make her lively nonsense please by sound
 To dress the maid, the decent Graces brought
A robe in all the dyes of beauty wrought
And placed their boxes o’er a rich brocade
Where pictur’d loves on every cover play’d
Then spread those implements that Vulcan’s art
Had fram’d to merit Cytherea’s heart
The wire to curl, the close indented comb
To call the locks, that lightly wander, home;
And chief, the mirror, where the ravished maid
Beholds and loves her own reflected shade
 Fair Flora lent her stores; the purpled hours
Confin’d her tresses with a wreath of flowers
Within the wreath arose a radiant crown,
A veil pellucid hung depending down
Back roll’d her azure veil with serpent fold
The purfled border deck’d the floor with gold
Her robe (which closely by the girdle brac’d
Reveal’d the beauties of a slender waist)
Flow’d to the feet, to copy Venus’ air,
When Venus’ statues have a robe to wear.
 The new-sprung creature finish’d thus for harms
Adjusts her habit, practises her charms
With blushes glows, or shines with lively smiles
Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles
Then conscious of her worth, with easy pace
Glides by the glass, and turning views her face
 A finer flax, then what they wrought before
Thro’ time’s deep cave, the Sister Fates explore
They fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weave
And thus their toil prophetic songs deceive.
 Flow from the rock, my flax! and swiftly flow
Pursue thy thread the spindle runs below
A creature fond and changing fair and vain,
The creature woman, rises now to reign.
New beauty blooms, a beauty form’d to fly
New love begins, a love produc’d to die
New parts distress the troubled scenes of life,
The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife
 Men born to labour, all with pains provide
Women have time for vanity and pride:
They want the care of man their want they know
And dress to please with heart alluring show
The show prevailing, for the sway contend
And make a servant where they meet a friend
 Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts
A loitering race the painful bee supports
From sun to sun, from bank to bank he flies
With honey loads his bags, with wax his thighs
Fly where he will, at home the race remain
Prune the silk dress, and murmuring eat the grain
 Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride
Whose temper betters by a father’s side
Unlike the rest that double human care
Fond to relieve and resolute to share
Happy the man whom thus his stars advance
The curse is general but the blessing chance
 Thus sung the Sisters, while the gods admire
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire
The young Pandora she whom all contend
To make too perfect not to gain her end
Then bid the winds that fly to breathe the spring
Return to bear her on a gentle wing
With wafting airs the winds obsequious blow
And land the shining vengeance safe below
A golden coffer in her hand she bore
The present treach’rous but the bearer more
’Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain’d above
That gold should aid and pangs attend on love
 Her gay descent the man perceiv’d afar
Wond’ring he run to catch the falling star
But so surpris’d that none but he can tell
Who lov’d so quickly and who lov’d so well
Thro’ all his veins the wand’ring passion burns
He calls her nymph and ev’ry nymph by turns
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers
Or swears that Venus must be such as hers
She proud to rule yet strangely fram’d to tease
Neglects his offers while her airs she plays
Shoots scornful glances from the bended frown
In brisk disorder trips it up and down
Then hums a careless tune to lay the storm
And sits, and blushes, smiles, and yields in form
 Now take what Jove design’d, she softly cried
This box thy portion and myself they bride
Fir’d with the prospect of the double charms
He snatch’d the box, and bride, with eager arms

Unhappy man! to whom so bright she shone
The fatal gift, her tempting self, unknown
The winds were silent, all the waves asleep
And heav’n was trac’d upon the flatt’ring deep
But whilst he looks unmindful of a storm
And thinks the water wears a stable form
What dreadful din around his ears shall rise!
What frowns confuse his picture of the skies!
 At first the creature man was fram’d alone
Lord of himself and all the world his own
For him the nymphs in green forsook the woods
For him the nymphs in blue forsook the floods,
In vain the satyrs rage, the tritons rave
They bore him heroes in the secret cave
No care destroy’d no sick disorder prey’d
No bending age his sprightly form decay’d
No wars were known, no females heard to rage
And poets tell us — ’twas a golden age
 When woman came those ills the box confin’d
Burst furious out, and poison’d all the wind
From point to point, from pole to pole they flew
Spread as they went and in their progress grew

The nymphs regretting left the mortal race
And alt’ring nature wore a sickly face
New terms of folly rose, new states of care
New plagues, to suffer and to please the fair!
The mean designs of well-dissembled love
The sordid matches never join’d above
Abroad the labour, and at home the noise
(Man’s double suff’rings for domestic joys)
The rival’s sword; the qualm that takes the fair
Disdain for passion, passion in despair —
These and a thousand, yet unname’d we find;
Ah fear the thousand, yet unname’d behind!
 Thus on Parnassus tuneful Hesiod sung
The mountain echo’d and the valley rung
The sacred groves a fix’d attention show
The crystal Helicon forbore to flow
The sky grew bright, and (if his verse be true)
The Muses came to give the laurel too
But what avail’d the verdant prize of wit
If love swore vengeance for the tales he writ
Ye, fair offended hear your friend relate
What heavy judgment prov’d the writer’s fate
Tho’ when it happen’d, no relation clears
’Tis thought in five, or five and twenty years
 Where dark and silent, with a twisted shade
The neighbouring woods a native arbour made
There oft a tender pair as poets say
Retiring, toy’d the ravish’d hours away
A Locrian youth, the gentle Troilus he
A fair Milesian, kind Evanthe she
But some hoar virgin in an envious hour
Betray’d the secrets of the conscious bow’r
The dire disgrace her brothers count their own
And track her steps, to make its author known.
 It chanc’d one evening, ’twas the lover’s day
Conceal’d in brakes the jealous kindred lay
When Hesiod wand’ring, mus’d along the plain
And fix’d his seat where love had fix’d the scene
A strong suspicion strait profess’d their mind
(For poets ever were a gentle kind)
But when Evanthe near the passage stood
Flung back a doubtful look, and shot the wood
“Now take (at once they cry) thy due reward”
And urg’d with erring rage, assault the bard
His corpse the sea receiv’d. The dolphins bore
(’Twas all the gods would do) the corpse to shore
Methinks I view the dead with pitying eyes
And see the dreams of ancient wisdom rise
I see the Muses round the body cry,
But hear a Cupid loudly laughing by;
He wields his arrow with insulting hand,
And thus inscribes the moral on the sand.
“Here Hesiod lies, ye future bards beware
How far your moral tales incense the fair
Unlov’d, unloving, ’twas his fate to bleed
Without his quiver Cupid caus’d the deed
He judg’d this turn of malice justly due
And Hesiod died for joys he never knew.”