Oh! had'st thou, Jove! with adamantine locks
Fix'd fast the springs of poor Pandora's box,
Then had she, bright enchantment! bloom'd for ever
In all the charms consenting Gods could give her--
Wit, Wisdom, Beauty, she had every grace
Which makes man play the madman for a face!
But chief, bless'd gift! for him ordain'd to ask it,
The gem of gems, th' incomparable casket;
And, lo! with trembling hands and ardent eyes
The bridegroom claims it--and--behold the prize!
First, like a vapour o'er the heavens obscured,
From that dark confine, rose the fiends immured,
Then groan'd the earth, in fury swell'd the floods,
Blasts smote the harvests, lightning fired the woods;
Blue spotted Plague rode gibbering on the blast,
And nations shriek'd, and perish'd, as he pass'd.
Amazed, indignant, Epimetheus stood,
Vow'd dire revenge, and strung his nerves for blood.
It was not then, that from the coffer's lid
Hope's roseate smile his fierce delirium chid;
He saw, in that fair wife which heaven had sent
But mighty Mischiefs mortal instrument,
And swore not Hope, nor Mercy's self should save her,
Look'd in her face, smiled, sigh'd, and then--forgave her!