In this small work all nature's wonders see,
The soften'd features of philosophy.
In truth by easy steps you here advance,
Truth, as diverting as the best romance.
Long had these arts to sages been confin'd,
None saw their beauty, till by poring blind;
By studying spent, like men that cram too full,
From Wisdom's feast they rose not chear'd, but dull:
The gay and airy smil'd to see 'em grave,
And fled such wisdom like trophonius' cave.
Justly they thought they might those arts despise,
Which made men sullen, ere they could be wise.
Brought down to sight, with ease you view 'em here;
Tho' deep the bottom, yet the stream is clear.
Your flutt'ring sex still valued science less;
Careless of any, but the arts of dress.
Their useless time was idly thrown away
On empty novels, or some new-born play.
The best, perhaps, a few loose hours might spare
For some unmeaning thing, miscall'd a pray'r.
In vain the glittering orbs, each starry night,
With mingling blazes shed a flood of light:
Each nymph with cold indiff'rence saw 'em rise;
And, taught by fops, to them preferr'd her eyes.
None thought the stars were suns so widely sown,
None dreamt of other worlds, besides our own.
Well might they boast their charms, when ev'ry fair
Thought this world all, and hers the brightest here.
Ah! quit not the large thoughts this book inspires,
For those thin trifles which your sex admires;
Assert your claim to sense, and shew mankind,
That reason is not to themselves confin'd.
The haughty belle, whose beauty's awful shrine.
'Twere sacrilege t' imagine not divine,
Who thought so greatly of her eyes before,
Bid her read this, and then be vain no more.
How poor ev'n You, who reign without controul,
If we except the beauties of your soul!
Should all beholders feel the same surprize;
Should all who see you, see you with my eyes;
Were no such blasts to make that beauty less;
Should you be what I think, what all confess:
'Tis but a narrow space those charms engage;
One Island only, and not half an Age.