The Rape of the Lock (Canto III) by Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope is the most illustrious writer of the 18th century. He was born in 1688 in London. He was a born poet. He used to compose poetry when he was a child. Pope tells in his Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot:
As yet a child, not yet a fool to fame
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.
Alexander Pope is famous for his The Pastorals, Windsor Forest, The Rape of the Lock, Essay on Criticism, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot and The Dunciad. Pope’s translation of Homer offered him great prestige and prosperity.
The Rape of the Lock is Pope’s masterpiece. It is one of the best poems in English language. It was first published in 1712 and later published as final version in 1714. It is based on an actual incident of his time. It is a mock epic poem. It is a classic of drawing room society. This composition shows Pope’s mastery over the use of bathos and the heroic couplet.
The Rape of the Lock describes a trifling incident of real life. Belinda and Petre are two major characters of the poem. Miss Arabella Fermor has been presented as Belinda. She represents the fashionable ladies of the period. She is famous for her grace and elegance in the fashionable society of London. She is devoted to all the gay frivolities and gaiety of the society. She proudly moves in the company of young lords and ladies. The Baron, lord Petre, has been identified with Robert, the seventh Lord Petre. He was well known for his amorous and frivolous nature. He loved Belinda, Arabella Fermor. He cut her lock of hair and offended her. Due to this trifling incident a serious quarrel arises between the two families.
The Rape of the Lock has been divided into Five Cantos. Canto III of this mock heroic poem deals with the incident of the cutting of Belinda’s lock of hair.
(अलेक्जेंडर पोप 18वीं सदी के सबसे प्रसिद्ध लेखक हैं। उनका जन्म 1688 में लंदन में हुआ था। वे जन्मजात कवि थे। बचपन में ही उन्होंने कविता रचना की शुरुआत की थी।
अलेक्जेंडर पोप अपने द पास्टरल्स, विंडसर फॉरेस्ट, द रेप ऑफ द लॉक, एसे ऑन क्रिटिसिज्म, एपिस्टल टू डॉ अर्बुथनॉट और द डनसियाड के लिए प्रसिद्ध हैं। पोप द्वारा होमर की रचनाओं का भी अनुवाद किया गया। इस अनुवाद ने उन्हें काफी प्रतिष्ठा और समृद्धि प्रदान की।
रेप ऑफ द लॉक पोप की उत्कृष्ट कृति है। यह अंग्रेजी भाषा की सर्वश्रेष्ठ कविताओं में से एक है। यह पहली बार 1712 में प्रकाशित हुई और बाद में 1714 में यह विस्तृत रूप में प्रकाशित हुई । यह रचना पोप के समय की एक वास्तविक घटना पर आधारित है। यह एक मौक़ एपिक कविता है। यह ड्राइंग रूम सोसायटी का एक क्लासिक है। यह रचना बथोस और हिरोइक कप्लेट के उपयोग पर पोप की महारत को दर्शाती है।
द रेप ऑफ द लॉक में वास्तविक जीवन की एक छोटी सी घटना का वर्णन है। बेलिंडा और पेट्रे कविता के दो प्रमुख पात्र हैं। मिस अरबेला फर्मर को बेलिंडा के रूप में प्रस्तुत किया गया है। वह उस दौर की फैशनेबल महिलाओं का प्रतिनिधित्व करती हैं। वह लंदन के फैशनेबल समाज में अपनी कृपा और शान के लिए प्रसिद्ध हैं। वह समाज की सभी तुच्छताओं के प्रति समर्पित है। वह गर्व से युवकों और युवतियों की संगति में चलती है। बैरन, लॉर्ड पेट्रे, की पहचान सातवें लॉर्ड पेट्रे रॉबर्ट के साथ की गई है। वह अपने कामुक और तुच्छ स्वभाव के लिए जाने जाते थे। वह बेलिंडा, अरबेला फर्मर, से प्यार करते थे। उन्होंने बेलिंडा के बालों का जुड़ा काट दिया और उसे नाराज कर दिया। इस मामूली घटना को लेकर दोनों परिवारों के बीच गंभीर विवाद हो गया।
रेप ऑफ द लॉक को पांच भागों में बांटा गया है। इस कविता का कैंटो III बेलिंडा के बालों का जुड़ा काटने की घटना से संबंधित है।)
The Rape of the Lock (Canto III) by Alexander Pope
Close by those meads, for ever crown'd with flow'rs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising tow'rs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighb'ring Hampton takes its name.
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign tyrants and of nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort,
To taste awhile the pleasures of a court;
In various talk th' instructive hours they pass'd,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
One speaks the glory of the British queen,
And one describes a charming Indian screen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat,
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray;
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign,
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns in peace,
And the long labours of the toilet cease.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two adventrous knights,
At ombre singly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come.
Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the sacred nine.
Soon as she spreads her hand, th' aerial guard
Descend, and sit on each important card:
First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
Then each, according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race,
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majesty rever'd,
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard;
And four fair Queens whose hands sustain a flow'r,
Th' expressive emblem of their softer pow'r;
Four Knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberds in their hand;
And parti-colour'd troops, a shining train,
Draw forth to combat on the velvet plain.
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care:
"Let Spades be trumps!" she said, and trumps they were.
Now move to war her sable Matadores,
In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors.
Spadillio first, unconquerable lord!
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board.
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Basto follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump and one plebeian card.
With his broad sabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majesty of Spades appears;
Puts forth one manly leg, to sight reveal'd;
The rest, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the just victim of his royal rage.
Ev'n mighty Pam, that kings and queens o'erthrew
And mow'd down armies in the fights of loo,
Sad chance of war! now destitute of aid,
Falls undistinguish'd by the victor Spade!
Thus far both armies to Belinda yield;
Now to the baron fate inclines the field.
His warlike Amazon her host invades,
Th' imperial consort of the crown of Spades.
The Club's black tyrant first her victim died,
Spite of his haughty mien, and barb'rous pride:
What boots the regal circle on his head,
His giant limbs, in state unwieldy spread;
That long behind he trails his pompous robe,
And of all monarchs, only grasps the globe?
The baron now his diamonds pours apace;
Th' embroider'd King who shows but half his face,
And his refulgent Queen, with pow'rs combin'd
Of broken troops an easy conquest find.
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, in wild disorder seen,
With throngs promiscuous strow the level green.
Thus when dispers'd a routed army runs,
Of Asia's troops, and Afric's sable sons,
With like confusion diff'rent nations fly,
Of various habit, and of various dye,
The pierc'd battalions disunited fall.
In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.
At this, the blood the virgin's cheek forsook,
A livid paleness spreads o'er all her look;
She sees, and trembles at th' approaching ill,
Just in the jaws of ruin, and codille.
And now (as oft in some distemper'd state)
On one nice trick depends the gen'ral fate.
An Ace of Hearts steps forth: The King unseen
Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive Queen:
He springs to vengeance with an eager pace,
And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace.
The nymph exulting fills with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply.
Oh thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too soon dejected, and too soon elate!
Sudden, these honours shall be snatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.
For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round.
On shining altars of Japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze.
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide.
At once they gratify their scent and taste,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast.
Straight hover round the fair her airy band;
Some, as she sipp'd, the fuming liquor fann'd,
Some o'er her lap their careful plumes display'd,
Trembling, and conscious of the rich brocade.
Coffee, (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the baron's brain
New stratagems, the radiant lock to gain.
Ah cease, rash youth! desist ere 'tis too late,
Fear the just gods, and think of Scylla's fate!
Chang'd to a bird, and sent to flit in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injur'd hair!
But when to mischief mortals bend their will,
How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting grace
A two-edg'd weapon from her shining case;
So ladies in romance assist their knight
Present the spear, and arm him for the fight.
He takes the gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little engine on his fingers' ends;
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant steams she bends her head.
Swift to the lock a thousand sprites repair,
A thousand wings, by turns, blow back the hair,
And thrice they twitch'd the diamond in her ear,
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close recesses of the virgin's thought;
As on the nosegay in her breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' ideas rising in her mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her art,
An earthly lover lurking at her heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his pow'r expir'd,
Resign'd to fate, and with a sigh retir'd.
The peer now spreads the glitt'ring forfex wide,
T' inclose the lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;
Fate urg'd the shears, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But airy substance soon unites again).
The meeting points the sacred hair dissever
From the fair head, for ever, and for ever!
Then flash'd the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th' affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast,
When husbands or when lap-dogs breathe their last,
Or when rich China vessels, fall'n from high,
In glitt'ring dust and painted fragments lie!
"Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,"
The victor cried, "the glorious prize is mine!
While fish in streams, or birds delight in air,
Or in a coach and six the British fair,
As long at Atalantis shall be read,
Or the small pillow grace a lady's bed,
While visits shall be paid on solemn days,
When num'rous wax-lights in bright order blaze,
While nymphs take treats, or assignations give,
So long my honour, name, and praise shall live!
What time would spare, from steel receives its date,
And monuments, like men, submit to fate!
Steel could the labour of the gods destroy,
And strike to dust th' imperial tow'rs of Troy;
Steel could the works of mortal pride confound,
And hew triumphal arches to the ground.
What wonder then, fair nymph! thy hairs should feel
The conqu'ring force of unresisted steel?"