Mary Barber, “Jupiter and Fortune. A Fable”

 MARY BARBER

“Jupiter and Fortune.  A Fable”

 

Once JUPITER, from out the Skies,
Beheld a thousand Temples rise;
The Goddess FORTUNE all invok’d,
To JOVE an Altar seldom smoak’d:
The God resolv’d to make Inspection,                                             5
What had occasion’d this Defection;
And bid the Goddess tell the Arts,
By which she won deluded Hearts.

My Arts! (says she) Great JOVE, you know,
That I do ev’ry Thing below:                                                              10
I make my Vot’ries dine on Plate;
I give the gilded Coach of State;
Bestow the glitt’ring Gems, that deck
The fair LAVINIA’S lovely Neck;
I make NOVELLA Nature’s Boast,                                                     15
And raise VALERIA to a Toast;
‘Tis I, who give the Stupid, Taste,
(Or make the Poets lie, at least);
My fav’rite Sons, whene’er they please,
Can Palaces in Desarts raise,                                                             20
Cut out Canals, make Fountains play,
And make the dreary Waste look gay;
Ev’n Vice seems Virtue by my Smiles;
I gild the Villian’s gloomy Wiles,
Nay, almost raise him to a God,                                                        25
While crowded Levees wait his Nod.

ENOUGH– the Thunderer reply’d;
But say, whom have you satisfy’d?
These boasted Gifts are thine, I own;
But know, Content is mine alone.                                                     30

NOTES:

Title  Jupiter  “Known as ‘Jove’ is the god of sky and thunder in Ancient Roman Mythology and the chief of the gods. Father of Fortuna and great protector”(Britannica); Fortune Fortuna is the goddess of fortune and luck in ancient Roman mythology.

11  Vot’ries  A devoted or zealous worshipper of a particular god [or] goddess” (OED).

16  Toast  “The reigning belle of the season” (OED).

26  Levees  “A morning assembly held by a prince or a person of distinction” (OED).

SOURCE:  Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 63-64.  [Google Books]

 Edited by Raven Valdivia


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