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Not that he thought this short essay
A prologue needful to his play ;
No, trust ine, says our learned letter,
He knew the virtuous sex much better:
But these he held as specions arts,
To show his own superior parts;
The form of decency to shield,
And give a just pretence to yield."
Thus finishing his courtly play,
He mark'd the v'rite of a day;
With careless impudence drew near,
And whisper'd Hebrew in her ear;
A hint, which like the mason's sign,
The conscious can alone divine.

The flutt'ring nymph, expert at feigning,

Yet friendship forms the bliss above;
And, life, what art thou without love!

Our hero, who had heard apart,
Felt something moving in his heart;
But quickly, with disdain, suppress'd
The virtue rising in his breast;
And first he feign'd to laugh aloud;
Aud next, approaching smil'd and bow'd
Madam, you must not think me rude;
Good manners never can intrude;
I vow I come thro' pure good nature→→→→
(Upon my soul a charming creature!),
Are these the comforts of a wife?
This careful, cloister'd, moping life?
No doubt that odious thing, call'd Duty, ́

Cried, Sir?-pray, Sir, explain your meaning-Is a sweet province for a beauty.

Go prate to those that may endure yeЛ To me this rudeness! - I'll assure ye! Then off she glided like a swallow, As saying-you guess where to follow. To such as know the party set, Tis needless to declare they met; The parson's baro, as authors mention, Confess'd the fair had apprehension. Her honor there secure from stain, She held all farther trifling vain ; No more affected to be coy, But rush'd, licentious, on the joy. Hist, love! the male companion cried; Retire awhile, I fear we 're spied, Nor was the caution vain: he saw A Turtle rustling in the straw; While o'er her callow brood she hung, And fondly thus address'd her young: Ye tender objects of my care! Peace, peace, ye little helpless pair; Anon he comes, your gentle sire, And brings you all your hearts require. For us, his infants, and his bride, For us, with only love to guide, Our lord assumes an eagle's speed, And like a lion dares to bleed. Nor yet by wintry skies confin'd, He mounis upon the rudest wind, From danger tears the vital spoil, And with affection sweetens toil. Ah cease, too vent'rous, cease to dare; In thine, our dearer safety spare! From him, ye cruel falcons, stray; And turn, ye fowlers, far away!

Should I survive to see the day That tears me from myself away; That cancels all that Heaven could give, The life by which alone I live, Alas, how more than lost were I, Who in the thought already die..

Ye powr's whom men and birds obey, Great rulers of your creatures, say, Why mourning comes, by bliss convey'd, And even the sweets of love altay'd? Where grows enjoyment, tall and fair, Around it twines entangling care; While fear for what our souls passeзs Enervates ev'ry pow`r to bless;

Thou pretty ignorance! thy will
Is measur'd to thy want of skill;

That good old-fashion'd dame, thy mother,
Has taught thy infant years no other:
The greatest ill in the creation

Is sure the want of education.

But think ye-tell me without feigning-
Have all these charms no farther meaning!
Daine nature, if you don't forget her,
Might teach your ladyship much better.
For shame! reject this mean employment,
Enter the world and taste enjoyment,
Where time by circling bliss we measure;
Beauty was form'd alone for pleasure:
Come, prove the blessing, follow me,
Be wise, be happy, and be free.

Kind Sir, replied our matron chaste,
Your zeal seems pretty much in haste;
I own, the fondness to be blest
Is a deep thirst in ev'ry breast;
Of blessings too I have my store,
Yet quarrel not should Heaven give more ;
Then prove the change to be expedient,
And think me, Sir, your most obedient.

Here turning, as to one inferior,

Our gallant spoke, and smil'd superior:
Methinks, to quit your boasted station
Requires a world of hesitation;
Where brats and bonds are held a blessing,
The case, I doubt, is past redressing.
Why, child, suppose the joys I mention
Were the mere fruits of my invention,
You've cause sufficient for your carriage,
In flying from the curse of marriage;
That sly decoy; with varied snares,
That takes your widgeons in by pairs
Alike to husband and to wife,
The cure of love, and bane of life;
The only method of forecasting,
To make misfortune firm and lasting;
The sin, by Heaven's peculiar sentence,
Unpardon'd through a life's repentance.
It is the double snike that weds
A common tail to diff'rent heads,
That lead the carcase still astray,
By dragging each a different way.
Of all the ills that may attend me,
From marriage, nighty gods defend me l
M 2

Give me frank nature's wild demesne,
And boundless tract of air serene,
Where fancy, ever wing'd. for change,
Delights to sport, delights to range:
There, Liberty to thee is owing
Whate'er of bliss is worth bestowing:
Delights still varied, and divine,
Sweet goddess of the hills! are thine.
What say you now, you pretty pink, you?
Have I for once spoke reason, think you?
You take me now for no romancer-
Come, never study for an answer!
Away, cast ev'ry care behind ye,
And fly where joy alone shall find ye.

Soft yet, returned our female fencer;
A question more, or so- and then, Sir.
You've rallied me with sense exceeding,
With much fine wit, and better breeding;
But pray; Sir, how do you contrive it?
Do those of your world never wive it?

The Source of endless good above
Shot down his spark of kindling love ;
Touch'd by the all enlivening flame,
Then motion first exulting care;
Each atom sought its sep'rate class
Through many a fair enamor'd mass;
Love cast the central charın around,
And with eternal nuptials bund.
Then form and order o'er the sky
First train'd their bridal pomp on high;
The sun display'd his orb to sight,
And burnt with hymeneal light.

Hence nature's virgin-womb conceiv'd,
And with the genial burden heav'd;
Forth came the oak, her first-born heir,
And scal'd the breathing steep of air;
Then infant stems of various use,
Imbib'd her soft maternal juice;
The flow'rs, in early bloom disclos'd,
Upon her fragrant breast repos'd;

No, no." How then? " Why, dare I tell? Within her warm embraces grew

"What does the bus'ness full as well."

Do you ne'er love?

"An hour at leisure."


Have you no friendships?" Yes, for pleasure."
No care for little oues? We get 'em ;
"The rest the mothers mind and let 'em."
Thou, wretch, rejoin'd the kindling Dove,
Quite lost to life, as lost to love!
Whene'er misfortune comes, how just!
And come misfortunes surely nrust.
In the dread season of dismay,
In that your hour of trial, say,
Who then shall prop your sinking heart?
Who bear affliction's weightier part?

Say, when the black-bow'd welkin bends,
And winter's gloomy form impends,
To mourning turns all transient cheer,
And blasts the melancholy year;
For times at no persuasion stay,
Nor vice can find perpetual May;
Then where's that tongue by folly fed,
That soul of pertness whither filed?
All shrunk within thy lonely nest,
Forlorn, abandon'd, and unblest.
No friends, by cordial bonds allied,
Shall seek thy cold unsocial side;
No chirping prattlers to delight,
Shall turn the long-enduring night;
No bride her words of balm impart,
And warm thee at her constant heart.
Freedom, restrain'd by reason's force,
Is as the sun's unvarying course;
Benignly active, sweetly bright,
Affording warmth, affording light;
But, torn from virtue's sacred rules,
Becomes a comet, gaz'd by fools,
Foreboding cares, and storms, and strife,
And fraught with all the plagues of life.
Thou fool! by union ev'ry creature
Subsists, through universal nature;

And this, to beings void of mind,
Is wedlock of a meaner kind.
While womb'd in space, primæval clay
A yet unfashion'd einbryo lay,

A race of endless form and hue:
Then pour'd her lesser offspring round,
And foudly cloth'd the parent ground.

Nor here alone the virtue reign'd,
By matter's cumbring form detain'd;
But thence, subliming and refin'd,
Aspir'd, and reach'd its kindred Mind.
Caught in the fond celestial fire,
The mind perceiv'd unknown desire;
And now with kind effusion flow'd,'
And now with cordial ardors glow'd,
Beheld the sympathetic fair,

And lov'd its own resemblance there;
On all with circling radiance shone,
But cent'ring fix'd on one alone;
There clasp'd the heaven-appointed wife,
And doubled every joy of life.

Here ever blessing, ever blest
Resides this beauty of the breast;
As from his palace here the god
Sull beams effulgent bliss abroad;
Here gems his own eternal round,
The ring by which the world is bound;
Here bids his seat of empire grow,
And builds his little heaven below.

The bridal partners thus allied,
And thus in sweet accordance tied.
One body, heart, and spirit live,
Enrich'd by ev'ry joy they give;
Like echo, from her vocal hold,
Return'd in music twenty-fold.
Their union, firm and undecay'd,
Nor time can shake, nor pow'r invade ;
But, as the stem and scion stand
Ingrafted by a skilful hand,

They check the tempest's wint'ry rage,
And bloom and strengthen into age.
A thousand amities unknown,
And pow'rs perceiv'd by love alone,
Endearing looks and chaste desire,
Fan and support the mutual fire;
Whose flame, perpetual as refin'd,.
Is fed by an importal mind,


Nor yet the nuptial sanction ends.
Like Nile it opens, and descends;
Which, by apparent windings led,
We trace to its celestial head.
The fire, first springing from above,
Becomes the source of life and love,
And gives his filial heir to flow
In fondness down on sons below:
Thus, roll'd in one continued tide,
To time's extremest verge they glide;
While kindred streams on either hand,
Branch forth in blessings o'er the land.
Thee, wretch! no lisping babe shall naine,
No late-returning brother claim,
No kinsman on thy sight rejoice,
No sister greet thy ent`ring voice;
With partial eyes no parent see,
And bless their years restor'd in thee.
In age rejected or declin'd,
An alien even among thy kind,
The partner of thy scorn'd embrace
Shall play the wanton in thy face;
Each spark unplume thy little pride,
All friendship fly the faithless side.
Thy name shall like thy carcase rot,
In sickness spurn'd, in death forgot.
All-giving Pow'r! great Source of life!
Oh hear the parent, hear the wife!
That life thou lendest from above,
Though little, make it large in love;
O bid my feeling heart expand
To ev'ry claim, on ev'ry hand;

To those from whom my days I drew,
To these in whom those days renew,
To all my kin, however wide,
In cordial warmth as blood allied,
To friends with steely fetters twin'd,
And to the cruel, not unkind!

But chief the lord of my desire,
My life, myself, my soul, my sire,
Friends, children, all that wish can claim,
Chaste passion clasp, and rapture name →
O spare him, spare him, gracious Pow'r!
O give him to my latest hour!
Let me my length of life employ
To give my soul enjoyment joy.
His love let mutual love excite,
Turn all my cares to his delight;
And ev'ry needless blessing spare,
Wherein my darling wants a share.
When he with graceful action woos,
And sweetly bills, and fondly coos,
Ah! deck me, to his eyes alone,
With charms attractive as his own;
And, in my circling wings caress'd,
Give all the lover to my breast,
Then in our chaste connubial bed,
Aly bosom pillow'd for his head,
His eyes with blissful slumbers close,
And watch, with me, my lord's repose;
Your peace around his temples twine,
And love him with a love like mine.

And, for I know his gen'rous flame,
Beyond whate'er my sex can claim,

Me too to your protection take,
And spare me for my husband's sake.
Let one unruffled, calm delight
The loving and belov'd unite;

pure desire our bosoms warm,
One will direct, one wish informi;
Through life, one inutual aid sustain ;
In death, one peaceful grave contain.
While swelling with the darling theme,
Her accents pour'd an endless stream,
The well-known wings a sound impart,
That reach'd her ear, and touch'd her heart;
Quick dropp'd the music of her tongue,
And forth with eager joy she sprung.
As swift her ent'ring consort flew,
And plum'd, and kindled at the view;
Their wings, their souls, embracing meet,
Their hearts with answering measure beat;
Half lost in secret sweets, and bless'd
With raptures felt, but ne'er express'd.
Straight to her humble roof she led
The partner of her spotless bed;

young, a flutt'ring pair, arise,
Their welcome sparkling in their eyes;
Transported, to their sire they bound,
And hang with speechless action round.
In pleasure wrapt the parents stand,
And see their little wings expand;
The sire his life-sustaining prize
To each expecting bill applics,
There fondly pours the wheaten spoil,
With transport giv'n, tho' won with toil;
While all-collected at the sight,
And silent through supreme delight,
The fair high heaven of bliss beguiles,
And on her lord and infants smiles.

The Sparrow, whose attention hung
Upon the Dove's enchanting tongue,
Of all his little slights disarm'd,
And from himself by virtue charm'd,
When now he saw what only seem'd
A fact, so late a fable deem'd,
His soul to envy he resign'd,
His hours of folly to the wind;
In secret wish a Turtle too,

And, sighing to himself, withdrew.

$294. FABLE XV. The Female Seducers.
"I'Is said of widow, maid, and wife,
That honor is a woman's life;
Unhappy sex! who only claim
A being in the breath of fame;
Which, tainted, not the quick'ning gales
That sweep Sabæa's spicy vales,
Nor all the healing sweets restore,
That breathe along Arabia's shore.

The traveller, if he chance to stray,
May turn uncensur'd to his way;
Polluted streams again are pure,
And deepest wounds admit a cure:
But woman no redemption knows,
The wounds of honor never close.

Tho' distant ev'ry hand to guide,
Nor skill'd on life's tempestuous tide,

If once her feeble bark recede,
Or deviate fron the course decreed,
In vain she seeks the friendless shore,
Her swifter folly flies before!
The circling ports against her close,
And shut the wand'rer from repose;
Till, by conflicting waves oppress'd,
Her found'ring pinnace sinks to rest.
Are there no offerings to atone
For but a single error? None.
Tho' woman is avow'd, of old,
Nay daughter of celestial mould,
Her temp'ring not without allay,
And form'd but of the finer clay,
We challenge from the mortal damne
The strength angelic natures claim;
Nay more for sacred stories tell,
That even immortal angels fell.

Whatever fills the teeming sphere
Of humid earth, and ambient air,
With varying elements endued,
Was form'd to fall, and rise renew'd,
The stars no fix'd duration know;
Wide oceans ebb, again to flow;
The moon repletes her waning face,
All beauteous from her late disgrace;
And suns, that mourn approaching night,
Refulgent rise with new-born light.

In vain may death and time subdue,
While nature mints her race anew;
And holds some vital spark apart,
Like virtue, hid in 'ry heart.
"Tis hence reviving warmth is seen,
To clothe a naked world in green.
No longer barr'd by winter's cold,
Again the gates of life unfold;
Again each insect tries his wing,
And lifts fresh pinious on the spring;
Again from ev'ry latent root
The latent stem and tendril shoot,
Exhaling incense to the skies,
Again to perish, and to rise.

And must weak woman then disown
The change to which a world is prone?
In one meridian brightness shine,
And ne'er like ev'ning suus decline?
Resolv'd and firm alone? Is this
What we demand of woman? - Yes.

But should the spark of vestal fire
In some unguarded hour expire;
Or should the nightly thief invade
Hesperia's chaste and sacred shade,
Of all the blooming spoil possess'd,
The dragon Honor charm'd to rest,
Shall virtue's flame no more return?
No more with virgin splendor burn ?
No more the ravag'd garden blow
With spring's succeeding blossom?
Pity may mourn, but not restore;
And woman falls to rise no more!
Within this sublunary sphere
A country lies no matter where;
The clime may readily be found
By all who tread poetic ground;


A stream call'd Life, across it glides,
And equally the land divides;
And here, of vice the province lies;
And there the hills of virtue rise.

Upon a mountain's airy stand,
Whose summit look'd to either land,
An antient pair their dwelling chose,
As well for prospect as repose;
For mutual faith they long were fam'd,
And Temp'rance and Religion nam'd,
A num'rous progeny divine
Confess'd the honors of their line,
But in a little daughter fair

Was centred more than half their care;
For Heaven to gratulate her birth,
Gave signs of future joy to earth;
White was the robe this infant wore,
And chastity the name she bore.

As now the maid in stature grew
(A flow'r just op'ning to her view)
Oft through her native lawns she stray'd,
And wrestling with the lambkins play'd;
Her looks diffusive sweets bequeath'd,
The breeze grew purer as she breath'd;
The morn her radiant blush assum'd,
The spring with earlier fragrance bloom'd;
And nature yearly took delight,
Like her to dress the world in white.

But when her rising form was seen To reach the crisis of fifteen, Her parents up the mountain's head With anxious step their darling led; By turns they snatch'd her to their breast, And thus the fears of age express'd

O joyful cause of many a care! O daughter too divinely fair! Yon world, on this important day, Demands thee to a dang'rous way; A painful journey all must go, Whose doubted period none can know`; Whose due direction who can find, Where reason's mute, and sense is blind! Ah, what unequal leaders these, Thro' such a wide, perplexing maze! Then mark the warnings of the wise, And learn what love and years advise.

Far to the right thy prospect bend, Where yonder tow'ring hills ascend ; Lo! there the arduous path 's in view Which Virtue and her sons pursue ; With toil o'er less'ning earth they rise, And gain, and gain upon the skies. Narrow's the way her children tread, No walk for pleasure smoothly spread, But rough, and difficult, and steep, Painful to climb, and hard to keep.

Fruits immature those lands dispense,
A food indelicate to sense,

Of taste unpleasant: yet from those
Pure health, with cheerful vigor, flows;
And strength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long laborious way.
Hence, as they scale that heavenly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;


From earth refining still they go,
And leave the mortal weight below,
Then spreads the strait, the doubtful clears,
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease,
And, taught by virtue, pain can please
At length the toilsome journey o'er,
And near the bright celestial shore,
A gulf, black, fearful, and profound,
Appears, of either world the bound,
Through darkness leading up to light;
Sense backwards shrinks, and shuns the sight;
For there the transitory train

Of time, and form, and care, and pain,
And matter's gross incumb'ring mass,
Man's late associates, cannot pass;
But, sinking, quit th' immortal charge,
And leave the wond'ring soul at large;
Lightly she wings her obvious way,
And mingles with eternal day.

Thither, ok thither wing thy speed,
The pleasure charm, or pain impede;
To such th 'all-bounteous Pow'r has given,
For present earth, a future heaven;
For trivial loss, unmeasur'd gain ;
And endless bliss for transient pain.
Then fear, ah! fear to turn thy sight
Where yonder flow'ry fields invite:
Wide on the left the pathway bends,
And with pernicious ease descends!
There, sweet to sense, and fair to show,
New-planted Edens seem to blow,
Trees that delicious poison bear;
For death is vegetable there.

Hence is the frame of health unbrac'd,
Each sinew slack'ning at the taste,
The soul to passion yields her throne,
And sees with organs not her own;
While, like the slumb'rer in the night,
Pleas'd with the shadowy dream of light,
Before her alienated eyes

The scenes of fairy land arise;
The puppet world's amusing show,
Dipp'd in the gaily-color'd bow,

Sceptres and wreaths, and glitt'ring things,
The toys of infants and of kings,
That tempt along the baneful plain,
The idly wise and lightly vain,
Till, verging on the gulfy shore.
Sudden they sink and rise no more.
But list to what thy fates declare;
Tho' thou art woman, frail as fair.
If once thy sliding foot should stray,
Once quit yon heaven-appointed way,
For thee, lost maid, for thee alone,
Nor pray'rs shall plead, nor tears atone;
Reproach, scorn, infamy, and hate,
On thy returning steps shall wait;
Thy form be loath'd by ev'ry eye,
And ev'ry foot thy presence fly.
Thus arm'd with words of potent sound,
Like guardian angels plac'd around,
A charm by truth divinely cast,
Forward our young advent'rer pass'd;

Forth from her sacred eyelids sent,
Like morn, fore-running radiance went,
While Honor, handmaid late assign'd,
Upheld her lucid train behind.

Awe-struck, the much-admiring crowd
Before the virgin vision bow'd;
Gaz'd with an ever-new delight,
And caught fresh virtue at the sight;
For not of earth's unequal frame
They deem the heaven-compounded Dame;
If matter, sure the most refin'd,
High wrought, and temper'd into mind,
Some darling daughter of the day,
And bodied by her native ray,

Where'er she passes, thousands bend,
And thousands where she moves attend;
Her ways observant eyes confess,
Her steps pursuing praises bless
While to the elevated Maid
Oblations, as to heaven, are paid.

"Twas on an ever-blithsome day,
The jovial birth of rosy May,
When genial warmth, no more supprest,
Now melts the frost in ev'ry breast.
The cheek with secret flushing dyes,
And looks kind things from chastest eyes;
The sun with healthier visage glows,
Aside his clouded kerchief throws.
And dances up th' ethereal plain,
Where late he us'd to climb with pain,
While nature, as from bonds set free,
Springs out, and gives a loose to glee.

And now, for momentary rest,
The nymph her travell'd step repress'd,
Just turn'd to view the stage attain'd,
And gloried in the height she gain'd.

Outstretch'd before her wide survey
The realms of sweet perdition lay,
And pity touch'd her soul with woe,
To see a world so lost below;

When straight the breeze began to breathe
Airs, gently wafted from beneath,

That bore commission'd witchcraft thence,
And reach'd her sympathy of sense;
No sounds of discord, that disclose
A people sunk and lost in woes,
But as of present good possest,
The very triumph of the blest.
The Maid in rapt attention hung,
While thus approaching Sirens sung:
Hither, fairest, hither haste,"
Brightest beauty, come and taste
What the pow'rs of bliss unfold,
Joys too mighty to be told:
Taste what ecstasies they give;"
Dying raptures taste, and live.

In thy lap, disdaining measure,
Nature empties all her treasure,
Soft desires, that sweetly languish ;
Fierce delights, that rise to anguish ;
Fairest, dost thou yet delay?
Brightest beauty, come away,
List not, when the froward chide,
Sons of pedantry and pride,

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