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WIFE of BATH.
EHOLD the woes of matrimonial life,
And hear with rev'rence an experienc'd wife! To dear-bought wisdom give the credit due, And think, for once, a woman tells you true. In all these trials I have borne a part,
I was myself the fcourge that caus'd the smart;
Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture fays, And saw but one, 'tis thought, in all his days; 10 Whence fome infer, whofe confcience is too nice, No pious Christian ought to marry twice.
But let them read, and folve me, if they can, The words address'd to the Samaritan :
Five times in lawful wedlock fhe was join'd; 15 And fure the certain stint was ne'er defin'd.
Encrease and multiply, was heav'n's command,' And that's a text I clearly understand.
This too," Let men their fires and mothers leave,
Pure let them be, and free from taint or vice; I, for a few flight spots, am not so nice.
Heav'n calls us diff'rent ways, on these bestows
Full many a Saint, fince first the world began,
Let my good fpoufe pay tribute, do me right,
For fo faid Paul, and Paul's a found divine. 55
Know then, of those five husbands I have had, Three were just tolerable, two were bad. The three were old, but rich and fond befide, And toil'd most piteously to please their bride : But fince their wealth (the best they had) was
The reft, without much lofs, I could refign.