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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
ABTOR LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.
Jam. Wale Delin
Old as he was, and void of Eye-sight too, What cou'd alas! a helpless
Jan : & May.
HERE liv'd in Lombardy, as authors write, In days of old, a wife and worthy knight; Of gentle manners, as of gen'rous race, Bleft with much fenfe, more riches, and fome grace. Yet led aftray by Venus' foft delights, He scarce could rule fome idle appetites.: For long ago, let Priests say what they cou'd, Weak finful laymen were but flesh and blood.
But in due time, when fixty years were o'er, He vow'd to lead this vitious life no more; Whether pure holiness infpir'd his mind, Or dotage turn'd his brain, is hard to find; But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed, And try the pleasures of a lawful bed.
JANUARY AND MAY.] This translation was done at fixteen or seventeen years of Age. P.
This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15
And to the heav'nly pow'rs his constant pray'r,
Once, ere he dy'd, to taste the blisful life
Of a kind husband and a loving wife.
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still,
(For none want reasons to confirm their will.) 20
Grave authors fay, and witty poets fing,
That honeft wedlock is a glorious thing:
But depth of judgment most in him appears,
Who wifely weds in his maturer years.
Then let him chufe a damfel young and fair, 25
To blefs his age, and bring a worthy heir;
To footh his cares, and free from noife and ftrife,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
Let finful batchelors their woes deplore,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more: 30
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,
Like birds and beafts, promifcuoufly they join:
Nor know to make the present blessing last,
To hope the future, or efteem the past:
But vainly boast the joys they never try'd,
And find divulg'd the fecrets they would hide.
The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease,
Secure at once himself and heav'n to please;
And pafs his inoffensive hours away,
In blifs all night, and innocence all day : 40
Tho' fortune change, his conftant spouse remains,
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.
But what fo pure, which envious
Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair. With matchlefs impudence they style a wife 45 The dear-bought curfe, and lawful plague of life; A bofom-ferpent, a domestic evil,
A night-invafion, and a mid-day-devil.
Let not the wise these fland'rous words regard,
But curse the bones of ev'ry lying bard.
All other goods by fortune's hand are giv'n,
A wife is the peculiar gift of heav'n.
Vain fortune's favours, never at a stay,
Like empty fhadows, pafs, and glide away;
One folid comfort, our eternal wife,
Abundantly supplies us all our life:
This bleffing lafts (if those who try, say true)
As long as heart can wish---and longer too.
Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve poffefs'd,
Alone, and ev'n in Paradise unbless'd, 60
With mournful looks the blissful scenes furvey'd,
And wander'd in the folitary fhade.
The Maker faw, took pity, and bestow'd
Woman, the laft, the beft referv'd of God.