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Ye sovereign Wives! give
CMosley Soulp. ear and understand, ye speed and exercise Command.
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; For, fince fifteen, in triumph have I led Five captive husbands from the church to bed.
Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture fays, And faw 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 solve me, if they can, The words addrefs'd to the Samaritan :
Five times in lawful wedlock she was join'd; 15
And fure the certain ftint 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, "And to their dearer wives for ever cleave." 20 More wives than one by Solomon were try'd, Or else the wisest of mankind's bely'd. I've had myself full many a merry fit; And truft in heav'n I may have many yet. For when my tranfitory spouse, unkind, Shall die, and leave his woeful wife behind, I'll take the next good Christian I can find.
Paul, knowing one could never ferve our turn, Declar'd 'twas better far to wed than burn. There's danger in assembling fire and tow; ༢༠ I grant 'em that, and what it means you know. The fame Apoftle too has elsewhere own'd, No precept for Virginity he found :
"Tis but a counfel-and we women still
Take which we like, the counfel, or our will. 35
Think fit to live in perfect chastity;