« EelmineJätka »
Much fam'd for Wealth, for pious Actions more;
No Husband, and no Children, but the Poor:
Let me conduct you to her friendly Gate;
(Too small my Cottage for a Guest so great :)
She will protect you from Barbarian Foes,
With prudent Counfel mitigate your Woes,
And charm your ruffled Soul to soft Repose.
Bleft Partner of my Grief! the Damfel faid, Some Angel furely fent you to my Aid; For now fome dawning Rays of Hope appear, That chace away the Clouds of dark Despair. This Pause of Pain, and Interval of Grace, Shall be employ'd in Search of future Peace. Then guide and guard me to your noble Friend; So may you never want this Aid you lend! And, as we travel, deign to let me know, To whom so many Thanks I justly owe; What hapless Fortune caft you on this Land, What Occupation here employs your Hand. Sweet Conversation may fufpend my Care, Difpel my Grief, or make it less severe : So fhall I eafier reach the neighb'ring Town; And, lift'ning to your Fate, forget my own.
Thus fhe; and thus the penfive Dame replies: (With briny Drops diftilling from her Eyes) Fain would I, lovelyNymph! fufpend yourCare, Difpel your Grief, or make it lefs fevere: But, were I all my Fortune to explain, 'Twould not alleviate, but increase your Pain;
For in your Soul fuch Sparks of Nature glow, As make you share your Neighbour's Joy or Woe.
The Chriftian Faith I secretly embrace,
Tho' doom'd to dwell among a Pagan Race:
Trepanum wafted all my Bloom of Life,
Where long I liv'd, a Farmer's happy Wife:
My careful, loving Hufband till'd the Soil,
Nor was the Field ungrateful to his Toil:
For, ev'ry Summer, Ceres crown'd the Plain;
Each Autumn, fill'd the Barn with golden Grain:
So thick the verdant Harvest yearly ftood,
The Meadows feem'd to groan beneath their
Our fleecy Flocks were fruitful of their Young,
Hail were our Oxen, and our Horfes ftrong;
Nor did our Kine of milky Produce fail,
But from diftended Udders fill'd the Pail.
'Twas, then, alas! how often have I cry'd,
I would not wish to be a Monarch's Bride!
When all around my little Infants came,
Hung on my Knees, and lifp'd their Mother's
Or met their Father with the Ev'ning Ray, Embrac'd his Neck, and kifs'd his Cares away.. Soon as their riper Age could Labour bear, We fent 'em forth to feed the fleecy Care; Where often have we spent the Summer's Day, Charm'd to behold the wanton Cattle's Play.
What Pleasure 'twas to fee the skipping Lambs? What Mufic when they bleated for their Dams? We thought our Joys could never be increas'd; Love, Peace, and Plenty join'd to make us blefs'd.
But fee how Fortune holds her fickle Reign!
She raises up, to tumble down again :
For now our Thread of Happiness was spun;
The Gains of twenty Years were loft in one.
'Twas in the Seafon, when the verdant Mead
Begins to ask the Mower's crooked Blade;
Before the Wheat receives a yellow Stain,
Or milky Juice is harden'd into Grain;
A Gale of Poifon baleful Eurus caft;
The vernal Product ficken'd with the Blast;
Our Meadows ftraight a Saffron Scene disclose,
Our infant Apples quit the blighted Boughs;
Peafe, Wheat, and Barley, wither'd in the Fields,
And Nature one abortive Harvest yields :
Nor ftopt it here, the flying Plague began
To spread the Bane in Beasts, and thence to
First dy'd our Sheep upon the ruffet Plain, Next fwell'd our Oxen with a fatal Blain; Here tumbles, o'er her Meat, the moping Cow; There drops the panting Horse before the Plough: At length the dire Contagion spread so wide, My virgin Children made the Tomb their Bride. This Nature bore-But, when our Landlord fent His Officers to feize my Lord for Rent;
And he, to fhun the Prison, flies the Shore,
Lifts on the Sea, to tug the lab'ring Oar,
I wept, I rav'd, I curs'd the baleful Air,
And fled my native Land, but not my Care.
Thus banish'd here, a Widow, and a Wife,
Condemn'd to fuffer, not enjoy a Life;
I toil for thofe, who catch the finny Prey;
The Toils are great, but very small the Pay!
Their fcaly Fry to Market oft I bear,
Oft in the Ocean wafh their thready Snare;
And then was washing, when, with great Sur-
You, and your floating Veffel, met my Eyes. Now Heav'n defend us both, the Nymph reply'd;
And can fuch Rage in Chriftian Minds refide?
What, could the curft, inhuman Tyrant wreft
Thy tender Husband from thy loving Breast,
When all thy Wealth was loft,thy Children dead?
O Virtue! Virtue! whither art thou fled?
Why must such Evils on the Guiltless flow?
Ye Heav'ns! is Innocence rewarded fo?
So fpake the Nymph; her Friend no more
For now Prifcilla's Dome attracts their Eyes:
Approaching to her friendly Gate, they found
The gen'rous Lady dealing Alms around
To needy Souls, a hapless, helpless Crowd,
Who daily blefs'd her Hand for daily Food!
When thus Caprefa: Hail, for ever blefs'd!
'Tis Godlike thus to fuccour the Diftrefs'd:
Yet none of thefe, who claim your Chriftian Aid,.
Deferves it more than this unhappy Maid;
Who once was blefs'd with Fame and Riches too,,
Tho' fickle Fortune now is turn'd her Foe;
Unlike the Mendicants, who daily share
Your friendly Bounty, and maternal Care.
To whom the Lady, with a gracious Look,. That feem'd to breathe Compaffion, while she fpoke:
Sure Decency forbids, a Guest fo great
Should, undiftinguish'd, with the Vulgar cat..
No; deck my Table with the choiceft Fare;
The Nymph, with me, a kind Repast shall share ::
For, by her Looks, if Truth may be divin'd,
That lovely Body clothes a lovely Mind.
She faid, and Conftance low Obeifance made;
Then gladly follow'd, where Prifcilla led.
Within the Gate a fpacious Room fhe found,
Whofe Walls were beautify'd with Tap'ftry
Where pious Tales appear'd, fo lively wrought,
TheWork feem'd vital,and theFigures Thought.
Here, in the Shade, the Jewish Patriarch stood,
Feafting the Sons of Heav'n with earthly Food;
While, there, the good Samaritan confest
His Kindness, and reproach'd the cruel Priest:
With many more, a charitable Band,
The skilful Labour of Prifcilla's Hand..