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Strait on the tree his eager eyes he bent,

As one whose thoughts were on his spouse intent;
But when he faw his bofom-wife fo drefs'd,
His rage was fuch as cannot be exprefs'd:"


Not frantic mothers when their infants die,
With louder clamours rend the vaulted sky:
He cry'd, he roar'd, he storm'd, he tore his hair;
Death! hell! and furies! what doft thou do there?


What ails my lord? the trembling dame reply'd;
I thought your patience had been better try'd :
Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind,
This my reward for having cur'd the blind?
Why was I taught to make my hufband fee,
By struggling with a Man upon a Tree?
Did I for this the pow'r of magic prove?
Unhappy wife, whofe crime was too much love!
If this be struggling, by this holy light,
'Tis ftruggling with a vengeance (quoth the Knight)
So heav'n preserve the fight it has restor❜d,
As with these eyes I plainly faw thee whor❜d;
Whor'd by my flave-perfidious wretch! may hell
As furely feize thee, as I faw too well.

Guard me, good angels! cry'd the gentle May,
Pray heav'n, this magic work the proper way!
Alas, my love! 'tis certain, could you fee,
You ne'er had us'd thefe killing words to me:
So help me, fates, as 'tis no perfect fight,
But fome faint glimm'ring of a doubtful light.




What I have faid (quoth he) I must maintain,

For by th'immortal pow'rs it feem'd too plain

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By all those pow'rs, fome frenzy feiz'd your mind, (Reply'd the dame) are these the thanks I find? Wretch that I am, that e'er I was fo kind! She faid; a rifing figh exprefs'd her woe, The ready tears apace began to flow,

And as they fell fhe wip'd from either eye


The drops (for women, when they lift, can cry.) 785
The Knight was touch'd; and in his looks appear'd
Signs of remorse, while thus his spouse he chear'd.
Madam, 'tis paft, and my fhort anger o'er;
Come down, and vex your tender heart no more:
Excufe me, dear, if aught amifs was faid,
For, on my foul, amends fhall foon be made:

Let my repentance your forgiveness draw,

By heav'n, I fwore but what I thought I faw.



Ah my lov'd lord! 'twas much unkind (fhe cry'd) On bare fufpicion thus to treat your bride. But till your fight's establish'd, for a while, Imperfect objects may your fenfe beguile. Thus when from fleep we firft our eyes display, The balls are wounded with the piercing ray, And dusky vapours rise, and intercept the day. So just recov❜ring from the shades of night, Your swimming eyes are drunk with sudden light, Strange phantoms dance around, and skim before

your fight:



Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rafhly deem ;
Heav'n knows how feldom things are what they feem!
Confult your reason, and you foon shall find
'Twas you were jealous, not your wife unkind:
Jove ne'er spoke oracle more true than this,
None judge fo wrong as those who think amifs.
With that fhe leap'd into her Lord's embrace, 810
With well-diffembled virtue in her face.

He hugg'd her close, and kifs'd her o'er and o'er,
Disturb'd with doubts and jealoufies no more:
Both, pleas'd and blefs'd, renew'd their mutual vows,
A fruitful wife, and a believing spouse.


Thus ends our tale, whose moral next to make,

Let all wife husbands hence example take;
And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives,

To be fo well deluded by their wives.

Plate VII.

Vol. II. facing p.107.

J. Wale delin›

CMosley Soulp.

ear and understand,

Ye sovereign Wives! give
Thus shall ye speed and exercise Command.

Wife of Bath.

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