Page images

January and May:





THERE 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 fcarce could rule fome idle appetites:
For long ago, let Priests fay 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 Tranflation was done at fixteen or feventeen years of Age. P.

Plate VI.

Vol. II. facing p.76.

C.Mosley Sculp

Jam. Wale Delin

Old as he was, and void of Eye-sight too, What cou'd alas! a helpless Husband do.

Jan & May.

This was his nightly dream, his daily care,
And to the heav'nly pow'rs his constant pray❜r,
Once, ere he dy'd, to tafte the blissful life
Of a kind husband and a loving wife.

These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still,
(For none want reafons to confirm their will.)
Grave authors fay, and witty poets fing,
That honest wedlock is a glorious thing:
But depth of judgment moft in him appears,
Who wifely weds in his maturer years.
Then let him chufe a damfel young and fair,
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 moreș
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,
Like birds and beafts, promifcuously they join:
Nor know to make the present blessing last,
To hope the future, or esteem the past:
But vainly boaft 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 pass his inoffenfive hours away,

In blifs all night, and innocence all day:
Tho' fortune change, his conftant spouse remains,
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.







But what fo pure, which envious tongues will fpare? Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair.

With matchless impudence they style a wife

The dear-bought curfe, and lawful plague of life;
A bofom-ferpent, a domestic evil,


A night-invasion, and a mid-day-devil.

Let not the wife 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 wifhand longer too.

Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve poffefs'd, Alone, and ev'n in Paradife unblefs'd,

With mournful looks the blissful scenes furvey'd,

And wander'd in the solitary shade.


The Maker faw, took pity, and bestow'd

Woman, the last, the best referv'd of God.


A Wife! ah gentle deities, can he

That has a wife, e'er feel adverfity?

Would men but follow what the fex advise,

All things would profper, all the world grow wife. 'Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won

His father's bleffing from an elder fon:


« EelmineJätka »