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Do what you lift, for me; you must be fage,
And cautious fure; for wifdom is in Age:
But at these years, to venture on the fair!
By him, who made the ocean, earth, and air,
To please a wife, when her occafions call,
Would bufy the most vig'rous of us all.
And trust me, Sir, the chastest you can chufe
Will afk obfervance, and exact her dues.
If what I fpeak my noble Lord offend,

My tedious fermon here is at an end.



'Tis well, 'tis wondrous well, the Knight replies,
Most worthy kinsman, faith you're mighty wise!
We, Sirs, are fools; and muft refign the cause
To heath'nish authors, proverbs, and old faws.
He spoke with scorn, and turn'd another way: 220
What does my friend, my dear Placebo say?

I fay, quoth he, by heav'n the man's to blame,
To flander wives, and wedlock's holy name.
At this the council rofe, without delay;

Each, in his own opinion, went his way;

With full confent, that, all disputes appeas'd,


The knight should marry, when and where he pleas'd.

Who now but January exults with joy?

The charms of wedlock all his foul employ :

Each nymph by turns his wav'ring mind poffeft, 230 And reign'd the short-liv'd tyrant of his breaft; While fancy pictur'd ev'ry lively part,

And each bright image wander'd o'er his heart.

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Thus, in fome publick Forum fix'd on high,
A Mirrour fhows the figures moving by;
Still one by one, in swift fucceffion, pass
The gliding fhadows o'er the polifh'd glass.
This Lady's charms the nicest could not blame,
But vile fufpicions had aspers'd her fame;


That was with sense, but not with virtue, bleft; 240
And one had grace, that wanted all the rest.
Thus doubting long what nymph he should obey,
He fix'd at last upon the youthful May.

Her faults he knew not, Love is always blind,

But ev'ry charm revolv'd within his mind:


Her tender age, her form divinely fair,
Her easy motion, her attractive air,

Her sweet behaviour, her enchanting face,
Her moving softness, and majestic grace.

Much in his prudence did our Knight rejoice, 250
And thought no mortal could dispute his choice:
Once more in hafte he fummon'd ev'ry friend,
And told them all, their pains were at an end.
Heav'n, that (faid he) inspir'd me firft to wed,
Provides a confort worthy of my bed:
Let none oppofe th’election, fince on this
Depends my quiet, and my future blifs.

A dame there is, the darling of my eyes, Young, beauteous, artlefs, innocent, and wife;


Chafte, tho' not rich; and tho' not nobly born, 260
Of honeft parents, and may ferve my turn.
Her will I wed, if gracious heav'n fo please;
To pass my age in fanctity and ease:

And thank the pow'rs, I may poffefs alone

The lovely prize, and share my bliss with none! 265 If you, my friends, this virgin can procure,

My joys are full, my happiness is fure.

One only doubt remains: Full oft I've heard, By cafuifts grave, and deep divines averr'd;

That 'tis too much for human race to know


The blifs of heav'n above, and earth below.
Now should the nuptial pleasures prove fo great,
To match the bleffings of the future state,
Those endless joys were ill exchang'd for these ;
Then clear this doubt, and fet my mind at eafe. 275


This Juftin heard, nor could his fpleen controul, Touch'd to the quick, and tickled at the foul. Sir Knight, he cry'd, if this be all you dread, Heav'n put it past your doubt, whene'er you And to my fervent pray'rs fo far consent, That ere the rites are o'er, you may repent! Good heav'n, no doubt, the nuptial ftate approves, Since it chaftifes ftill what beft it loves.

Then be not, Sir, abandon'd to defpair;


Seek, and perhaps you'll find among the fair, 285 One, that may do your bufinefs to a hair;

Not ev❜n in wish, your happiness delay,

But prove the scourge to lafh you on your way:
(Then to the skies your mounting foul shall go,
Swift as an arrow foaring from the bow!
Provided ftill, you moderate your joy,
Nor in your pleasures all your might employ,
Let reason's rule your strong defires abate,
Nor please too lavifhly your gentle mate.


Old wives there are, of judgment most acute, 295 Who folve these questions beyond all dispute;

Confult with thofe, and be of better chear;

Marry, do penance, and difmifs your fear.


So faid, they rofe, nor more the work delay'd; The match was offer'd, the propofals made. 300 The parents, you may think, would foon comply; The Old have int'reft ever in their eye. Nor was it hard to move the Lady's mind; When fortune favours, still the Fair are kind. I pass each previous fettlement and deed, Too long for me to write, or you to read Nor will with quaint impertinence difplay The pomp, the pageantry, the proud array, The time approach'd, to Church the parties went, 2 ¡At once with carnal and devout intent : Forth came the Prieft, and bade th'obedient wife í Like Sarah or Rebecca lead her life.

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Then pray'd the pow'rs the fruitful bed to blefs,
And made all fure enough with holiness.

And now the palace-gates are open'd wide, 315
The guests appear in order, fide by fide,
And plac'd in state, the bridegroom and the bride.
The breathing flute's foft notes are heard around,
And the shrill trumpets mix their filver found;
The vaulted roofs with echoing mufick ring,
These touch the vocal ftops, and those the trembling


Not thus Amphion tun'd the warbling lyre,

Nor Joab the founding clarion could inspire,
Nor fierce Theodamas, whose sprightly strain


Could fwell the foul to rage, and fire the martial train.
Bacchus himself, the nuptial feast to grace,
(So Poets fing) was prefent on the place;
And lovely Venus, Goddess of delight,
Shook high her flaming torch in open fight:

And danc'd around, and smil❜d on ev'ry Knight:330
Pleas'd her beft fervant would his courage try,
No lefs in wedlock, than in liberty,

Full many an age old Hymen had not spy'd

Sa kind a bridegroom, or so bright a bride.


Ye bards! renown'd among the tuneful throng 335

For gentle lays, and joyous nuptial song;
Think not your softeft numbers can display
The matchless glories of this blissful day ;

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