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Jam. Wale Delin
Old as he was, and void of Eye-sight too,
What coud alas! a helpless Husband do.
Jan: & May.
HERE 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 scarce could rule fome idle appetites: For long ago, let Priests say 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.
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 reasons to confirm their will.) 20
Grave authors fay, and witty poets fing,
That honeft 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, 25
To blefs his age, and bring a worthy heir;
To footh his cares, and free from noise and strife,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
Let finful batchelors their woes deplore,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more :
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,
Like birds and beasts promifcuously they join:
Nor know to make the present bleffing last,
To hope the future, or efteem 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 pafs his inoffenfive hours away,
In blifs all night, and innocence all day:
Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains,
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.
But what so pure, which envious tongues will fpare?
Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair.
With matchless impudence they style a wife 45
The dear-bought curfe, and lawful plague of life;
A bofom-ferpent, a domeftic evil,
A night-invasion, and a mid-day devil.
Let not the wife these fland'rous words regard,
But curfe 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 fupplies us all our life:
This bleffing lafts, (if thofe who try fay true)
As long as heart can wifh---and longer too.
Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve poffefs'd,
Alone, and ev'n in Paradife unbless'd,
With mournful looks the blissful fcenes furvey'd,
And wander'd in the folitary fhade: