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Sore sigh'd the knight to hear his lady's cry,
And must I languish then,' she said, “and die,
With all my soul,' he thus replied again :
Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all!
In that nice moment, lo! the wondering knight
“What ails my lord ?' the trembling dame replied I thought your patience had been better tried. Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind, This my reward for having cured the blind? Why was I taught to make my husband see, By struggling with a man upon a tree?
Did I for this the power of magic prove ? Unhappy wife, whose crime was too much love!
If this be struggling, by his holy light, 'Tis struggling with a vengeance,' quoth the knight
So Heaven preserve the sight it has restored, As with these eyes I plainly saw thee whored; Whored by my slave-perfidious wretch! may hell As surely seize thee, as I saw too well!'
"Guard me, good angels!' cried the gentle May, "Pray Heaven, this magic work the proper way! Alas, my love! 'tis certain, could you see, You ne'er had used these killing words to me: So help me, Fates, as 'tis no perfect sight, But some faint glimmering of a doubtful light.'
"What I have said,' quoth he, 'I must maintain, For by the immortal powers it seem'd too plain.'
‘By all those powers, some frenzy seized your mind, Replied the dame: are these the thanks I find ? Wretch that I am, that e'er I was so kind,' She said: a rising sigh express'd her woe, Thc ready tears apace began to flow, And, as they fell, she wiped from either eye, The drops ; (for women, when they list, can cry.)
The knight was touch'd, and in his looks appear'd Signs of remorse, while thus his spouse he cheer'd: • Madam, 'tis pass’d, and my short anger o'er; Come down, and vex your tender heart no more : Excuse me, dear, if aught amiss was said, For, on my soul, amends shall soon be made : Let my repentance your forgivenesy draw. By Heaven, I swore but what I thought I saw.'
* Ah, mny loved lord ! 'twas much unkind,' she cried 'On bare suspicion thus to treat your bride. But, till your sight 's establish'd, for a while, Imperfect objects may your sense beguile. Thus when from sleep we first our eyes display, The balls are wounded with the piercing ray, And dusky vapours rise, and intercept the day.
So, just recovering from the shades of night,
your sight :
With that she leap'd into her lord's embrace, With well-dissembled virtue in her face. He hugg'a her close, and kiss'd her o'er and o'er, Disturb'd with doubts and jealousies no more : Both, pleased and bless'd, renew'd their mutual vow A fruitful wife, and a believing spouse.
Thus ends our tale; whose moral next to make, Let all wise husbands hence example take: And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives, To be so well deluded by their wives.
THE WIFE OF BATH.
Benold the woes of matrimonial life,
Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture says,
Whence some infer, whose conscience is too nice,
But let them read, and solve me, if they can,
Increase and multiply,' was Heaven's command.
Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn
I envy not their bliss, it' he or she
Full many a saint, since first the world began,
For me, I'll keep the post assign'd by Heaven,
Know then, of those five husbands I have had,
Presents flow'd in apace: with showers of gold, They made their court, like Jupiter of old. If I but smiled, a sudden youth they found, And a new palsy seized them when I frown'd.
Ye sovereign wives! give ear and understand, Thus shall ye speak, and exercise command. For never was it given to mortal man, To lie so boldly as we women can; Forswear the fact, though seen with both his eyes, And call your maids to witness how he lies.
*Hark, old sir Paul!' 'twas thus I used to say, •Whence is our neighbour's wife so rich and gay? Trcated, caress'd where'er she's pleased to roamI sit in tatters, and immured at home. Why to her house dost thou so oft repair ? Art thou so amorous ? and is she so fair? If I but see a cousin or a friend, Lord! how you swell, and rage like any fiend! But you reel home, a drunken beastly bear, Then preach till midnight in your easy chair; Cry, wives are false, and every woman evil, And give up all that's female to the devil.
'If poor (you say) she drains her husband's purse If rich, she keeps her priest, or something worse ;