« EelmineJätka »
(My husband, thank my stars, was out of town ;)
I vow'd I scarce could sleep since first I knew him,
Thus day by day, and month by month we pass'd, It pleased the Lord to take my spouse at last. I tore my gown, I soil'd my locks with dust, And beat my breast as wretched widows-must Before my face my handkerchief I spread, To hide the flood of tears I did not shed. The good man's coffin to the church was borne : Around, the neighbours, and my clerk too, mourn. But as he march'd, good gods! he show'd a pair Or legs and feet, so clean, so strong, so fair!
Of twenty winters' age he seem'd to be,
But to my tale: A month scarce pass'd away,
Stubborn as any lioness was I, And knew full well to raise my voice on high; As true a rambler as I was before, And would be so, in spite of all he swore. He against this right sagely would advise, And old examples set before my eyes ; Tell how the Roman matrons led their life, Or Gracchus' mother, and Duilius' wife; And close the sermon, as beseem'd his wit, With some grave sentence out of holy writ. Oft would he say, 'Who builds his house on sanda Pricks his blind horse across the fallow lands; Or lets his wife abroad with pilgrims roam, Deserves a fool's-cap, and long ears at home.' All this avail'd not; for whoe'er he be That tells my faults, I hate him mortally: And so do numbers more, I boldly say, Men, women, clergy, regular and lay.
My spouse (who was, you know, to learning bred) A certain treatise oft at evening read, Where divers authors (whom the devil confound For all their lies!) were in one volume bound. Valerius, whole; and of St. Jerome, part; Chrysippus and Tertullian, Ovid's Art, Solomon's Proverbs, Eloïsa's loves; And many more than sure the church approves. More legions were there here of wicked wives, Than good in all the Bible and saints' lives. Who drew the lion vanquish'd ? 'twas a man. But could we women write as scholars can, Men should stand mark'd with far more wickedness Than all the sons of Adam could redress. Love seldom haunts the breast where learning lies, And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise. Those play the scholars, who can't play the men, And use that weapon which they have, their pen; When old, and past the relish of delight, Then down they sit, and in their dotage write, That not one woman keeps her marriage vow. (This by the way; but to my purpose now.)
k chanced my husband on a winter's night,
He had by heart the whole detail of woe
He read, how Arius to his friend complain'd, A fatal iree was growing in his land, On which three wives successively had twined A sliding noose, and waver'd in the wind. "Where grows this plant,' replied the friend, oh where? For better fruit did never orchard bear: Give me some slip of this most blissful tree, And in my garden planted shall it be.'
Then how two wives their lords' destruction prove, Through hatred one, and one through 100 much love: That for her husband mix'd a poisonous draught, And this for lust an amorous philtre bought: The nimble juice soon seized his giddy head, Frantic at night, and in the morning dead. How some with swords their sleeping lords have
slain, And some have hemmer'd nails into their brain, And some have drench'd them with a deadly potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion. Long time I heard, and swell'd, and blush'd, and
frown'd: But when no end to these vile tales I found, When still he read, and laugh'd, and read again, And half the night was thus consumed in vain; Provoked to vengeance, three large leaves I tore, And with one buffet felld him on the floor. With that iny husband in a fury rose, And down he settled me with hearty blows. I groan'd, and lay extended on my side; *Oh! thou hast slain me for my wealth,' I cried.
Yet I forgive thee-take my last embrace-'
But after many a hearty struggle pass'd,
J took to heart the merits of the cause,
Now, Heaven, on all my husbands gone, bestow
TIIE FIRST BOOK OF
STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.
Translated in the Year 1703.
ARGUMENT. @dipus, king of Thebes, having by mistake slain his
father Lajus, and married his mother Jocasta, put out