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Then had I, like my fires of yore,
The prize from ev'ry courfer bore.
While man beftow'd rewards and praise,
And females crown my latter days.
Now lafting fervitude's my lot,
My birth contemnn'd, my speed forgot;
Doom'd am I, for my pride, to bear
A living death from year to year.
$322. FABLE XIII. The Owl and the Nightingale.
To know the miftrefs' humour right,
See if her maids are clean and tight;
If Betty waits without her ftays,
She copies but her lady's ways.
When Mifs comes in with boift'rous fhout,
And drops no curtfey going out,
Depend upon 't, mamma is one
Who reads, or drinks too much alone.
If bottled beer her thirst affuage,
She feels enthusiastic rage,
And burns with ardour to inherit
The gifts and workings of the spirit.
If learning crack her giddy brains,
No remedy but death remains.
Sum up the various ills of life,
And al! are fweet to fuch a wife.
At home fuperior wit the vaunts,
And twits her husband with his wants;
Her ragged offspring all around,
Like pigs, are wallowing on the ground;
Impatient ever of controul,
She knows no order but of foul;
With books her litter'd floor is fpread,
Of nameless authors, never read;
Foul linen, petticoats, and lace,
Fill up the intermediate space.
Abroad, at vifitings, her tongue
Is never ftill, and always wrong;
All meanings the defines away,
And ftands with truth and fenfe at bay.
If e'er the meets a gentle heart,
Skill'd in the housewife's useful art,
Who makes her family her care,
And builds contentment's temple there,
She starts at fuch mistakes in nature,
And cries, Lord help us! what a creature!
Melifa, if the moral trike,
You'll find the fable not unlike.
An Owl, puff'd up with felf-conceit,
Lov'd learning better than his meat;
Old manufcripts he treafur'd up,
And rummag'd ev'ry grocer's thop;
At paitry-cooks was known to ply,
And trip for fcience ev'ry pye.
For modern poetry, and wit,
He had read all that Blackmore writ;
So intimate with Curl was grown,
His learned treafures were his own;
To all his authors had access,
And sometimes would correct the pefs.
In logic he acquir'd fuch knowledge,
You'd fwear him fellow of a college;
Alike to ev'ry art and science
His daring genius bid defiance,
And swallow'd wisdom with that hafte
That cits do cuftards at a feast.
Within the shelter of a wood,
One evening, as he muting stood,
Hard by, upon a leafy spray,
A Nightingale began his lay.
Sudden he starts, with anger fstung,
And icreeching interrupts the fong:
Pert, bufy thing! thy airs give o'er,
And let my contemplation foar.
What is the mufic of thy voice,
But jarring diffonance and noife?
Be wife; true harmony thou'lt find
Not in the throat, but in the mind;
By empty chirping not attain'd,
But by laborious itudy gain'd.
Go, read the authors Pope explodes;
Fathom the depths of Cibber's odes;
With modern plays improve thy wit;
Read all the learning Henley writ;
And if thou needs muft fing, fing then,
And emulate the ways of men;
So fhalt thou grow, like me, refin'd,
And bring improvement to thy kind.
Thou wretch, the little warbler cried,
Made up of ignorance and pride!
Afk all the birds, and they'll declare
A greater blockhead wings not air.
Read o'er thyfelf, thy talents scan,
Science was only meant for man.
No fenfelefs authors me moleft,
I mind the duties of my neft;
With careful wing protect my young,
And cheer their evenings with a fong:
Make thort the weary traveller's way,
And warble in the poet's lay.
Thus, following nature and her laws,
From men and birds I claim applaufe;
While nurs'd in pedantry and floth,
An Owl is fcorn'd alike by both.
$323. FABLE XIV. The Sparrow and the De
IT was, as learn'd traditions say,
Upon an April's blithetome day,
When pleasure, ever on the wing,
Return'd, companion of the spring,
And cheer'd the birds with am'rous heat,
Inftructing little hearts to beat;
A Sparrow, frolic, gay, and young,
Of bold addrefs, and flippant tongue,
Juft left his lady of a night,
Like him to follow new delight.
The youth, of many a conqueft vain,
Flew off to feek the chirping train;
The chirping train he quickly found,
And with a faucy eafe bow'd round.
For ev'ry the his bofom burns,
And this and that he woos by turns;
And here a figh, and there a bill;
And here thofe eyes, fo form'd to kill!
And now, with ready tongue, he ftrings
Unmeaning, foft, refiftless things;
With vows and den-me's skill'd to woo,
As other pretty fellows do,
Not the thought this fhort effay
A pro needful to his play;
Name, fays our learned letter,
e krew the virtuous fex much better:
hele he held as fpecious arts,
Tew his own fuperior parts;
The form of decency to fhield,
And give a aft pretence to yield.
Ting his courtly play,
Be mark the fav'rite of a day;
are impudence drew near,
And werd Hebrew in her ear;
Ach like the mafon's fign,
The docs can alone divine.
The fitting nymph, expert at feigning,
C Spray, Sir, explain your meaning
Gerate to thofe that may endure ye!—
is rudeness!—I'll affure ye!
The the glided like a fwallow,
Ang you guefs where to follow.
To fuch as know the party fet,
Tomes to declare they met;
ban, as authors mention,
Che fair had apprehenfion.
He there fecure from Itain,
Sex Leather trifling vain;
fitted to be coy,
licentious, on the joy.
the male companion cried;
Bere a while, I fear we're spied.
Le caution vain: he faw
AT ruling in the straw; Weerber callow brood fhe hung, thus addrefs'd her young: Ye tracer chets of my care! Pet petle helpless pair; gentle fire,
And be your hearts require. For asiats, and his bride, For with spy love to guide, Our cord an eagle's speed, Andean dares to bleed. Nova by wintry fkies confin'd Be on the radeft wind, Fars the vital fpoil, Action fweetens toil. , to vent'rous, ceafe to dare; car dearer fafety spare! ye cruel falcons, ftray; ye fowlers, far away! furvive to fee the day me from my felf away; it all that Heaven could give, which alone I live, Lore than loft were I, ... thought already die.
Gem of your creatures, fay, ning comes by blifs convey'd, ven the tweets of love allay'd? s enjoyment, tall and fair, twines entangling care; fear for what our fouls poffefs Arata ev'ry pow'r to bless:
whom men and birds obey,
Yet friendship forms the blifs above;
And, life, what art thou without love!
Our hero, who had heard apart,
Felt fomething moving in his heart;
But quickly, with difdain, fupprefs'd
The virtue rifing in his breaft;
And firft he feign'd to laugh aloud;
And next, approaching fmil'd and bow'd;
Madam, you must not thiuk me rude;
Good manners never can intrude;
I vow I come thro' pure good nature-
(Upon my foul a charming creature!)
Are thefe the comforts of a wife?
This careful, cloister'd, moping life?
No doubt that odious thing, call'd Duty;
Is a fweet province for a beauty.
Thou pretty ignorance! thy will
Is meafur'd to thy want of skill;
That good old-fashion'd dame, thy mother,
Has taught thy infant years no other:
The greatest ill in the creation
Is fure the want of education.
But think ye-tell me without feigning-
Have all thefe charms no farther meaning!
Dame nature, if you don't forget her,
Might teach your ladyship much better.
For thame! reject this mean employment,
Enter the world and tafte enjoyment,
Where time by circling blits we measure;
Beauty was form'd alone for pleasure:
Come, prove the bleffing, follow me,
Be wife, be happy, and be free.
Kind Sir, replied our matron chafte,
Your zeal feems pretty much in hafte;
I own, the fondnefs to be bleft
Is a deep thirft in ev'ry breast;
Of bleffings too I have my store,
Yet quarrel not fhould Heaven give more ;
Then prove the change to be expedient,
And think me, Sir, your moít obedient.
Here turning, as to one inferior,
Our gallant fpoke, and fmil'd fuperior:
Methinks, to quit your boafted station
Requires a world of hefitation;
Where brats and bonds are held a blessing,
The cafe, I doubt, is paft redreffing.
Why, child, fuppofe the joys I mention
Were the mere fruits of my invention,
You 've caufe fufficient for your carriage,
In flying from the curfe of marriage;
That fly decoy, with varied fnares,
That takes your widgeons in by pairs;
Alike to husband and to wife,
The cure of love, and bane of life;
The only method of forecasting,
To make misfortune firm and lafting;
The fin, by Heaven's peculiar fentence,
Unpardon'd through a life's repentance.
It is the double fnake that weds
A common tail to diff'rent heads,
That lead the carcafe ftill aftray,
By dragging each a different way.
Of all the ills that may attend me,
From marriage, mighty gods defend me!
Give me frank nature's wild derefne,
And boundless tract of air ferene,
Where fancy, ever wing'd for change,
Delights to fport, delights to range:
There, Liberty! to thee is owing
Whate'er of blifs is worth bestowing:
Delights ftill varied, and divine,
Sweet goddess of the hills! are thine,
What fay you now, you pretty pink, you?
Have I for once fpoke reafon, think you?
You take me now for no romancer-
Come, never study for an anfwer!
Away, caft ev'ry care behind ye,
And fly where joy alone thall find ye.
Soft yet, return'd our female fencer;
A question more, or fo—and then, Sir.
You 've rallied me with fenfe exceeding,
With much fine wit, and better breeding;
But pray, Sir, how do you contrive it?
Do thofe of your world never wive it?
"No, no." How then? “Why, dare I tell?
"What does the bus'nefs full as well."
Do you ne'er love? “An hour at leasure.”
Have you no friendships? "Yes, for pleasure."
No care for little ones? "We get 'em;
"The reft the mothers mind-and let 'em."
Thou, wretch, rejoin'd the kindling Dove,
Quite loft to life, as loft to love!
Whene'er misfortune comes, how juft!
And come misfortunes furely must.
In the dread feason of difmay,
In that your hour of trial, fay,
Who then shall prop your finking heart?
Who bear affliction's weightier part?
Say, when the black-bow'd welkin bends,
And winter's gloomy form impends,
To mourning turns all tranfient cheer,
And blasts the melancholy year;
For times at no persuasion stay,
Nor vice can find perpetual May;
Then where 's that tongue by folly fed,
That foul of pertnefs whither fied?
All fhrunk within thy lonely neft,
Forlorn, abandon'd, and unbleft.
No friends, by cordial bonds allied,
Shall feek thy cold unfocial fide;
No chirping prattlers to delight,
Shall turn the long-enduring night;
No bride her words of balm impart,
And warm thee at her conftant heart.
Freedom, reftrain'd by reafon's force,
Is as the fun's unvarying courfe;
Benignly active, fweetly bright,
Affording warmth, affording light;
But, torn from virtue's facred rules,
Becoms a comet, gaz'd by fools,
Foreboding cares, and ftorms, and ftrife,
And fraught with all the plagues of life.
Thou fool! by union ev'ry creature
Subfifts, through univerfal nature;
And this, to beings void of mind,
Is wedlock of a meaner kind.
While womb'd in space, primæval clay
A yet unfashion'd embryo lay,
The Source of endless good above
Shot down his fpark of kindling love;
Touch'd by the all enlivening flame,
Then motion first exulting came;
Each atom fought its fep'rate clafs
Through many a fair enamour'd mass;
Love caft the central charm around,
And with eternal nuptials bound.
Then form and order o'er the sky
First train'd their bridal pomp on high;
The fun difplay'd his orb to fight,
And burnt with hymeneal light.
Hence nature's virgin-womb conceiv'd
And with the genial burden heav'd;
Forth came the oak, her firft-born heir,
And fcal'd the breathing fteep of air;
Then infant ftems of various ufe,
Imbib'd her foft maternal juice;
The flow'rs, in early bloom difclos'd,
Upon her fragrant breaft repos'd;
Within her warm embraces grew
A race of endless form and hue:
Then pour'd her leer offspring round,
And fondly cloth'd their parent ground.
Nor here alone the virtue reign'd,
By matter's cumb'ring form detain'd;
But thence, fubliming and refin'd,
Afpir'd, and reach'd its kindred Mind.
Caught in the fond celeftial fire,
The mind perceiv'd unknown defire;
And now with kind effufion flow'd,
And now with cordial ardours glow'd,
Beheld the fympathetic fair,
And lov'd its own refemblance there;
On all with circling radiance fhone,
But cent'ring fix'd on one alone;
There clafp & the heaven-appointed wife,
And doubled every joy of life.
Here ever bleffing, ever bleft
Refides this beauty of the breaft;
As from his palace here the god
Still beams effulgent blifs abroad;
Here gems his own eternal round,
The ring by which the world is bound
Here bids his feat of empire grow,
And builds his little heaven below.
The bridal partners thus allied,
And thus in fweet accordance tied,
One body, heart, and fpirit live,
Enrich'd by ev'ry joy they give;
Like echo, from her vocal hold,
Return'd in mufic twenty-fold.
Their union, firm and undecay'd,
Nor time can fhake, nor pow'r invade;
But, as the ftem and fcion ftand
Ingrafted by a skilful hand,
They check the tempeft's wint'ry rage,
And bloom and strengthen into age.
A thoufand amities unknown,
And pow'rs perceiv'd by love alone,
Endearing looks and chafte defire,
Fan and fupport the mutual fire;
Whofe flanie, perpetual as refin'd,
Is fed by an immortal mind,
Nor verte nuptial fanétion ends: Like Meto t opens, and dextends; Which is apparent windings led, We trace to its celeftial head. The fire, firft fpringing from above, Becomes the fource of iite and love, And gives his fial heir to fow In fondness down on fons below: Thus, rol'd in one continued tide, To time's extremeit verre they glide; While kindred ftreams on either hand, Branch forth in bietags o'er the land. Thee, wretch! no iping babe shall name, No late-returning brother claim, No kinfman on thy fight rejoice, No Efter greet thy eat ring voice ; With partial eyes no parent see, And bless their years reftor'd in thee. In age rejected or declin`d, An alien even among thy kind, The partner of thy icorn'd embrace Shall play the wanton in thy face; Each park unplume thy little pride, All inendify thy faithless side. Thy are foll like thy carcafe rot, In ficknes parn'd, in death forgot. All-giving Pow'r! great Source of life! Oh hear the parent, hear the wife! That life thou lendeft from above, Though little, make it large in love; Obid my feeling heart expand To ev'ry claim, on ev'ry hand; To thole from whom my days I drew, To thee in whom thofe days renew, To all my kin, however wide, In cordal warmth as blood allied, To friends with freely fetters twin'd, And to the cruel, not unkind! But chief the lord of my desire, My life, myself, my foul, my fire, Frends, children, all that with can claim, Chate pation clafp, and rapture name Opare him, fpare him, gracious Pow'r! give him to my latest hour! te my length of life employ give my fole enjoyment joy. Hove let mutual love excite, Tall my cares to his delight; Adev'ry needlefs bleffing spare, Weta my darling wants a fhare. When he with graceful action woos, Ad fectly bills, and fondly coos, Abdeck me, to his eyes alone, Web charms attractive as his own; And my circling wings carefs'd, Give all the lover to my breast. Then in car chafte connubial bed, My boom pillow'd for his head, e with blissful flumbers close,
And watch, with me, my lord's repose;
Me too to your protection take,
And fpare me for my husband's fake. ̧
Let one unruffled, calm delight
The loving and belov'd unite;
One pure defire our bosoms warm,
One will direct, one with inform;
Through life, one mutual aid fuftain;
In death, one peaceful grave contain.
While fwelling with the darling theme,
Her accents pour'd an endless ftream,
The well-known wings a found impart,
That reach'd her ear, and touch'd her heart;
Quick dropp'd the mufic of her tongue,
And forth with eager joy the fprung.
As fwift her ent'ring confort flew,
And plum'd, and kindled at the view;
Their wings, their fouls, embracing meet,
Their hearts with anfwering measure beat;
Half loft in fecret fweets, and blefs'd
With raptures felt, but ne'er exprefs'd.
Straight to her humble roof the led The partner of her spotless bed; Her young, a flutt'ring pair, arife, Their welcome fparkling in their eyes; Tranfported, to their fire they bound, And hang with speechless action round. In pleasure wrapt the parents ftand, And fee their little wings expand; The fire his life-fuftaining prize To each expecting bill applies, There fondly pours the wheaten fpoil, With transport giv'n, tho' won with toil; While all-collected at the fight, And filent through fupreme delight, The fair high heaven of blifs beguiles, And on her lord and infants fmiles.
around his temples twine, ove him with a love like mine.
And, for I know his gen'rous flame, Ead whate'er my fex can claim,
The Sparrow, whose attention hung Upon the Dove's enchanting tongue, Of all his little flights difarm'd, And from himself by virtue charm'd, When now he faw what only feem'd A fact, fo late a fable deem'd, His foul to envy he refign'd, His hours of folly to the wind; In fecret wifh a Turtle too, And, fighing to himself, withdrew.
§324. FABLE XV. The Female Seducers.
'Tis faid of widow, maid, and wife,
That honour is a woman's life;
Unhappy fex! who only claim
A being in the breath of fame;
Which, tainted, not the quick'ning gales
That fweep Sabæa's fpicy vales,
Nor all the healing fweets reftore,
That breathe along Arabia's fhore.
The traveller, if he chance to stray,
May turn uncenfur'd to his way;
Polluted ftreams again are pure,
And deepest wounds admit a cure:
But woman no redemption knows,
The wounds of honour never close.
If once her feeble bark recede,
Or deviate from the courfe decreed,
In vain the feeks the friendless shore,
Her fwifter folly flies before!
The circling ports against her close,
And shut the wand'rer from repofe;
Till, by conflicting waves opprefs'd,
Her found'ring pinnace finks to rest.
Are there no offerings to atone
For but a fingle error?—None.
Tho' woman is avow'd, of old,
Nay daughter of celeftial mould,
Her temp'ring not without allay,
And form'd but of the finer clay,
We challenge from the mortal dame
The ftrength angelic natures claim;
Nay more for facred ftories tell,
That even immortal angels feil.
Whatever fills the teeming fphere
Of humid earth, and ambient air,
With varying elements endued,
Was form'd to fall, and rife renew'd,
The stars no fix'd duration know
Wide ocean's ebb, again to flow;
The moon repletes her waning face,
All beauteous frotn her late difgrace;
And funs, that mourn approaching night,
Refulgent rife with new-born light.
In vain may death and time fubdue,
While nature mints her race anew;
And holds fome vital fpark apart,
Like virtue, hid in ev'ry heart.
'Tis hence reviving warmth is seen,
To clothe a naked world in green.
No longer barr'd by winter's cold,
Again the gates of life unfold;
Again each infect tries his wing,
And lifts fresh pinions on the fpring;
Again from ev'ry latent root
The bladed ftem and tendril fhoot,
Exhaling incense to the skies,
Again to perish, and to rife.
And mult weak woman then disown
The change to which a world is prone?
In one meridian brightnefs thine,
And ne'er like ev'ning funs decline?
Refolv'd and firm alone? Is this
What we demand of woinan-Yes.
But should the spark of veftal fire
In fome unguarded hour expire;
Or fhould the nightly thief invade
Hefperia's chatte and facred thade,
Of all the blooming fpoil poffefs'd,
The dragon Honour charm'd to rest,
Shall virtue's flame no more return?
No more with virgin fplendour burn?
No more the ravag`d garden blow
With fpring's fucceeding bloffom?-No.
Pity may mourn, but not reftore;
And woman falls-to rife no more!
Within this fublunary sphere
A country lies-no matter where;
The clime may readily be found
By all who tread poetic ground ;
A ftream call'd Life, acrofs it glides,
And equally the land divides;
And here, of vice the province lies;
And there the hills of virtue rife.
Upon a mountain`s airy stand,
Whofe fummit lock'd to either land,
An ancient pair their dwelling chofe,
As well for profpect as repofe;
For mutual faith they long were fam'd;
And Temp'rance and Religion nam`d.
A num'rous progeny divine
Confefs'd the honours of their line,
But in a little daughter fair
Was center'd more than half their care;
For Heaven to gratulate her birth,
Gave figns of future joy to earth;
White was the robe this infant wore,
And Chaltity the name the bore.
As now the maid in ftature grew
(A flow'r juft op'ning to the view)
Oft through her native lawns the stray'd;
And wrettling with the lambkins play'd;
Her looks diffufive fweets bequeath'd,
The breeze grew purer as the breath'd;
The morn her radiant blush affum'd,
The fpring with earlier fragrance bloom'd;
And nature yearly took delight,
Like her to drefs the world in white.
But when her riting form was feen To reach the crisis of fifteen, Her parents up the mountain's head With anxious ftep their darling led; By turns they fiatch'd her to their breaft, And thus the fears of age exprefs'd:
O joyful caufe of many a care! O daughter too divinely fair! Yon world, on this important day, Demands thee to a dang'rous way; A painful journey all must go, Whofe doubted period none can know; Whole due direction who can find, Where reafon's mute, and fenfe is blind? Ah, what unequal leaders thefe, Thro' fuch a wide, perplexing maze! Then mark the warnings of the wife. And learn what love and years advile.
Far to the right thy profpect bend,
Where yonder tow'ring hills afcend;
Lo! there the arduous path 's in view
Which Virtue and her fons purfue;
With toil o'er lefs'ning earth they rife,
And gain, and gain upon the fkies.
Narrow's the way her children tread,
No walk for pleature fmoothly fpread;
But rough, and difficult, and fteep,
Painful to climb, and hard to keep.
Fruits immature thofe lands difpenfe,
A food indelicate to fenfe,
Of talte unpleafant: yet from thofe
Pure health, with cheerful vigour, flows;
And ftrength unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long laborious way.
Hence, as they fcale that heavenly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;