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The chat on various fubjects ran,
Relentless Death! whofe iron fway
Shall not the bloody and the bold, The mifer hoarding up his gold, The harlot reeking from the ftew, Alone thy fell revenge purfue? But muft the gentle and the kind Thy fury, undiftinguith'd, find?
The monarch calmly thus replied: Weigh well the caufe, and then decide. That friend of yours you lately nam'd, Cupid alone, is to be blam'd; Then let the charge be justly laid: That idle boy neglects his trade, And hardly once in twenty years A couple to your temple bears. The wretches, whom your office blends, Silenus now, or Plutus fends; Hence care, and bitterness, and strife, Are common to the nuptial life.
Believe me! more than all mankind Your vot'ries my compaffion find. Yet cruel ain I call'd, and bafe, Who feck the wretched to releafe; The captive from his bonds to free, Indiffoluble but for me. 'Tis I entice him to the yoke; By me your crowded altars finoke: For mortals boldly dare the neofe, Secure that Death will fet them loofe.
314. FABLE V. The Poet and bis Patron. WHY, Calia, is your spreading waist So loofe, fo negligently lac'd? Why muft the wrapping bed-gown hide Your fnowy bofom's fwelling pride? How ill that drefs adorns your head, Diftain'd and rumpled from the bed! Thofe clouds that fhade your blooming face A little water might difplace, As Nature ev'ry morn bestows The cryftal dew to cleanfe the rofe. Thofe treffes, as the raven black, That wav'd in ringlets down your back, Uncomb'd, and injur'd by neglect, Destroy the face which once they deck'd.
Whence this forgetfulness of drefs?
Alas! what pity 'tis to find
May horror feize his midnight hour, Who builds upon a parent's pow'r, And claims, by purchafe vile and bafe, The loathing maid for his embrace; Hence virtue fickens; and the breaft, Where peace had built her downy neft, Becomes the troubled feat of care, And pines with anguifh and defpair.
A Wolf, rapacious, rough, and bold, Whofe nightly plunders thinn'd the fold, Contemplating his ill-fpent life, And clov'd with thefts would take a wife. His purpose known, the favage race In numerous crowds attend the place; For why, a mighty wolf he was, And held dominion in his jaws. Her fav'rite whelp each mother brought, And humbly his alliance fought; But cold by age, or elfe too nice, None found acceptance in his eyes.
It happen'd as at early dawn, He folitary crofs'd the lawn, Stray'd from the fold, the fportive Lamb Skipp'd wanton by her fleecy Dam; When Cupid, foe to man and beaft, Ditcharg'd an arrow at his breaft.
The tim'rous breed the robber knew, And trembling o'er the meadow flew; Their nimbleft fpeed the Wolf o'ertook, And courteous thus the Dam bespoke : Stay, faireft, and fufpend your fear, Trust me, no enemy is near: Thefe jaws, in flaughter oft imbru'd, At length have known enough of blood; And kinder bus'nefs brings me now, Vanquish'd, at beauty's feet to bow. You have a daughter-fweet, forgive A Wolf's addrefs-in her I live; Love from her eyes like lightning came, And fet my marrow all on flame; Let your confent confirm my choice, And ratify our nuptial joys.
Me ample wealth and pow'r attend, Wide o'er the plains my realms extend ; What midnight robber dare invade The fold, if I the guard am made? At home the thepherd's cur may seep, While I fecure his mafter's fheep. Difcourfe like this attention claim'd; Grandeur the mother's breaft inflam'd; Now fearless by his fide the walk'd, Of fettlements and jointures talk'd; Propos'd, and doubled her demands, Of flow'ry fields, and turnip-lands. The Wolf agrees. Her bofom fwells; To Mifs her happy fate fhe tells; And, of the grand alliance vain, Contemns her kindred of the plain.
The loathing Lamb with horror hears, And wearies out her Dam with pray'rs; But all in vain, mamma beft knew What unexperienc'd girls should do. So, to the neighb'ring meadow carried, A formal afs the couple married.
Torn from the tyrant mother's fide, The trembler goes, a victim-bride; Reluctant meets the rude embrace, And bleats among the howling race. With horror oft her eyes behold Her murder'd kindred of the fold; Each day a fifter lamb is ferv'd, And at the glutton's table carv'd; The crafhing bones he grinds for food, And flakes his thirft with ftreaming blood. Love, who the cruel mind detefts, And lodges but in gentle breasts, Was now no more. Enjoyment paft, The favage hunger'd for the feast; But (as we find, in human race, A maik conceals the villain's face) Juftice muft authorife the treat; Till then he long'd, but durft not eat.
As forth he walk'd in queft of prey, The hunters met him on the way: Fear wings his flight; the marsh he fought: The fnuffing dogs are fet at fault. His ftomach baulk'd, now hunger gnaws, Howling he grinds his empty jaws: Food must be had, and Lamb is nigh; His maw invokes the fraudful lie. Is this (diffembling rage, he cried) The gentle virtue of a bride? That, leagu'd with man's deftroying race, She fets her husband for the chace By treach'ry prompts the noify hound To fcent his footfteps on the ground? Thou trait'refs vile! for this thy blood Shall glut my rage, and dye the wood!
So faying, on the Lamb he flies: Beneath his jaws the victim dies.
316. FABLE VII. The Goofe and the Swans.
With what fuperior grace enchants
Why then, my Amoret, this care,
Your ill-judged aid will you impart,
Nature may underdo her
A Goofe, affected, empty, vain, The thrilleft of the cackling train, With proud and elevated creft, Precedence claim'd above the reft.
Şays fhe; I laugh at human race, Who fay geefe hobble in their pace; Look here!-the fland'rous lye detect;. Not haughty man is fo erect.
That peacock yonder! Lord, how vain
Thus vaunting, 'crofs the mead the stalks,
So faying, with extended wings, Lightly upon the wave the fprings; Her bofom fwells. The fpreads her plumes, And the fwan's ftately cret affumes. Contempt and mockery enfve, And bursts of laughter fhook the flood.
A Swan, fuperior to the reft, Sprung forth, and thus the fool addrefs'd; Conceited thing, clate with pride! Thy affectation all deride: Thefe airs thy awkwardnefs impart, And thew thee plainly as thou art. Among thy equals of the flock Thou hadit efcap'd the public mock And, as thy parts to good conduce, Been dec.nd an honeft hobbling goofe.
Learn hence to ftudy witdom's Know, foppery 's the pride of fools; And, friving nature to conceal, You only her defects reveal.
§ 317. FABLE VIII. The Lawyer and Juftice.
Man, active, refolute, and bold,
By nature's Author thus declar'd
The wolf, that tears the tim'rous sheep,
Paft twelve o'clock, the watchman cried i
The wretch with thrilling horror fhook;
The doctor, with important face, By fly design mistakes the case ; Preferibes, and fpins out the difeafe, To trick the patient of his fees.
The foldier, rough with many a fear,
Thou blind to fenfe, and vile of mind,
She fpoke; and hid in fhades her face,
WHY my dear her angry brow?
What rude offence alarms you now?
As at his board a Farmer fate,
The hungry Cat, in turn drew near,
They only claim a right to cat,
$318. FABLE IX. The Farmer, the Spaniel, For this is breaft with kindness glows,
and the Cat.
For this his hand the food beftows;
As on the margin of the flood,
Needs there fuch caution to delude
The maid who modeftly conceals
When Celia ftruts in man's attire,
The roving eye, the bofom bare, The forward laugh, the wanton air, May catch the fop; for gudgeons strike At the bare hook and bait alike; While falmon play regardlefs by, Till art like nature forms the fly.
Beneath a peafant's homely thatch A Spider long had held her watch; From morn to night, with reftlefs care, She foun her web, and wove her fnare. Within the limits of her reign Lay many a heedlefs captive flain; Or flutt ring ftruggled in the toils, To burft the chains, and thun her wiles.
A ftraying Bee, that perch'd hard by, Beheld her with dildainful eye,
And thus began: Mean thing! give o'er,
The gaudy tulip, that difplays
To wifer heads attention lend,
§ 320. FABLE XI. The Young Lion and the Ape.
Senfe and good-humour ever prove The fureft cords to faften love. Yet, Phillis, fimpleft of your fex, You never think but to perplex; Coquetting it with ev'ry ape That ftruts abroad in human fhape; Not that the coxcomb is your taste. But that it ftings your lover's breast. To-morrow you refign the fway, Prepar'd to honour and obey. The tyrant miftrefs change for life, To the fubmiffion of a wife.
Your follies, if you can, fufpend, And learn inftruction from a friend;
Reluctant hear the firft addrefs, Think often ere you anfwer Yes; But, once refolv'd, throw off difguife, And wear your wishes in your eyes; With caution ev'ry look forbear That might create one jealous fear, A lover's ripening hopes confound, Or give the gen'rous breaft a wound; Contemn the girlish arts to teaze, Nor ufe your pow'r, unless to please ; For fools alone with rigour fway, When, foon or late, they must obey.
The King of brutes, in life's decline, Refolv'd dominion to refign;