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The beafts were fummon'd to appear,
And bend before the royal heir.
They came; a day was fix'd; the crowd
Before their future monarch bow'd.
A dapper Monkey, pert and vain, Stepp'd forth, and thus addrefs'd the train: Why cringe, my friends, with flavish awe, Before this pageant king of straw? Shall we anticipate the hour, And, ere we feel it, own his pow'r? The counfels of experience prize, I know the maxims of the wife; Subjection let us caft away, And live the monarchs of to-day; 'Tis ours the vacant hand to fpurn, And play the tyrant each in turn. So fhall he right from wrong difcern, And mercy from oppreffion learn; At others woes be taught to melt, And loath the ills himfelf has felt.
He fpoke his bofom fwell'd with pride; The youthful Lion thus replied:
What madness prompts thee to provoke My wrath, and dare th' impending stroke? Thou wretched fool! can wrongs impart Compaffion to the feeling heart?
Or teach the grateful breast to glow,
The hand to give, or eye to flow?
Learn'd in the practice of their schools,
From women thou haft drawn thy rules:
To them return; in fuch a caufe,
From only fuch expect applause;
The partial fex I don't condemn,
For liking thofe who copy them.
Wouldst thou the gen'rous lion bind?
By kindness bribe him to be kind;
Good offices their likeness get,
And payment leffens not the debt;
With multiplying hand he gives
The good from others he receives;
Or for the bad makes fair return,
And with int'reft fcorn for fcorn.
TELL me, Corinna, if you can,
Why fo averse, so coy to man?
Did Nature, lavish of her care,
From her beft pattern form you fair,
That you, ungrateful to her caufe,
Should mock her gifts, and spurn her laws?
And, mifer-like, withhold that store,
Which, by imparting, bleffes more?
Beauty's a gift by Heaven affign'd
The portion of the female kind;
For this the yielding maid demands
Protection at her lover's hands;
And though by wafting years it fade,
Remembrance tells him once 'twas paid.
And will you then this wealth conceal,
For age to rust, or time to steal?
The fummer of your youth to rove
A ftranger to the joys of love?
FABLE XII. The Colt and the Farmer.
Then, when life's winter haftens on,
And youth's fair heritage is gone,
Dow'rlefs to court fome peafant's arms,
To guard your wither'd age from harms;
No gratitude to warm his breast,
For blooming beauty once poffeft;
How will you curfe that ftubborn pride
Which drove your bark across the tide,
And failing before folly's wind,
Left fenfe and happiness behind!
Corinna, left thefe whims prevail,
To fuch as you I write my tale.
A Colt, for blood and mettled speed
The choiceft of the running breed,
Of youthful ftrength and beauty vain,
Refus'd fubjection to the rein.
In vain the groom's officious skill
Oppos'd his pride, and check'd his will;
In vain the mafter's forming care
Reftrain'd with threats, or footh'd with pray'r
Of freedom proud, and scorning man,
Wild o'er the fpacious plains he ran.
Where'er luxuriant nature spread
Her flow'ry carpet o'er the mead,
Or bubbling ftreams foft gliding pafs,
To cool and freshen up the grafs,
Difdaining bounds, he cropt the blade,
And wanton'd in the fpoil he made.
In plenty thus the fummer pafs'd,
Revolving winter came at last;
The trees no more a fhelter yield,
The verdure withers from the field,
Perpetual fnows inveft the ground,
In icy chains the streams are bound,
Cold, nipping winds, and rattling hail,
His lank unfhelter'd fides affail.
As round he caft his rueful eyes,
He faw the thatch'd-roof cottage rife;
The profpect touch'd his heart with cheer,
And promis'd kind deliv'rance near.
A ftable, erft his fcorn and hate,
Was now become his wifh'd retreat;
His paffion cool, his pride forgot,
A Farmer's welcome yard he fought.
The mafter faw his woeful plight,
His limbs that totter'd with his weight:
And, friendly, to the stable led,
And faw him litter'd, drefs'd and fed.
In flothful cafe all night he lay,
The fervants rofe at break of day;
The market calls-along the road
His back muft bear the pond'rous load;
In vain he ftruggles or complains,
Inceffant blows reward his pains.
To-morrow varies but his toil;
Chain'd to the plough, he breaks the foil;
While fcanty meals at night repay
The painful labours of the day.
Subdued by toil, with anguifh rent,
His felf-upbraidings found a vent.
Wretch that I am! he fighing faid,
By arrogance and folly led :
Had but my reftive youth been brought
To learn the effon nature taught,
Then had I, like my fires of yore,
The prize from ev'ry courfer bore,
While man beftow'd rewards and praife,
And females crown'd my latter days.
Now lafting fervitude's my lot,
My birth contemn'd, my fpeed forgot;
Doom'd am I, for my pride, to bear
A living death, from year to year.
$322. FABLE XI. 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 curt'fy going out,
Depend upon 't, mamma is one
Who reads, or drinks too much alone.
If bottled beer her thirst affuage,
She feels enthufiaftic rage,
And burns with ardour to inherit
The gifts and workings of the fpirit.
If learning crack her giddy brains,
No remedy but death remains.
Sum up the various ills of life,
And all are fweet to fuch a wife.
At home fuperior wit fhe vaunts,
And twits her husband with his wants;
Her ragged offspring all around,
Like pigs, are wallowing on the ground;
Impatient ever of control,
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 fpace.
Abroad, at vifitings, her tongue
Is never ftill, and always wrong;
All meanings the defines away,
And fands with truth and fenfe at bay.
If e'er the meets a gentle heart,
Skill'd in the housewife's ufeful art,
Who makes her family her care,
And builds contentment's temple there,
She fiarts at fuch mistakes in nature,
And cries, Lord help us! what a creature!
Mcliffa, if the moral ftrike,
You'll find the fable not unlike.
An Owl, puff'd with telf-conceit,
Lov'd learning better than his meat;
Old manuferipts he treafur'd up,
And rummag'd ev'ry grocer's ihop;
At paltry-cooks was known to ply,
And trip for fcience ev'ry pyc.
For modern poetry, and wit,
He had read all that Blackmore writ;
So intimate with Curl was grown,
Is learned treafures were his own;
To all Lis authors had access,
And sometimes would correct the prefs,
In logic he acquir'd fuch knowledge,
You'd fwear him fellow of a collec;
Able to ev'ry art and fcience
His daring genius bid defiance,
And fwallow'd wifdom with that hafte
That cits de cuftards at a feast.
Within the fhelter of a wood,
One evening, as he mufing ftood,
Hard by, upon a leafy spray,
A Nightingale began his lay.
Sudden he starts, with anger ftung,
And forecching interrupts the fong:
And let my contemplation foar.
Pert, buẩy thing! thy airs give o'er,
What is the mufic of thy voice,
But jarring diffonance, and noife?
Be wife; true harmony thou 'It find
Not in the throat, but in the mind;
By empty chirping not attain'd,
But by laborious ftudy 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 fcan,
Science was only meant for man.
No fenfelefs authors me moleft,
I mind the duties of my neft;
With careful wing protect my young,
Ard 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 Dove.
T was, as learn'd traditions fav,
Upon an April's blithefome day,
When pleafure, ever on the wing,
Return'd, companion of the spring,
And cheer'd the birds with am'rous heat,
Inftructing little bearts 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 feck the chirping train;
The chirping train he quickly found,
And with a faucy eafe bow'd round.
For ev'ry the his boom burns,
And this and that he woos by turns;.
And here a figh, and there a bill;
And here thote eyes, to form'd to kill!
with ready tongue, he ftrings
Unmeaning, foft, refiftlefs things;
With vows and dem-me 's fkill'd to woo,
As other pretty fellows do,
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 breast;
And first he feign'd to laugh aloud;
And next, approaching, fmil'd and bow'd:
Madam, you must not think 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, cloifter'd, moping life?
No doubt, that odious thing, call'd Duty,
Go prate to thofe that may endure ye-
To me this rudenefs !—I'll affure ye!
Then off the glided like a fwallow,
As faying-you guefs where to follow.
To fuch as know the party fet,
'Tis needlefs to declare they met ;
The parfon's barn, as authors mention,
Confefs'd the fair had apprehenfion.
Her honour there fecure from stain,
She held all farther trifling vain;
No more affected to be coy,
But rufh'd, licentious, on the joy.
Hift, love! the male companion cried
Retire awhile, I fear we 're fpied.
Nor was the caution vain: he faw
A Turtle rustling in the straw;
While o'er her callow brood fhe hung,
And fondly thus addrefs'd her young:
Ye tender objects of my care ! Peace, peace, ye little helplefs pair; Anon he comes, your gentle fire, And brings you all your hearts require. For us, his infants, and his bride, For us, with only love to guide, Our lord affumes an eagle's speed, And like a lion dares to bleed. Nor yet by wint'ry fkies confin'd, He mounts upon the rudeft wind, From danger tears the vital spoil, And with affection fweetens toil. Ah ceafe, too vent'rous, ceafe to dare; In thine, our dearer fafety spare! From him, ye cruel falcons, ftray; And turn, ye fowlers, far away!
Should I furvive to fee the day That tears me from myself away; That cancels all that Heaven could give, The life by which alone I live, Alas, how more than loft were I, Who in the thought already die
Ye pow'rs whom men and birds obey, Great rulers of your creatures, fay, Why mourning comes by blifs convey'd, And even the fweets of love allay'd? Where grows enjoyment, tall and fair, Around it twines entangling care; While fear for what our fouls poffefs Enervates ev'ry pow'r to blefs:
The flutt'ring nymph, expert at feigning,
Cried, Sir!-pray, Sir, explain your meaning-Is a fweet province for a beauty.
Thou pretty ignorance! thy will
Is meafur'd to thy want of fkill;
That good old-fashion'd dame, thy mother,
Has taught thy infant years no other :
The greateft ill in the creation
Is fure the want of education.
But think ye-tell me without feigningHave all thefe charms no farther meaning? Dame nature, if you don't forget her, Might teach your ladyship much better. For fhame! reject this mean employment, Enter the world and tafte enjoyment, Where time by circling blifs 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 chaste, Your zeal feems pretty much in haste; I own, the fondnefs to be bleft Is a deep thirst in every breast; Of bleflings too I have my ftore, Yet quarrel not fhould Heaven give more; Then prove the change to be expedient, And think me, Sir, your moft obedient.
Here turning, as to one inferior, Our gallant fpoke, and fmil'd fuperior. Methinks, to quit your boasted station Requires a world of hesitation; Where brats and bonds are held a bleffing, The cafe, I doubt, is paft redreifing. 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 hufband 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 drag ng each a different way. Of all the ills that may attend me, From marriage, mighty gods, defend me!
Give me frank nature's wild demefne,
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 ftudy for an answer!
Away, caft ev'ry care behind ye,
And fly where joy alone fhall find ye.
Soft yet, return'd our female fencer;
A queftion 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 leifure."
Have you no friendships? "Yes, for pleafure."
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 lost to love! Whene'er misfortune comes, how juft! And come misfortune furely muft. In the dread feafon of difinay, In that your hour of trial, fay, Who then fhall prop your finking heart? Who bear affliction's weightier part?
Say, when the black-brow'd welkin bends,
And winter's gloomy form impends,
To mourning turns all tranfient cheer,
And blafts the melancholy year;
For times at no perfuafion stay,
Nor vice can find perpetual May;
Then where's that tongue by folly fed,
That foul of pertnefs whither fled?
All fhrunk within thy lonely neft,
Forlorn, abandon'd, and unbleft.
No friends, by cordial bonds allied,
Shall feck 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,
Becomes a comet, gaz'd by fools,
Foreboding cares, and ftorins, and strife,
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
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 firft exulting came;
Each atom fought its fep'rate clafs
Through many a fair enamour'd mass;
Love caft the central char 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 first-born heir,
And fcal'd the breathing fleep 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 leffer 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'd the heaven-appointed wife,
And doubled every joy of life.
Here ever blefling, 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 scion stand Ingrafted by a skilful hand, They check the tempeft's wint'ry rage, And bloom and ftrengthen 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 flame, perpetual as refin'd, Is fed by an imno.tal mind.
Not yet the nuptial fanétion ends:
Like Nile it opens, and defcends;
Which, by apparent windings led,
We trace to its celeftial head.
The fire, firft fpringing from above,'
Becomes the fource of life and love,
And gives his filial heir to flow
In fondness down on fons below:
Thus, roll'd in one continued tide,
To time's extremeft verge they glide;
While kindred streams, on either hand,
Branch forth in bleifings o'er the land.
Thee, wretch ! no lifping babe shall name,
No late-returning brother claim,
No kinfiman on thy fight rejoice,
No fifter grect thy ent'ring voice;
With partial cyes no parent fee,
And bless their years reftor'd in thee.
In age rejected or declin'd, An alien even among thy kind, The partner of thy fcorn'd embrace Shall play the wanton in thy face; Each park unplume thy little pride, All friendship fly thy faithlefs fide. Thy name fhall like thy carcafe rot, In fickness fpurn'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; O bid my feeling heart expand To ev'ry claim, on ev'ry hand To thofe from whom my days I drew, To these in whom thofe days renew, To all my kin, however wide, In cordial warmth as blood allied, To friends with ftecly fetters twin'd, And to the cruel, not unkind!
But chief the lord of my defire, My life, myself, my foul, my fire, Friends, children, all that with can claim, Chafte paffion clafp, and rapture nameO fpare him, fpare him, gracious Pow'r! O give him to my lateft hour! Let me my length of life employ To give my fole enjoyment joy. His love let mutual love excite, Turn all iny cares to his delight; And ev'ry needlefs bleffing fpare, Wherein my darling wants a fhare. When he with graceful action woos, And fweetly bills, and fondly coos, Ah! deck me, to his eyes alone, With charms attractive as his own; And, in my circling wings carefs'd, Give all the lover to my breast. Then in our chafte connubial bed, My bofom pillow'd for his head, His with blissful flumbers clofe, eyes And watch, wit me, my lord's repose; Your peace around his temples twine, And love him with a love like mine.
And, for I know his gen'rous flame, Beyond whate'er my fex can claim,
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 bofoms warm,
One will direct, one wifh 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 stream,
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 cager 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 meature 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 spotlefs bed;
young, a flutt'ring pair, arise,
Their welcome fparkling in their eyes;
Tranfported, to their fire they bound,
And hang with fpeechlefs 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 tranfport given, 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.
The Sparrow, whofe attention hung Upon the Dove's enchanting tongue, Of all his little flights difarin'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 with a turtle too, And, fighing to himself, withdrew.
$324. FABLE XV. 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 trav'ller, if he chance to stray,
May turn uncenfur'd to his way;
Polluted ftreams again are pure,
And deepeft wounds admit a cure.
But woman no redemption knows,
The wounds of honour never clofe.
Tho' diftant ev'ry hand to guide, Ner kill'd on life's tempeftuous tide,