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Provided still, you moderate your joy,
Nor in your pleasures all your might employ,
Let reafon's rule your strong defires abate,
Nor please too lavishly your gentle mate.
Old wives there are, of judgment most acute,
Who folve these questions beyond all difpute;
Confult with those, and be of better chear;
Marry,, do penance, and dismiss your fear.
So faid, they rofe, nor more the work delay'd;
The match was offer'd, the proposals made.
The parents, you may think, would foon comply;
The Old have interest ever in their eye.
Nor was it hard to move the Lady's mind;
When fortune favours, ftill the Fair are kind.
I pafs each previous fettlement and deed,
Too long for me to write, or you to read;
Nor will with quaint impertinence display
pomp, the pageantry, the proud array.
The time approach'd, to Church the parties went,
At once with carnal and devout intent :
Forth came the Priest, and bade th' obedient wife
Like Sarah or Rebeccah lead her life:
Then pray'd the powers the fruitful bed to blefs,
And made all sure enough with holiness.
And now the palace-gates are open'd wide, 315
The guests appear in order, fide by fide,
And plac'd in state the bridegroom and the bride.
The breathing flute's foft notes are heard around,
And the shrill trumpets mix their filver found;
The vaulted roofs with echoing mufic ring,
These touch the vocal ftops, and those the trembling
Not thus Amphion tun'd the warbling lyre,
Nor Joab the founding clarion could inspire,
Nor fierce Theodamas, whose sprightly strain
Could fwell the foul to rage, and fire the martial train.
Bacchus himself, the nuptial feaft to grace,
(So Poets fing) was present on the place:
And lovely Venus, Goddess of delight,
Shook high her flaming torch in open fight,
And danc'd around, and fmil'd on every Knight:
Pleas'd her beft fervant would his courage try,
No lefs in wedlock, than in liberty.
Full many an age old Hymen had not spy'd
So kind a bridegroom, or so bright a bride.
Ye bards! renown'd among the tuneful throng
For gentle lays, and joyous nuptial song;
Think not your fofteft numbers can display
The matchlefs glories of this blissful day:
The joys are fuch, as far tranfcend your rage,
When tender youth has wedded stooping age.
The beauteous dame fat fmiling at the board,
And darted amorous glances at her Lord.
Not Hefter's felf, whofe charms the Hebrews fing,
E'er look'd fo lovely on her Persian King:
Bright as the rifing fun, in fummer's day,
And fresh and blooming as the month of May!
The joyful Knight furvey'd her by his fide,
Nor envy'd Paris with the Spartan bride:
Still as his mind revolv'd with vast delight
Th' entrancing raptures of th' approaching night, 350
Reftlefs he fate, invoking every power
To speed his bliss, and haste the happy hour.
Meantime the vigorous dancers beat the ground,
And fongs were fung, and flowing bowls went round.
With odorous fpices they perfum'd the place,
And mirth and pleasure shone in every face.
Damian alone, of all the menial train,
Sad in the midst of triumphs, figh'd for pain;
Damian alone, the Knight's obfequious squire,
Confum'd at heart, and fed a fecret fire.
His lovely Mistress all his foul poffefs'd,
He look'd, he languish'd, and could take no reft:
His task perform'd, he fadly went his way,
Fell on his bed, and loath'd the light of day.
There let him lie; till his relenting dame
Weep in her turn, and waste in equal flame.
The weary fun, as learned Poets write,
Forfook th' Horizon, and roll'd down the light;
While glittering stars his abfent beams supply,
And night's dark mantle overspread the sky.
Then rose the guests; and, as the time requir'd,
Each paid his thanks, and decently retir'd.
The foe once gone, our Knight prepar'd t' undrefs,
So keen he was, and eager to poffefs :
But first thought fit th' affiftance to receive,
Which grave Phyficians fcruple not to give;
Satyrion near, with hot Eringos ftood,
Cantharides, to fire the lazy blood,
Whofe ufe old Bards defcribe in luscious rhymes,
And Critics learn'd explain to modern times.
By this the sheets were spread, the bride undress'd,
The room was sprinkled, and the bed was blefs'd.
What next enfued befeems not me to fay;
'Tis fung, he labour'd till the dawning day,
Then briskly sprung from bed, with heart so light,
As all were nothing he had done by night;
And fip'd his cordial as he fat upright.
He kifs'd his balmy spouse with wanton play,
And feebly fung a lufty roundelay:
Then on the couch his weary limbs he cast:
labour must have rest at last.
But anxious cares the penfive Squire opprefs'd,
Sleep fled his eyes, and peace forfook his breast;
The raging flames that in his bofom dwell,
He wanted art to hide, and means to tell,
Yet hoping time th' occafion might betray,
Compos'd a fonnet to the lovely May;
Which, writ and folded with the niceft art,
He wrapp'd in filk, and laid upon his heart.
When now the fourth revolving day was run,
('Twas June, and Cancer had receiv'd the Sun)
Forth from her chamber came the beauteous bride;
The good old Knight mov'd slowly by her fide.
High mass was fung; they feafted in the hall;
The fervants round flood ready at their call.
The Squire alone was absent from the board,
And much his fickness griev'd his worthy Lord,
Who pray'd his spouse, attended with her train,
To vifit Damian, and divert his pain.
Th' obliging dames obey'd with one confent;
They left the hall, and to his lodging went.
The female tribe furround him as he lay,
And close befide him fate the gentle May:
Where, as the try'd his pulfe, he softly drew
A heaving figh, and caft a mournful view!
Then gave his bill, and brib'd the powers divine,
With fecret vows, to favour his design.
Who ftudies now but difcontented May ?
On her foft couch uneafily fhe lay:
The lumpish husband snor'd away the night,
Till coughs awak'd him near the morning light.
What then he did, I'll not prefume to tell,
Nor if the thought herself in heaven or hell:
Honeft and dull in nuptial bed they lay,
Till the bell toll'd, and all arose to pray.
Were it by forceful destiny decreed,
Or did from chance, or nature's power proceed;
Or that some star, with aspect kind to love,
Shed its felecteft influence from above;
Whatever was the cause, the tender dame
Felt the first motions of an infant flame;
Receiv'd th' impreffions of the love-fick Squire,
And wasted in the foft infectious fire:
Ye fair, draw near, let May's example move
Your gentle minds to pity those who love!
Had fome fierce tyrant in her stead been found,
The poor adorer fure had hang'd, or drown'd: