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Her will I wed, if gracious Heaven so please;
To pafs my age in fanctity and eafe :

And thank the powers, I may poffefs alone

The lovely prize, and share my bliss with none !
If you, my friends, this virgin can procure,
My joys are full, my happiness is fure.

One only doubt remains: Full oft I've heard,
By cafuifts grave, and deep divines averr'd;
That 'tis too much for human race to know
The blifs of heaven above, and earth below.
Now fhould the nuptial pleasures prove so great,
To match the bleffings of the future state,
Thofe endless joys were ill-exchang'd for these;
Then clear this doubt, and fet my mind at ease.
This Juftin heard, nor could his fpleen control,
Touch'd to the quick, and tickled at the foul.
Sir Knight, he cry'd, if this be all you dread,
Heaven put it paft your doubt, whene'er you wed;
And to my fervent prayers fo far confent,
That, ere the rites are o'er, you may repent!
Good Heaven, no doubt, the nuptial state approves,
Since it chaftifes ftill what beft it loves.
Then be not, Sir, abandon'd to despair;
Seek, and perhaps you'll find among the fair,
One that may do your bufinefs to a hair;
Not ev'n in wish, your happinefs delay,
But prove the fcourge to lafh you on your way:
Then to the fkies your mounting soul shall go,
Swift as an arrow foaring from the bow!






290 Provided

Provided ftill, you moderate your joy,
Nor in your pleafures 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 thefe queftions beyond all difpute;
Confult with thofe, and be of better chear;
Marry, do penance, and difmifs 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 intereft ever in their
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
The 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 Prieft, 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 fure enough with holiness.

And now the palace-gates are open'd wide, 315 The guests appear in order, fide by side,

And plac'd in ftate the bridegroom and the bride.
The breathing flute's foft notes are heard around,
And the fhrill trumpets mix their filver found;


The vaulted roofs with echoing mufic ring,


These touch the vocal stops, and thofe the trembling


Not thus Amphion tun'd the warbling lyre,

Nor Joab the founding clarion could inspire,
Nor fierce Theodamas, whofe fprightly strain
Could fwell the foul to rage, and fire the martial train.
Bacchus himself, the nuptial feast 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 vaft delight

Th' entrancing raptures of th' approaching night, 350 Reftlefs he fate, invoking every power

To speed his blifs, and hafte 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 fhone 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 fquire,
Confum'd at heart, and fed a fecret fire.


His lovely Mistress all his foul poffefs'd,

He look'd, he languifh'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 wafte in equal flame.
The weary fun, as learned Poets write,
Forfook th' Horizon, and roll'd down the light;
While glittering stars his absent beams fupply,
And night's dark mantle overfpread 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' undress, 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 food,
Cantharides, to fire the lazy blood,


Whofe ufe old Bards describe in luscious rhymes,
And Critics learn'd explain to modern times.


By this the fheets were spread, the bride undress'd,
The room was sprinkled, and the bed was blefs'd.
What next enfued befeems not me to say;
'Tis fung, he labour'd till the dawning day,
Then brifkly fprung from bed, with heart fo 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 caft:
For every labour must have reft 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 nicest 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 stood ready at their call.
The Squire alone was abfent from the board,
And much his ficknefs griev'd his worthy Lord,







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