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Ere Hymen gives her to his longing arms!
But when he leads her to his homely cot,
And friends attendant greet the lovely pair,
With warmest wishes that they both may
The marriage-ftate a state of happiness,
Oh! who can speak his blifs? Let Fancy guefs;
For fure no pen, no pencil can describe
His joyous features: every look is love.
Nor lefs the fair with equal flame the burns,
And feels an equal joy. Replete with love
Her beauteous orbs appear, whether she beams
Their radiant lights around her chearful friends,
Or flily glances on the blissful fwain,
With looks of cordial Love and Friendship fir'd.
O, Anna! think not this the rapt'rous strain Of thoughtless youth, by Reason unmatur'd; But rather view it as th' anticipation
Of our too tardy, but approaching union:
An union ftrict, which Death can scarce divide,
Ere twelve short months are pafs'd-for time with them
Glides fwift along-their mutual loves receive
A tender pledge; (the greatest gift that God
On earth can give, or they on earth receive!)
O then what rapture fills the parents hearts!
Such blifs their offspring brings, as nothing less
Than parents know, and they cannot describe.
The happy pair each day with joy behold
Some new-born beauty in their lovely babe :
The mother views the father's manly mien
Strong on the infant; while the doating fire.
Fondly imagines he can well perceive
The mother's foftnefs in his darling's fmiles,
And both their virtues in his winning ways.
Each year produces fuch another gueft,
With equal beauty, and with equal love:
Nor fear the foft'ring parents to provide,
(Tho' fmall the pittance Fortune has bestow'd)
Sufficient nurture for their lovely babes;
For well they know the Heav'nly Father fends,
For all His children ev'ry thing they need;
And foon they learn their little hands to raise
Devout, to bow the fupplicating knee,
And lifp their ev'ry want to Him who fees
The heart fincere, and grants them all they ask.
Content, that never leaves the happy pair,
Smiling receives what bounteous Heav'n bestows,
And never murmurs at the homely fare,
But genuine thanks with grateful heart returns,
Nor thinks fhe can do lefs.- -Not fo the great:
Tho' both the Indies roll their choiceft ftores
Of fruits and spices grateful to the taste,
Made richer ftill by art, to give them food;
And tho' the purple grape, from France, from Spain,
And fair Italia's fhore, is frequent prefs'd,
To fill their mantling bowl with bev'rage rare;
No God they thank, or own-but think it due
To their diftinction; favour, deem it none.
O, may the pair my Mufe would fain defcribe,
Ne'er wish to tafte the dainties of the great!
Nor other food receive without due thanks,
(If mortal man can give to God due thanks ;)
At least, such as they ought, and He requires!
Their pamp'ring viands, and their madd'ning drink,
Surcharge the streams of life, and make them flow
In groffer channels: whence the tort'ring gout,
And other various illness, take their rise;
With those unknown, or very rarely found,
Where Temperance with ceaseless care prefides.
Proceed, my Mufe; and fear not to defcribe
Sufficient joys in wedlock's blissful state,
To prove it far fuperior to the life
Of those who purn at Hymen's facred laws!
Soon as their tender offspring can difcern
'Twixt right and wrong, the careful parents train
Their early minds to knowledge of the world:
Teach them to fhun the fpecious fnares of vice
With ftudious care, tho' Pleasure leads the way;
And follow Virtue thro' the path of life,
Rugged at first, but pleasant in the end.
This leads to certain honour and renown;
While that a doubtful fame can only give,
At moft, which muft in final ruin end!
What pleasure to behold their godlike minds
Receive the flame of facred Liberty!
Oh! how their bofoms burn, to hear the fire
Recount the various deeds perform'd of old
By their renown'd.anceftors; whofe great names
Are found recorded in th' hiftorick page,
As firm protectors of their country's rights,
When defpots would have made a heavy yoke,
And bow'd them to the earth!
He then inftructs them rightly to difcern
"Twixt those who make their country's love pretext
To introduce diforder and confufion,
That they may ravage on the various spoil;
And those who strive, at peril of their lives,
To curb tyrannick sway, when princes feek
To rob the people of their legal rights.
The firft-what punishment can be devis'd
Sufficiently fevere! who bafely plunge
A nation into war, (nay, civil war;
Where father-brother-fon-together strive,
And feek to flay each other) that they may
Feed their curs'd ambition, never fatiate ?
The laft-(but O how feldom these engage
In war, reluctant when they must!) what gift
Is equal to their merit ?-Heav'n alone
Can give them juft reward, as hell the other.
Next he recites, why first fociety
Was form'd among mankind; that each degree
Might give affiftance to the other parts,
By mutual int'reft, mutual duty bound.
Nor lefs the monarch to his people owes
Protection of their property and lives,
And-what is dearer far-their Liberties;
Than they to him allegiance juft and true,
With chearful contributions for his aid,
When he requires, and whom themselves have chofe
His requifitions reasonable deem,
Pointing the way in which they may be rais'd
With greater ease by their conftituents,
Themselves likewife affifting.
Nor does the parent fond forget to teach
His children dear the duty which they owe
(Far, far above what mortal man can claim)
To God in heaven above.
For foon, with pious care, he them informs
Why man was first created-how he fell-
And who feduc'd him to the foul revolt."
Thence he explains the nature and the cause
Of fin original; by means of which
The babe of newest birth is guilty found
In God's all-pure and penetrating eye;
And lays them down a plain confiftent scheme
Of true religion, all from Scripture drawn ;
Wherein he shews the wond'rous works that God
Has wrought for man, in ev'ry age and place;
Then tells how Christ, his dear-beloved Son,
In mercy to mankind, from heav'n came down,
(When nothing elfe could have appeas'd his wrath,
By various crimes of mortal man incurr'd)
And fatisfy'd th' Almighty, by his death,
For all the fins of those who Him believe,
And truft not in their own unhallow'd works,
But on his merits only place their hopes
With fted faft faith: no others will He fave,
With keenest looks the zealous parent eyes
His children dear, while he to them recounts
The Son of God's unbounded love to man;
And fees their rifing doubts, and heals them as they rise, Meanwhile the fair, with mute attention fits,
And hears her little family receive
The feeds of virtue and of fcience mix'd,
Inftructive, by the skilful father's care;
Who gains new love from her admiring heart,
As fhe reflects, how justly doth accord
Each virtuous precept that he recommends,
With what the practice of his life displays:
Not like thofe teachers who point out the fleep
Where Virtue's temple ftands, commending much
The fituation, and the joys of those
Who reach the happy place;
But never let the wond'ring pupil fee
Themselves advance to gain the blissful spot,
Tho' easy of afcent, as they relate.
Nor doth herself neglect to give advice,
Such as he can, to form their youthful minds;
And clofe within her mem'ry has she kept
A pleasing store of useful precepts,
Which the fondly blends with kind embraces,
Frequently beftow'd, of overflowing love.
The daughters hear, from her inftructive lips,
Of chafte Lucretia's, and of Portia's fame,
With other females, who in Virtue's path
Undeviating trod, devoid of fear
From aught of pain could be on earth beftow'd,