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So they might leave a fpotlefs name behind.
With niceft skill, as they advance in life,
Full oft the probes their youthful hearts, to find
If Love's infinuating flame perchance has stole
Within their gentle, unfufpecting breasts;
And frequent warns them ftudiously to guard
Against the wiles of that falfe traitor-MAN;
Who, like th' ungrateful monfter of the Nile,
Seeks their compaffion firft, and then destroys..
Not that all men unfaithful are in love,
Or that she wishes they fhould never know
The blifs which flows from love with love repaid;
But well she knows how feldom thofe are true,
Who seek in privacy to gain the hearts
Of unfufpecting innocence and youth,
Without confulting thofe, whom ev'ry tie,'
Of duty-honour-and advantage too,
Requires them to folicit for the prize.
And who, that worthy wears the human form,
When real worth permiffion afks to fue,
With proffer'd hand, and undisguised heart,
('Gainft whom not Calumny herself can raise
A fingle blemish to detract his fame,
The fair approving, too, the honest suit)
Will dare refufe the privilege he seeks?
If fuch there are, no treason to revolt;
Withdrawn their duty, your allegiance, too,
Is equally withdrawn, with greater right.
But, ah! be cautious duty to withdraw;
Left in your eye alone his virtues reign,
While all befides can fee the man of vice!
For think what pangs of fad remorfe must wring
The hearts of those, whose stubbornefs hath wrought
The woe of friends-of parents-and themselves!
While thus employ'd, in grafting Virtue's fruit Upon their youthful minds, the parents feel,
Within the compafs of one fhort-liv'd hour,
More real joy than finglenefs can know
Throughout a life of many tedious years:
But when they fee their progeny improve
In virtuous practice what their precepts taught
Behold them blaze, as conftellations bright,
În ev'ry sphere which Nature has affign'd ;
Whether to join the noify din of war,
Or ferve their country and their king at home;
Let not th' unmarry'd dotard think he knows
A fingle thought fufficiently refin'd
To guess the blifs the ravifh'd parents feel!
Nor to th' exalted state of blifs fupreme
Which duteous children to their parents give,
(Tho' far beyond th' expreffion of the Mufe)
Is happiness of wedded life confin'd.
A thousand nameless pleafures, ev'ry hour,
Receive their birth, unknown, perhaps, before;
Whether in converse sweet they spend their time,
Around their chearful hearth, while Winter reigns,
Repeating all their former tales of love;
Or walk along the gay enamell'd meads,
When vernal Spring has fcented o'er the fields,
Admiring Nature's works, and giving praise,
(For all His gifts) where praife, alone, is due.
Sometimes they wander through the leafy grove
Where first their mutual paffion was disclos'd,
And with excefs of happiness elate,
Carol their Maker as they pass along;
While from the spray the lift'ning fongfters bend,
With admiration of their notes divine,
And inftant close their own enchanting fong,
Fearful to fing in less harmonious strains.
Oft they bemoan the feather'd warblers fate,
Who, robb'd by froward youths, deplore the lofs,
in many a plaintive note, of eggs or young;
And frequently they warn their children dear,
That they engage not in such cruel sports.
Within their cot no death-fraught tube is found,
No wiry prifon to confine the wings
By Nature made to fit the boundless air:
With freedom blefs'd themselves, they wifh all free!
What, though their little tenement contains
Scarce room, perhaps, for children and themselves,
Gladly they ope the hospitable door,
To give the wearied traveller repofe.
For, though not blefs'd with Fortune's richest gifts,
(And Fortune's gifts are bleffings to mankind,
When used for the purpose they were given)
Enough they have, and freely do bestow
The little they can spare to those who need;
And where they cannot give fufficient aid,
With tears they wail their fellow-mortal's woe,
And heal thofe griefs with fweet Religion's balm,
Beyond their power to cure by other means.
Their gentle offspring, too, with mournful looks,
And pitying accents, fympathize diftrefs;
And reach with eager hands their own fupport,
To feed the ftranger deftitute of food.
O learn from thefe, ye great ones of the earth, The brightest virtue of the human mind;
Nor let the vagrant poor
(Tho' deem'd offenders 'gainft our well-meant laws)
Unheard, unfed, unpitied, from your gates!
Little ye know what motives may conftrain
An honeft man to wander from his home;
What fad oppreffions may have driv'n him thence,
Guiltlefs, perhaps, but forc'd, with aching heart,
To quit the tendereft ties, and feek fupport
From fellow-chriftians, through his native land!
But chiefly ftrive-O let the Mufe prevail !-
To find out merit ftruggling with distress;
Nor let the widow's tears in fecret shed,
Nor tender orphan's cries, nor age's moans,
In vain apply to Heav'n and you for aid:
So fall your days on earth with peace be crown'd,
And Heav'n reward you, when ye quit this life,
With blifs eternal in the realms above!
E'en fhould Oppreffion, with his iron hand,
Afflict the gentle pair with fad diftress,
Arm'd by Religion, they refift his force,
And fmile beneath the torture he inflicts:
Or does the loathed breath of ficknefs reach
(For who can boaft exemption from disease!)
The lovely fair, and blight the crimson rofe
That lately flourish'd in her now pale cheek;
With equal palenefs the true partner fits,
And checks the ftruggling figh, and ftops the tear,
Which Nature, fcorning the diffembler's part,
Tho' e'en in Virtue's caufe, ftill quick returns;
Till, with united and increafing force,
No longer able to fuftain the affauit,
His labouring bofom fwells, his eyes o'erflow,
And quick retiring from the mournful scene,
Which yet 'tis death to leave, filent he goes,
And yields to all the luxury of grief.
Yet ftill, with genial warmth, the fun of Hope
Drinks up the dew fhed in Affliction's night,
While with a momentary gleam it breaks
Through the thick clouds collected by Defpair.
Then back he haftes, affumes a chearful look,
And speaks, with feeming confidence, that peace
To the afflicted fair, which his own breaft,
Heal'd as it is from the extreme of grief,
Still more than half difowns; till he believes,
Almoft, himself, fpite of the change he fees,
Far diftant yet the irrefiftless stroke,
Which muft, he knows, and oft with tears has mourn'd,
(With mingled tears, e'en in their gayeft hours,
Shed by the blissful pair) one day divide
(Ah! be it distant far!) their ever-faithful loves!
But when, at length, the awful period comes,
(And come it muft to all of human birth,
Till the last trump, tremendous, fhall proclaim
The all-fubduing king himself fubdu’d,
And trembling mortals fearful fhall await-
Have mercy, Heav'n!-th' irrevocable doom,
Which elfe muft plunge millions of million fouls
In never-ending pain!) that quite cuts off
Each cherish'd ray of oft-deceiving Hope,
O then what pangs, unutterable pangs!
Torture the partner-heart, that vainly strives,
With unaffuaged grief to melt away,
And join it's dear, lamented counterpart,
In thofe blefs'd realms where forrow is no more!
O, Anna! whither has the vagrant Mufe
My devious footsteps led!
Methinks I hear you cry,
Ah, fearful state!'.
if these the scenes,
And falfely call'd of joy!—Alas! what pangs
Has Heav'n provided for the human heart,
If thefe, which in defcription rive the breast,
Are rightly nam'd-PLEASURES OF WEDDED LOVE?'
Still mix'd with grief,' the injur'd Mufe replies,
Is all of human joy: fo Heav'n ordain'd,
• When difobedient man untimely broke
The fole command that limited each wish,
And fnatch'd the fruit but for his good witheld.
E'er fince, compaffionate to human woe,
As, from this fatal breach, all mortal flesh