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And kings on earth their gems admire.
Because they imitate my sire.
She spoke. Attentive on a spray,
A Nightingale forbore his lay;
He saw the shining morsel near.
And flew, directed by the glare;
A while he gaz'd with sober look,
And thus the trembling prey bespoke:
Deluded fool, with pride elate,
Know, 'tis thy beauty brings thy fate:
Less dazzling, long thou might'st have lain
Unheeded on the velvet plain:
Pride, soon or late, degraded mourns.
And beauty wrecks whom she adorns.
Hymen and Death.
SIXTEEN, dy'e fay? nay then 'tis time,
Another year destroys your prime.
But stay—the settlement!" That's made."
Why then's my simple girl afraid?
Yet hold a moment, if you can,
And heedsully the fable scan.
The shades were fled, the morning blush'd,
The winds were in their caverns hush'd
When Hymen, pensive and sedate,
Held o'er the sields his musing gait.
Behind him, through the green-wood shade,
Death's meagre form the god survey'd;
Who quickly, with gigantic stride,
Out-went his pace and join'd his side.
The chat on various subjects ran.
Till angry Hymen thus began.
Relentless death, whose iron sway
Mortal reluctant must obey;
Still of thy pow'r shall I complain.
And thy too partial hand arraign?
When Cupid brings a pair of hearts,
All over stuck with equal darts,
Thy cruel shafts my hopes deride,
And cut the knot that Hymen ty'd.
Shall not the bloody and the bold,
The miser, hoarding up his gold,
The harlot, reeking from the stew,
Alone thy fell revenge pursue?
But must the gentle, and the kind,
Thy fury, undistinguish'd, sind?
The monarch calmly thus reply'd;
Weigh well the cause, and then decide.
That friend of yours you lately nam'd,
Cupid, alone is to be blam'd;
Then let the charge be justly laid;
That idle boy neglects his trade,
And hardly once in twenty years,
A couple to your temple bears.
The wretches, whom your office blends,
Silenus now, or Plutus fends;
Hence care, and bitterness, and strife,
Are common to the nuptial life.
Believe me; more than all mankind,
Your vot'ries my compassion sind;
Yet cruel am I call'd, and base,
Who seek the wretched to release;
The captive from his bonds to free,
Indissoluble but for me.
'Tis I entice him to the yoke;
By me, your crowded altars smoke;
For mortals boldly dare the noose,
Secure that death will set them loose.
The Wolf, the Sheep, and the Lamb.
DUTY demands, the parent's voice
Should sanctify the daughter's choice;
In that is due obedienceihewn;
To chuse belongs to her alone.
May horror seize his midnight hour,
Who builds upon a parent's pow'r,
And claims, by purchase vile and base,
The loathing maid for his embrace;
Hence virtue sickens; and the breast,
Where peace had built her downy nest,
Becomes the troubled feat of care,
And pines with anguish, and despair.
A wolf, rapacious, rough and bold,
Whose nightly plunders thin'd the fold,
Contemplating his ill-spent life,
And cloy'd with thefts, would take a wife.
His purpose known, the savage race,
In num'rous crowds, attend the place;
For why, a mighty wolf he was,
And held dominion in his jaws.
Her fav'rite whelp each mother brought,
And humbly his alliance sought;
But cold by age, or else too nice,
None found acceptance in his eyes.
It happen'J, as at early dawn
He solitary cross'd the lawn,
Stray'd from the fold, a sportive Iamb'
Skip'd wanton by her fleecy dam;
When Cupid, foe to man and beast,
Discharg'd an arrow at his breast.
The tim'rous breed the robber knew,
And trembling o'er the meadow flew;
Their nimblest speed the wolf o'ertook,
And courteous, thus the dam bespoke.
Stay, fairest, and suspend your fear,
Trust me, no enemy is near;
These jaws, in slaughter oft imbru'd,
At length have known enough of blood;
And kinder business brings me now,
Vanquish'd, at beauty's feet to bow.
You have a daughter Sweet, forgive
A wolfs address. in her I live;
Love from her eyes like light'ning came,
And set my marrow all on flame;
Let your consent consirm my choice,
And ratify our nuptial joys.
Me ample wealth, and pow'r attend,
Wide o'er the plains my realms extend;
What midnight robber dare invade
The fold, if I the guard am made?
At home the shepherd's curr may steep,
While I secure his master's sheep.
Discourse like this, attention claim'd;
Grandeur the mother's breast inflam'd;
Now fearless by his side she walk'd,
Of settlements and jointures talk'd;
Propos'd, and doubled her demands
Of flow'ry sields, and turnip-lands.
The wolf agrees. Her bosom swells;
To Miss her happy fate she tells;
And of the grand alliance vain,
Contemns her kindred of the plain.
The loathing lamb with horror hears,
And wearies out her dam with pray'rs;
But all in vain; mamma best knew
What unexperienc'd girls should do;
So, to the neighb'ring meadow carry'd,
A formal ass the couple marry'd.
Torn from the tyrant-mother's side,
The trembler goes, a victim-bride,