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Some few there are of sordid mould,
Who barter youth and bloom for gold;
Careless with what or whom they mate,
Their ruling passion's all for state.
But Hymen, gen'rous, just, and kind,
Abhors the mercenary mind:
Such rebels groan beneath his rod,
For Hymen's a vindictive god:
“Be joyless every night,” he said,
“And barren be their nuptial bed!”
Attend, my fair, to Wisdom's voice,
A better fate shall crown thy choice.
A married life, to speak the best,
Is all a lottery confest:
Yet if my fair-one will be wise;
I will insure my girl a prize;
Though not a prize to match thy worth,
Perhaps thy equal's not on earth.
'Tis an important point to know,
There's no perfection here below.
Man's an odd compound after all,
And ever has been since the Fall.
Say, that he loves you from his soul,
Still man is proud, nor brooks controul;
And though a slave in Love's soft school,
In wedlock claims his right to rule.
The best, in short, has faults about him;
If few those faults, you must not flout him.
With some, indeed, you can't dispense,
As want of temper and of sense.
For when the sun deserts the skies,
And the dull winter evenings rise,
Then for a husband's social pow'r,
To form the calm, conversive hour;
The treasures of thy breast explore, .
From that rich mine to draw the ore;
Fondly each gen'rous thought refine;
And give thy native gold to shine;
Show thee, as really thou art,
Though fair, yet fairer still at heart.
Say, when life's purple blossoms fade, As soon they must, thou charming maid; When in thy cheeks the roses die, And sickness clouds that brilliant eye; Say, when or age or pains invade, And those dear limbs shall call for aid; If thou art fetter'd to a fool, Shall not his transient passion cool? And when thy health and beauty end, Shall thy weak mate persist a friend? But to a man of sense, my dear, ** E’en then thou lovely shalt appear; He'll share the griefs that wound thy heart, And weeping claim the larger part; Though age impairs that beauteous face, He'll prize the pearl beyond its case,
In wedlock when the sexes meet, Friendship is only then complete. “Blest state' where souls each other draw, Where love is liberty and law!” The choicest blessing found below, That man can wish, or heaven bestow! Trust me, these raptures are divine, For lovely Chloe once was mine! Nor fear the varnish of my style, Though poet, I'm estrang'd to guile. Ah me! my faithful lips impart The genuine language of my heart!
When bards extol their patrons high, Perhaps 'tis gold extorts the lie; Perhaps the poor reward of bread
But who burns incense to the dead?
He, whom a fond affection draws,
Careless of censure or applause;
Whose soul is upright and sincere,
With nought to wish, and nought to fear.
Now to my visionary scheme,
Attend and profit by my Dream.
Amidst the slumbers of the night,
A stately temple rose to sight;
And ancient as the human race,
If Nature's purposes you trace.
This fane, by all the wise rever'd,
To Wedlock's pow'rful god was rear'd.
Hard by I saw a graceful sage,
His locks were frosted o'er by age;
His garb was plain, his mind screne,
And wisdom dignify'd his mien.
With curious search his name I sought,
And found ’twas Hymen's fav'rite—Thought.
"Apace the giddy crowds advance,
And a lewd satyr led the dance:
I griev'd to see whole thousands run,
For oh! what thousands are undone!
The sage, when these mad troops he spy'd,
In pity flew to join their side:
The discontented pairs began
To rail against him, to a man;
Wow!d they were strangers to his name,
Nor knew from whence the dotard came.
But mark the sequel—for this truth
Highly concerns impetuous youth:
Long ere the honey-moon could wane,
Perdition seiz'd on ev'ry twain;
At every house, and all day long,
Repentance ply'd her scorpion thong;
Disgust was there with frowning mien,
And every wayward child of spleen.
Hymen approach'd his awful fane,
Attended by a num'rous train:
Love, with each soft and nameless grace,
Was first in favour and in place:
Then came the god with solemn gait, Whose ev'ry word was big with fate; His hand a flaming taper bore, That sacred symbol, fam'd of yore: Virtue, adorn'd with every charm, Sustain'd the god's incumbent arm: Beauty improv'd the glowing scene With all the roses of eighteen: Youth led the gaily smiling fair, His purple pinions wav'd in air: Wealth, a close hunks, walk'd hobbling nigh, With vulture-claw, and eagle-eye, Who three-score years had seen, or more, ('Tis said his coat had seen a score); Proud was the wretch, though clad in rags, Presuming much upon his bags. A female next her arts display'd, Poets alone can paint the maid: Trust me, Hogarth, (though great thy fame) 'Twould pose thy skill to draw the same; And yet thy mimic pow'r is more Than ever painter's was before: Now, she was fair as cygnet's down; Now, as Matt Prior's Emma brown; And changing as the changing flow'r, Her dress she varied every hour: 'Twas Fancy, child!—You know the fair, Who pins your gown, and sets your hair M