« PreviousContinue »
Ye shepherds so gay, who make love to ensnare,
And cheat with false vows, the too credulous fair;
In search of true pleasure how vainly you roam !
To hold it for life, you must find it at home.
ON THE MARRIAGE ACT.
The fools that are wealthy are sure of a bride;
For riches like raiment their nakedness hide:
The slave that is needy must starve all his life,
In a bachelor's plight, without mistress or wife.
In good days of yore they ne'er troubled their heads
In settling of jointures, or making of deeds;
But Adam and Eve, when they first enter'd course,
E’en took one another for better or worse.
Then prythee, dear Chloe, ne'er aim to be great,
Let love be the jointure, don't mind the estate;
You can never be poor who have all of these charms;
And I shall be rich when I've you in my arms.
ΤΟ HIS WIFE WITH A KNIFE ON THE
FOURTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HER
WEDDING-DAY, WHICH HAPPENED TO BE
HER BIRTH-DAY AND NEW YEAR'S DAY.
A KNIFE, dear girl, cuts love, they say,
Mere modish love perhaps it may;
For any tool of any kind
Can separate what was never join'd.
The knife that cuts our love in two
Will have much tougher work to do:
Must cut your softness, worth, and spirit
Down to the vulgar size of merit;
To level yours with common taste,
Must cut a world of sense to waste;
And from your single beauty's store,
Clip what would dizen out a score.
The self-same blade from me must sever
Sensation, judgment, sight--for ever!
All memory of endearments past,
All hope of comforts long to last,
All that makes fourteen years with you
A summer-and a short one too :
All that affection feels and fears,
When hours, without you, seem like years.
'Till that be done,-and I'd as soon
Believe this knife would clip the moon,
Accept my present undeterr'd,
And leave their proverbs to the herd.
If in a kiss-delicious treat !
Your lips acknowledge the receipt ;
Love, fond of such substantial fare,
And proud to play the glutton there,
All thoughts of cutting will disdain,
Save only—“cut and come again.'
TO HIS WIFE ON THE SIXTEENTH ANNI.
VERSARY OF HER WEDDING-DAY, WITH A RING.
“THEE, Mary, with this ring I wed,"
So sixteen years ago I said-
Behold another ring! “for what?”
To wed thee o'er again--why not?
With the first ring I married youth,
Grace, beauty, innocence, and truth;
Taste long admired, sense long rever'd,
And all my Molly then appear’d.
If she, by merit since disclosed,
Prove twice the woman I supposed,
I plead that double merit now,
To justify a double vow.
Here then to-day, with faith as sure,
With ardour as intense and pure,
As when amidst the rites divine
I took thy troth, and plighted mine,
To thee, sweet girl, my second ring,
A token and a pledge I bring ;
With this I wed, till death us part,
Thy riper virtues to my heart;
These virtues which, before untried,
The wife has added to the bride-
Those virtues, whose progressive claim,
Endearing wedlock's very name,
My soul enjoys, my song approyes,
For conscience' sake as well as love's.
For why? They teach me hour by hour
Honour's high thought, affection's power,
Discretion's deed. Sound judgment's sentence,
And teach me all things—but repentance.
How happy a thing were a wedding,
And a bedding,
If a man might purchase a wife
For a twelvemonth and a day;
But to live with her all a man's life,
For ever and for aye,
Till she grow as grey as a cat,
Good faith, Mr. Parson, excuse me from that!
THE GRAND QUESTION DEBATED WHETHER
HAMILTON'S BAWN SHOULD BE TURNED
INTO A BARRACK OR A MALT-HOUSE.
Thus spoke to my lady the knight full of care:
“Let me have your advice in a weighty affair.
This Hamilton's Bawn, whilst it sticks on my hand,
I lose by the house what I get by the land;
But how to dispose of it to the best bidder,
For a barrack or malt-house, we now must consider.
First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house,
Here I have computed the profit will fall t'us,
There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain,
I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain;
A handsome addition for wine and good cheer,
Three dishes a day, and three hogsheads a year:
With a dozen ge vessels my vault shall be stored
No little scrub joint shall come on to my board:
And you and the dean no more shall combine
To stint me at night to one bottle of wine;
Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin
A stone and a quarter of beef from my sirloin.
If I make it a barrack, the Crown is my tenant;
My dear, I have ponder'd again and again on't ;
In poundage and drawbacks I lose half my rent,
Whatever they give me I must be content,
Or join with the Court in every debate;
And rather than that I would lose my estate."
Thus ended the knight: thus began his meek wife;
“ It must and it shall be a barrack, my life.
I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes
But a rabble of tenants and rusty dull Rums.
With parsons what lady can keep herself clean!
I'm all over daub'd when I sit by the dean.
But if you will give us a barrack, my dear,
The captain, I'm sure, will always come here;
I then shall not value his deanship a straw,
For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe;
Or, should he pretend to be brisk and alert,
Wiil tell him that chaplains should not be so pert;
That men of his coat should be minding their prayers,
And not among ladies to give themselves airs."
Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain; The knight his opinion resolved to maintain.
But Hannah, who listen’d to all that was past, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, As soon as her ladyship call'd to be dress’d, Cried, “Madam, why surely my master's possess’d, Sir Arthur the maltster! How fine it will sound ! I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. But, madam, I guess’d there would never come good, When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood. And now my dream's out; for I was adream'd That I saw a huge rat; O dear, how I scream'd ! And after, methought I had lost my new shoes; And Molly, she said, I should hear some ill news.
“Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease,
You might have a barrack whenever you please ;
And, madam, I always believed you so stout,
That for twenty denials you would not give out.
If I had a husband like him, I purtest,
Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest;
And rather than come in the same pair of sheets
With such a cross man, I would lie in the streets:
But, madam, I beg you, contrive and invent,
And worry him out, till he gives his consent.
Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think,
An I were to be hang'd I can't sleep a wink:
For if a new crotchet comes into my brain,
I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain.
I fancy already a barrack contrived
At Hamilton's Bawn, and the troop is arrived ;
Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning,
And its on the captain betimes the next morning.
Now see when they meet how their honours behave,
Noble captain, your servant'- 'Sir Arthur, your slave;' "You honour me much'--' the honour is mine''Twas a sad rainy night'—' but the morning is fine.' 'Pray how does my lady?'— My wife's at your service.' 'I think I have seen her picture by Jervis.' 'Good morrow, good captain'—'Í'll wait on you down•You shan't stir a foot '--' you'll think me a clownFor all the world, captain'—not half an inch farther? You must be obey'd' --'Your servant, Sir Arthur; My humble respects to my lady unknown'I hope you will use my house as your own.
“Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate,
Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate.”
“ Pray, madam, be quiet: what was it I said ?
You had like to have put quite out of my head.
Next day, to be sure, the captain will come
At the head of his troop, with trumpet and drum ;
Now, madam, observe how he marches in state;
The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate;
Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow,
Tantara, tantara; while all the boys halloo.
See now comes the captain all daubed with gold lace;
O, la! the sweet gentleman, look in his face;
And see how he rides like a lord of the land,
With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand;