Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Ple

January and May:

OR THE

MERCHAN T's TALE.

FROM

a

CHAU CER
THERE lv'd in Lombardy, as authors write,

In days of old, a wife and worthy knight ;
Of gentle manners, as of gen'rous race,
Bleft with much fenfe, more riches, and some grace,
. Yet led aftray by Venus' soft delights,

$
He scarce could rulc fome idle appetites :
For long ago, let Priests say what they cou'd,
Weak sinful laymen were but Aesh and blood.

But in due time, when fixty years were o'er,
He vow'd to lead this vitious life no more;

IO
Whether pure holiness infpir'd his mind,
Or dotage turn'd his brain, is hard to find;
But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed,
And try the pleasures of a lawful bed.

NOTES. JANUARY AND MAY.] This Translation was done at fixteen or seventeen years of Age. P.

а

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

C.Mosley Sculp.

too,

Old as he was

, and void of Eyraight What coud alas'a helplefIlusband don

may.

[merged small][ocr errors]

а

This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15
And to the heav'nly pow'rs bis constant pray'r,
Once, ere he dy'd, to taste the blissful life
Of a kind husband and a loving wife.

These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons till,
(For none want reasons to confirm their will.) 20
Grave authors fay, and witty poets fing,
That honest wedlock is a glorious thing: -
But depth of judgment moft in him appears,
Who wisely weds in his maturer years.
Then let him chufe a damfel young and fair, 25
To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir ;
To footh his cares, and, free from noise and strife,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life.
Let finful batchelors their woes deplore,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,
Like birds and beasts, promiscuously they join:
Nor know to make the present blessing last,
To hope the future, or esteem the paft:
But vainly boast the joys they never try'd, 35
And find divulgʻd the secrets they would hide.
The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease,
Secure at once himself and heav'n to please ;
And pass his inoffensive hours away,
In bliss all night, and innocence all day:

40 Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains, Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains,

50

But what fo pure, which envious tongues will fpare? Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair. With matchless impudence they style a wife 45 The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life ; : ; A bosom-ferpent, a domestic evil, A night-invasion, and a mid-day-devil. Let not the wise these fland'rous words regard, But curse the bones of ev'ry lying bard. All other goods by fortune's hand are giv'n, A wife is the peculiar gift of heav'n. Vain fortune's favours, never at a stay, Like empty shadows, pass, and glide away; One folid comfort, our eternal wife,

55 Abundantly supplies us all our life: This blessing lasts (if those who try, say true) As long as heart can with - and longer too.

Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve possess’d, Alone, and ev'n in Paradise unbless'd,

60 With mournful looks the blissful scenes furvey'd, And wander'd in the solitary shade. The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God. A Wife ! ah gentle deities, can he

65 That has a wife, e'er feel adversity ? Would men but follow what the sex advise, All things would prosper, all the world grow wife.

, 'Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won His father's blessing from an elder son:

70

« AnteriorContinuar »