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HERE liv'd in Lombardy, as Authors write,
In days of old, a wise and worthy knight;
But in due time, when fixty years were o'er, He vow'd to lead this vitious life no more ;
10 Whether pure holiness inspir'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. This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15 And to the heav'nly pow'rs his constant pray'r,
NOTI'S. JANUARY AND MAY.] This Translation was done at fixteen or seventeen years of Age, P.
Once ere he dy'd, to taste the blissful life.
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons ftill,
and fair, 25
But what so pure, which envious tongues will spare ?
With matchless impudence they style a wife 45 The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life; A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil, A night-invasion, and a mid-day devil. Let not the wise these fand'rous words regard, But curfe the bones of ev'ry lying bard. 50 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 way; One solid comfort, our eternal wife,
55 Abundantly supplies us all our life : This blefing lafts (if those who try say true) As long as heart can wish — 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 survey'd, And wander'd in the folitary shade: The Maker faw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reservåd of God.
A Wife! ah gentle deities, can he That has a wife, e'er feel adversity? Vould men but follow what the sex advise, All things would prosper, all the world grow wise. Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won His father's blessing from an elder fon : 70 busive Nabal ow'd his forfeit life to the wise conduct of a prudent wife: Vol. II.
Heroic Judith, as old Hebrews show,
75 Was sheath'd, and Israel liv'd to bless the Lord.
These weighty motives, January the fage
My friends, he cry'd (and caft a mournful look 8; Around the room, and figh'd before he spoke:) Beneath the weight of threescore years I bend, And worn with cares, am haft’ning to my end; How I have liv’d, alas! you know too well, In worldly follies, which I blush to tell ;
90 But gracious heav'n has ope'd my eyes at last, With due regret I view my vices paft, And, as the precept of the Church decrees, Will take a wife, and live in holy ease. But since by counsel all things should be done, 93 And many
heads are wiser still than one; Chuse
who best shall be content When my desire's approv'd by your consent.
One caution yet is needful to be told, To guide your choice; this wife must not be old:100
There goes a saying, and 'twas shrewdly said,
sense amiss ;
And since I speak of wedlock, let me say, (As, thank my stars, in modest truth I may)