« PreviousContinue »
E. Bro. Forbear, nor offer us the poison'd sweets That thus have render'd thee thy sex's shame, All sense of honour banish'd from thy breast.
“ Fame's an echo, pratiling double,
“Why then, why such toil and pain
E. Bro. “ By her own sentence Virtue stands ab.
solv'd, “ Nor asks an echo from the tongues of men “ To tell what hourly to herself she proves. " Who wants his own no other praise enjoys; “ His ear receives it as a fulsome tale “ To which his heart in secret gives the lie :
Nay, slander'd innocence must feel a peace, “ Aninward peace, which flatter'd guilt ne'er knew." F. Wom. Oh! how unseemly shews in blooming
On the gay spring of life, youth's flow'ry prime, From morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve, 270 Each rising hour by rising pleasures mark'd.
SONG. By a Woman in a pastoral babit.
Would you taste the noon tide air,
Down each side a fountain flows,
Round the languid herds and sheep
-and in her arms
E. Bro. “ How low sinks beauty when by vice de.
bas'd! " How fair that form if virtue dwelt within ! “ But from this shameless advocate of shame
290 “ To me the warbled song harsh discord grates,
Y.Bro.“Short is the course of ev'ry lawless pleasure; “ Grief like a shade on all its footsteps waits, “ Scarce visible in joy's meridian height, " But downward as its blaze declining speeds “ The dwarfish shadow to a giant spreads." F. Wom. No more; these formal maxiins misbe
come you ; They only suit suspicious shrivell d Age.
SONG. By a Man and two Women.
Live and love, enjoy the fair,
From the fruits of sweet delighi
E. Bro. How can your impious tongues profune the
Of sacred Virtue, and yet promise pleasure
F. Wom. “ Perhaps it may; perhaps the sweetest
joys “Of love itself from passion's folly spring ; “ But say, does wisdom greater bliss bestow ? E. Bro. “ Alike from love's and pleasure's path
you stray, “ In sensual folly blindly seeking both, “Your pleasure riot, lust your boasted love. 320 “ Capricious, wanton, bold, and brutal lust “ Is meanly selfish, when resisted cruel, “ And like the blast of pestilental winds “ Taints the sweet bloom of Nature's fairest forms : “ But love, like od'rous Zephyr's grateful breath, “ Repays the flow'r that sweetness which it borrows; “Uninjuring, uninjur'd, lovers move “ In their own sphere of happiness content “ By mutual truth avoiding mutual blame." But we forget: who hears the voice of Truth
330 In noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd ? Thyrsis, be then our guide; we'll follow thee, And some good angel bear a shield before us !
[Exeunt Brothers and Spirit. F. Wom. Come, come, my friends, and partners
of my joys, Leave to these pedant youth their bookish dreams; “ Poor blinded boys, by their blind guides misled ! " A beardless Cynick is the shame of nature,” Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup; “ And my contempt, at best my pity, moves." Away, nor waste a moment more about 'em
There yields the melting fair.[ Exeunt singing.
ton arts, " And all the painted charms that vice can wear. “ Yet oft' o'er credulous youth such Sirens triumph, “ And lead their captive sense in chains as strong “ As links of adamant. Let us be free, “ And to secure our freedom, virtuous. 350
7. Bro.“ But should our helpless sister meet the rage “Of this insulting troop, what could she do ? “ What hope, what comfort, what support, were left?
Spi. “She meets not them; but yet, if right I guess, " A harder trial on her virtue waits. E. Bro. “ Protect her Heav'n! But whence this sad
conjecture? Spi. “ Thisev’ning late, by then the chewing flocks “ Had ta’en their supper on the sav'ry herb “Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, “ I sat me down to watch upon a bank “With ivy canopy'd, and intervove “With Aaunting honeysuckle, and began, " Wrapp'd in a pleasing fit of melancholy, “ To meditate my rural minstrelsy, !! Till fancy had her fill; but ere a close,
The first Act en is here as now performed,