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Alas, what stay is there in human State,
Or who can fhun inevitable Fate?
The Doom was written, the Decree was past,
Ere the Foundations of the World were cast!
In Aries though the Sun exalted stood,
His Patron-Planet to procure his good;
Yet Saturn was his mortal Foe, and he
In Libra rais’d, oppos'd the same Degree:
The Rays both good and bad, of equal Pow'r,
Each thwarting other made a mingled Hour.
On Friday-morn he dreamt this direful Dream,
Cross to the worthy Native, in his Scheme!
Ah blissful Venus, Goddess of Delight,
How cou’dst thou suffer thy devoted Knight,
On thy own Day to fall by Foe oppress’d,
The Wight of all the World who serv'd thee best?
Who true to Love, was all for Recreation,
And minded not the Work of Propagation.
Gaufride, who cou'dit so wellin Rhime complain,
The Death of Richard with an Arrow flain,
Why had not I thy Muse, or thou my Heart,
To sing this heavy Dirge with equal Art!
That I like thee on Friday might complain ;
For on that Day was Ceur de Lion slain.
Not louder Cries when Ilium was in Flames,
Were sent to Heav'n by woful Trojan Dames,
When Pyrrhus toss'd on high his burnish'd Blade,
And offer'd Priam to his Father's Shade,
Than for the Cock the widow'd Poultry made.
Fair Partlet first, when he was born from light,
With sovereign Shrieks bewail'd her Captive
Far lowder than the Carthaginian Wife, [Knight.
When Afdrubal her Husband loft his Life,
When fhe beheld the fmouldring Flames ascend,
And all the Punick Glories at an end :
Willing into the Fires she plung'd her Head,
With greater Eafe than others seek their Bed.
Not more aghaft the Matrons of Renown,
When Tyrant Nero burn’d th’Imperial Town,
Shriek'd for the downfall in a doleful Cry,
For which their guiltlessLords were doom'd to die.
Now to my Story I return again : The trembling Widow, and her Daughters twain, This woful cackling Cry with Horror heard, Of those distracted Damsels in the Yard;
And starting up beheld the heavy Sight,
How Reynard to the Forest took his Flight,
And cross his Back, as in triumphant Scorn,
The Hope and Pillar of the House was born.
The Fox, the wicked Fox, was all the Cry;
Out from his House ran ev'ry Neighbour nigh:
The Vicar first, and after him the Crew,
With Forks and Staves the Fellon to pursue.
Ran Coll our Dog, and Talbot with the Band,
And Malkin, with her Distaff in her Hand:
Ran Cow and Calf, and Family of Hogs,
In Panique Horror of pursuing Dogs,
With many a deadly Grunt and doleful Squeak,
Poor Swine, as if their pretty Hearts would break.
The Shouts of Men, the Women in dismay,
With Shrieks augment the Terror of the Day.
The Ducks that heard the Proclamation cry'd,
And fear'd a Persecution might betide,
Full twenty Mile from Town their Voyage take,
Obscure in Rushes of the liquid Lake.
The Geese fly o'er the Barn; the Bees in Arms,
Drive headlong from their Waxen Cells in Swarms.
Jack Straw at London-stone, with all his Rout,
Struck not the City with so loud a Shout;
Not when with English Hate they did pursue
A French Man, or an unbelieving Jew:
Not when the Welkin rung with one and all;
And Echoes bounded back from Fox's Hall; [fall
. Earth seem'd to sink beneath, andHeav'n above to With Might and Main they chas'd the murd'rous
Fox, With Brazen Trumpets, and inflated Box, To kindle Mars with military Sounds, Nor wanted Horns t'inspire sagacious Hounds.
But see how Fortune can confound the Wise, And when they least expect it, turn the Dice. The Captive Cock, who scarce cou'd draw his And lay within the very Jaws of Death ; [Breath, Yet in this Agony his Fancy wrought, And Fear supply'd him with this happy Thought: Yours is the Prize, victorious Prince, said he, The Vicar my Defeat, and all the Village fee. ** Enjoy your friendly Fortune while you may, And bid the Churls, that envy you the Prey,
Call back their mungril Curs, and cease their Cry See Fools, the Shelter of the Wood is nigh, And Chanticleer in your despight shall die. He shall be pluck'd, and eaten to the Bone.
'Tis well advis’d, in Faith it shall be done; This Reynard said: But as the Word he spoke, The Pris’ner with a Spring from Prison broke: Then stretch'd his feather’dFans with all his might, And to the neighb’ring Maple wing’d his flight.
Whom when the Traitor safe on Tree beheld, He curs'd the Gods, with Shame and Sorrow fill'd; Shame for his Folly ; Sorrow out of time, For Plotting an unprofitable Crime : Yet mast'ring both, th’Artificer of Lies Renews th’Assault, and his last Batt'ry tries,
Though I, said he did ne’er in Thought offend, How justly may my Lord suspect his Friend? Th’appearance is against me, I confess, Who seemingly have put you in Distress : You, if your Godness does not plead my Cause, May think I broke all hospitable Laws, To bear you from your Palace-yard by Might, And put your noble Person in a Fright: