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January and May:
MERCHAN T's TALE.
In days of old, a wife and worthy knight ;
But in due time, when fixty years were o'er,
NOTES. JANUARY AND MAY.] This Translation was done at fixteen or seventeen years of Age. P.
This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons till,
40 Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains, Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains,
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: