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Death is the gift most welcome to my woe,
And such a gift a step-dame may bestow.
Was it for this Busiris was subdued,
Whose barbarous temples reek'd with strangers'
Press'd in these arms, his fate Antæus found,
Nor gain'd recruited vigour from the ground.
Did I not triple-form'd Geryon fell?
Or did I fear the triple dog of Hell?
Did not these hands the bull's arm'd forehead
Are not our mighty toils in Elis told?
Did not Stymphalian lakes proclaim my fame?
And fair Parthenian woods resound my name?
Who seiz'd the golden belt of Thermodon?
And who the dragon-guarded apples won?
Could the fierce Centaur's strength my force with.
Or the fell boar that spoil'd th' Arcadian land?
Did not these arms the Hydra's rage subdue,
Who from his wounds to double fury grew?
What if the Thracian horses, fat with gore,
Who human bodies in their mangers tore,
I saw, and with their barbarous lord o'erthrew?
What if these hands Nemæa's lion slew?
Did not this neck the heavenly globe sustain ?-
The female partner of the thunderer's reign,
Fatigu'd, at length suspends her harsh commands;
Yet no fatigue hath slack'd these valiant hands.
But now new plagues pursue me; neither force,
Nor arms, nor darts, can stop their raging course.
Devouring flame through my rack'd entrails strays,
And on my lungs and shrivell'd muscles preys;
Yet still Eurystheus breaths the vital air!
What mortal now shall seek the gods with prayer?"
TRANSFORMATION OF LYCHAS INTO A
THE hero said; and, with the torture stung,
Furious o'er Ete's lofty hills he sprung:
Stuck with the shaft, thus scours the tiger round,
And seeks the flying author of his wound.
Now might you see him trembling, how he vents
His anguish'd soul in groans and loud laments;
He strives to tear the clinging vest in vain,
And with uprooted forests strews the plain;
Now, kindling into rage, his hands he rears,
And to his kindred gads directs his prayers.
When Lychas, lo, he spies! who trembling flew,
And, in a hollow rock conceal'd from view,
Had shunn'd his wrath. Now grief renew'd his pain,
His madness chaf'd, and thus he raves again :
Lychas, to thee alone my fate I owe,
Who bore the gift, the cause of all my woe."
The youth all pale with shivering fear was stung,
And vain excuses faulter'd on his tongue.
Alcides snatch'd him, as with suppliant face
He strove to clasp his knees, and beg for grace.
He toss'd him o'er his head with airy course,
And hurl'd with more than with an engine's force;
Far o'er th' Eubean main aloft he flies,
And hardens by degrees amid the skies.
So showery drops, when chilly tempests blow,
Thicken at first, then whiten into snow;
In balls conreal'd the rolling fleeces bound,
In solid hail result upon the ground.
Thus, whirl'd with nervous force through distant The purple tide forsook his veins with fear; [air,
All moisture left his limbs. Transform'd to stone,
In ancient days the craggy flint was known :
Still in th' Euboean waves his front he rears,
Still the small rock in human form appears,
And still the name of hapless Lychas bears.
APOTHEOSIS OF HERCULES.
BUT now the hero of immortal birth
Fells Ete's forests on the groaning Earth;
A pile be builds; to Philoctetes' care
He leaves his deathful instruments of war ;
To him commits those arrows, which again
Must see the bulwarks of the Trojan reign.
The son of Paan lights the lofty pyre,
High round the structure climbs the greedy fire;
Plac'd on the top, thy nervous shoulders spread
With the Nemean spoils thy careless head;
Rais'd on the knotty club, with look divine;
Here thou, dread hero of celestial line,
Wast stretch'd at ease; as when, a cheerful guest,
Wine crown'd thy bowls, and flowers thy temples
Now on all sides the potent flames aspire, [drest.
And crackle round those limbs that mock the fire.
A sudden tremor seiz'd th' immortal host,
Who thought the world's profest defender lost.
This when the thunderer saw, with smiles he cries,
""Tis from your fears, ye gods, my pleasures rise;
Joy swells my breast, that my all-ruling hand
O'er such a grateful people boasts command,
| That you my suffering progeny would aid;
Though to his deeds this just respect be paid,
Me you've oblig'd. Be all your fears forborn,
Th' Etean fires do thou, great hero, scorn.
Who vanquish'd all things, shall subdue the flame.
That part alone of gross inaternal frame
Fire shall devour; while what from me he drew
Shall live immortal, and its force subdue;
That, when he's dead, I'll raise to realms above;
May all the powers the righteous act approve!
If any god dissent, and judge too great
The sacred honours of the heavenly seat,
Ev'n he shall own, his deeds deserve the sky,
Ev'n he, reluctant, shall at length comply."
Th' assembled powers assent. No frown till now
Had mark'd with passion vengeful Juno's brow,
Meanwhile whate'er was in the power of flame
Was all consum'd, his body's nervous frame
No more was known ;-of human form bereft,
Th' eternal part of Jove alone was left.
As an old serpent casts his scaly vest,
Wreathes in the sun, in youthful glory drest;
So when Alcides mortal mould resign'd,
His better part enlarg'd, and grew refin'd,
August his visage shone; almighty Jove
In his swift car his honour'd offspring drove;
High o'er the hollow clouds the coursers fly,
And lodge the hero in the starry sky.
TRANSFORMATION OF GALANTHIS.
ATLAS perceiv'd the load of Heaven's new guest
Revenge still rancour'd in Eurystheus' breast
Against Alcides' race.
To lole, to vent maternal woes;
Here she pours forth her grief, recounts the spoils
Her son had bravely reap'd in glorious toils.
This Iole, by Hercules' commands,
Hyllus had lov'd, and join'd in nuptial bands.
Her swelling womb the teeming birth confess'd;--
To whom Alcmena thus her speech address'd:
“O may the gods protect thee, in that hour,
When, midst thy throes, thou call'st th' Ilithyan
May no delays prolong thy racking pain, [power!
As when I sued for Juno's aid in vain!
When now Alcides' mighty birth drew nigh,
And the tenth sign roll'd forward on the sky,
My womb extends with such a mighty load,
As Jove the parent of the burden show'd.
I could no more th' increasing smart sustain:
My horrour kindles to recount the pain;
Cold chills my limbs while I the tale pursue,
And now methinks I feel my pangs anew.
Seven days and nights amidst incessant throes,
Fatigued with ills I lay, nor knew repose:
When lifting high my hands, in shrieks I pray'd,
Implor'd the gods, and call'd Lucina's aid.
"She came, but prejudic'd, to give my fate
A sacrifice to vengeful Juno's hate.
She hears the groaning anguish of my fits,
And on the altar at my door she sits;
O'er her left knee her crossing leg she cast,
Then knits her fingers close, and wrings them fast:
This stay'd the birth; in muttering verse she pray'd,
The muttering verse th' unfinish'd birth delay'd.
Now with fierce struggles, raging with my pain,
At Jove's ingratitude I rave in vain.
How did I wish for death! such groans I sent,
As might have made the flinty heart relent.
Now the Cadineïan matrons 1ound me press,
Offer their vows, and seek to bring redress.
Among the Theban dames Galanthis stands,
Strong-limb'd,red-hair'd, and just to my commands:
She first perceiv'd that all these racking woes
From the persisting hate of Juno rose.
As here and there she pass'd, by chance she sees
The seated goddess; on her close-press'd knees
Her fast-knit hands she leans: with cheerful voice
Galanthis cries, Whoe'er thou art, rejoice,
Congratulate the dame, she lies at rest,
At length the gods Alcmena's womb have blest.'
Swift from her seat the startled goddess springs,
No more conceal'd, her hands abroad she flings;
The charm unloos'd, the birth my pangs reliev'd;
Galanthis' laughter vex'd the power deceiv'd.
Fame says, the goddess dragg'd the laughing maid
Fast by the hair; in vain her force essay'd
Her groveling body from the ground to rear;
Chang'd to fore-feet her shrinking arms appear;
Her hairy back her former hue retains,
The form alone is lost; her strength remains;
Who, since the lie did from her mouth proceed,
Shall from her pregnant mouth bring forth her
Nor shall she quit her long-frequented home,
But haunt those houses where she lov'd to roam."
STORY OF IOLAUS RESTORED TO YOUTH.
JOLE having related the fable of her sister Dryope, who was changed into a tree for violating the
blossoms of the plant Lotis (once a nymph) while she is discoursing on these matters with Alcmena, she finds new matter of wonder, in the sudden change of Iolaus to a youth.
WHILE Jole the fatal change declares,
Alcmena's pitying hand oft wip'd her tears.
Grief too stream'd down her cheeks; soon sorrow
And rising joy the trickling moisture dries: [lies,
Lo Iolaus stands before their eyes.
A youth he stood; and the soft down began
O'er his smooth chin to spread, and promise man.
Hebe submitted to her husband's prayers
Instill'd new vigour, and restor'd his years.
THE PROPHECY OF THEMIS.
Now from her lips a solemn oath had pass'd,
That Iolaus the gift alone should taste,
Had not just Theinis thus maturely said [maid):
(Which check'd her vow, and aw'd the blooming
"Thebes is embroil'd in war. Capaneus stands
Invincible; but by the thunderer's hands
Ambition shall the guilty brothers' fire,
Both rush to mutual wounds, and both expire.
The reeling Earth shall ope her gloomy womb,
Where the yet breathing hard shall find his tomb.-
The son shall bathe his hands in parent's blood,
And in one act be both unjust and good.
Of home and sense depriv'd, where'er he flies,
The Furies and his mother's ghost he spics.
His wife the fatal bracelet shall implore,
And Phegeus stain his sword in kindred gore.
Callirhoe shall then with suppliant prayer
Prevail on Jupiter's relenting ear.
Jove shall with youth her infant sons inspire,
And bid their bosoms glow with manly fire."
THE DEBATE OF THE GODS.
WHEN Themis thus with prescient voice had spoke Among the gods a various murmur broke; Dissension rose in each immortal breast, That one should grant what was deny'd the rest. Aurora for her aged spouse complains, And Ceres grieves for Jason's freezing veins; Vulcan would Erichthonius' years renew; Her future race the care of Venus drow, She would Anchises' blooming age restore; A different care employ'd each heavenly power. Thus various interests did their jars increase, Till Jove arose,-he spoke, their tumults cease.
"Is any reverence to our presence given? Then why this discord 'mong the powers of Heaven? Who can the settled will of Fate subdue? 'Twas by the Fates that Iolaus knew
A second youth. The Fates' determin'd dcom
Shall give Callirhoe's race a youthful bloom.
Arms nor ambition can this power obtain:
Quell your desires; even me the Fates restrain.
Could I their will control, no rolling years
Had #acus bent down with silver hairs;
Then Rhadamanthus still had youth possess'd,
And Minos with eternal bloom been bless'd."
Jove's words the synod mov'd; the powers give
And urge in vain unjust complaint no more.
Since Rhadamanthus' veins now slowly flow'd,
And Eacus and Minos bore the load;
Minos, who, in the flower of youth and fame,
Made mighty nations tremble at his name,
Infirm with age, the proud Miletus fears,
Vain of his birth, and in the strength of years;
And now, regarding all his realms as lost,
He durst not force him from his native coast.
But you by choice, Miletus, fled his reign,
And your swift vessel plow'd th' Ægean main;
On Asiatic shores a town you frame,
Which still is honour'd with the founder's name.
Here you Cyaneë knew, the beauteous maid,
As on her father's winding banks she stray'd:
Caunus and Byblis hence their lineage trace,
The double offspring of your warm embrace.
THE STORY OF ARACHNE,
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SIXTH BOOK OF OVID'S
Pallas obscures her bright celestial grace,
And takes an old decrepit beldame's face.
Her head is scatter'd o'er with silver hairs,
Which seems to bend beneath a load of years.
Her trembling hand, emboss'd with livid veins,
On trusty staff her feeble limbs sustains.
She thus accosts the nymph: "Be timely wise,
Do not the wholesome words of age despise,
For in the hoary head experience lies:
On Earth contend the greatest name to gain;
To Pallas yield;-with Heaven you strive in vain."
Contempt contracts her brow, her passions rise,
Wrath and disdain inflame her rolling eyes:
At once the tangling thread away she throws,
And scarce can curb her threatening hands from
"Worn out with age, and by disease declin'd,"
She cries, "thy carcase has surviv'd thy mind;
These lectures might thy servile daughters more,
And wary doctrines for thy nieces prove :
My counsel's from myself, my will commands,
And my first resolution always stands :
Let her contend; or does her fear impart
That conquest waits on my superior art?"
The goddess straight throws off her old disguise,
And heavenly beauty sparkles in her eyes,
A youthful bloom fills up each wrinkled trace,
And Pallas smiles with every wonted grace.
And Lydian dames confess her matchless power;
The nymphs, surpris'd, the deity adore,
PALLAS, visiting the Muses on their hill to see the
fountain Hippocrene, is by them informed how
the Pierides were changed into chattering pies
for rivaling the Nine Sisters in song.-This sti-The rival maid alone unmov'd remains,
mulating the goddess to take vengeance on
Arachne, the daughter of Idmon, who defied
her in her own art, gives rise to the following
PALLAS, attentive, heard the Muses' song,
Pleas'd that so well they had reveng'd their wrong:
Reflecting thus:-"A vulgar soul can praise,
My fame let glorious emulation raise:
Swift vengeance shall pursue th' audacious pride
That dares my sacred deity deride."
Revenge the goddess in her breast revolves;
And straight the bold Arachne's fate resolves;
Her haughty mind to Heaven disdain'd to bend,
And durst with Pallas in her art contend.
No famous town she boasts, nor noble name;
But to her skilful hand owes all her fame:
Idmon, her father, on his trade rely'd,
And thirsty wool in purple juices dy'd;
Her mother, whom the shades of Death confine,
Was, like her husband, born of vulgar line.
At small Hypæpe though she did reside,
Yet industry proclaim'd what birth deny'd:
All Lydia to her name duc honour pays,
And every city speaks Arachne's praise.
Nymphs of Timolus quit their shady woods,
Nymphs of Pactolus leave their golden floods,
And oft with pleasure round her gazing stand,
Admire her work, and praise her artful hand:
They view'd each notion, with new wonder seiz'd;
More than the work her graceful manner pleas'd.
Whether raw wool in its first orbs she wound,
Or with swift fingers twirl'd the spindle round;
Whether she pick'd with care the knotty piece,
Or comb'd like streaky clouds the stretching fleece;
Whether her needle play'd the pencil's part;
'Twas plain from Pallas she deriv'd her art.
But she, unable to sustain her pride,
The very mistress of her art defy'd.-
Yet a swift blush her guilty feature stains;
And her check'd pride a short confusion knows.
In her unwilling cheek the crimson glows,
So when Aurora first unveils her eyes,
A purple dawn invests the blushing skies;
But soon bright Phoebus gains th' horizon's height,
And gilds the hemisphere with spreading light.
Desire of conquest sways the giddy maid,
To certain ruin by vain hopes betray'd:
The goddess with her stubborn will comply'd,
And deign'd by trial to convince her pride.
Both took their stations, and the piece prepare,
And order every slender thread with care.
The web enwraps the beam; the reed divides,
While thro' the widening space the shuttle glides,
Which their swift hands receive; then, pois'd with
The swinging weight strikes close th' inserted thread.
They gird their flowing garments round the waist,
And ply their feet and arms with dext'rous haste.
Here cach inweaves the richest Tyrian dye,
Their fainter shades in soften'd order lie;
Such various mixtures in the texture shine,
Set off the work, and brighten each design.
As when the Sun his piercing rays extends,
When from thin clouds some drisling shower de-
We see the spacious humid arch appear,
Whose transient colours paint the splendid air:
By such degrees the deepening shadows rise
As pleasingly deceive our dazzled eyes;
And though the same th' adjoining colour seems,
Yet hues of different natures dye th' extremes.
Here heightening gold they 'midst the woof dispose,
And in the web this antique story rose.
Pallas the lofty mount of Mars designs,
Celestial judgment guides th' unerring lines;
Here, in just view, th' Athenian structures stand,
And there the gods contend to name the land;
Twelve deities she frames with stately mien, And in the midst superior Jove is seen; A glowing warmth the blended colours give, The figures in the picture seem to live. Heaven's thundering monarch sits with awful grace, And dread omnipotence imprints his face : There Neptune stood, disdainfully he frown'd, And with his trident smote the trembling ground; The parting rocks a spacious chasin disclose, From whence a tiery, prancing steed arose ; And on that useful gift he founds his claim, To grace the city with his honour'd name. See her own figure next with martial air, A shining helmet decks her flowing hair; Her thoughtful breast her well-pois'd shield defends, And her bare arm a glittering spear extends, With which she wounds the plain; from thence
A spreading tree; green olives load the boughs.
The powers her gift behold with wondering eyes,
And to the goddess give the rightful prize.
Such mercy checks her wrath, that, to dissuade
By others' fate the too presumptuous maid,
With miniatures she fills each corner space,
To curb her pride, and save her from disgrace.
Hamus and Rhodopé in this she wrought,
The beauteous colours spoke her lively thought;
With arrogance and fierce ambition fir'd,
They to the sacred names of gods aspir'd;
To mountains chang'd, their lofty heads arise,
And lose their lessening summits in the skies.
In that, in all the strength of art, was seen The wretched fate of the Pygmæan queen; Juno, enrag'd, resents th' audacious aim, And to a crane transforms the vanquish'd dame; In that voracious shape she still appears, And plagues her people with perpetual wars. In this, Antigoné for beauty strove With the bright consort of imperial Jove: Juno, incens'd, her royal power display'd, And to a bird converts the haughty maid. Laomedon his daughter's fate bewails, Nor his, nor Ilion's, fervent prayer prevails, But on her lovely skin white feathers rise; Chang'd to a clamorous stork, she mounts the skies.
In the remaining orb, the heavenly maid The tale of childless Cynaras display'd; A settled anguish in his look appears, And from his bloodshot eyes flow streams of tears; Ou the cold ground, no more a father, thrown, He for his daughters clasp'd the polish'd stone. And, when he sought to hold their wonted charms, The temple's steps deceiv'd his eager arms. Wreaths of green olive round the border twine, And her own tree encloses the design.
Arachne paints th' amours of mighty Jove, How in a bull the god disguis'd his love; A real bull seems in the piece to roar, And real billows breaking on the shore: In fair Europa's face appears surprise, To the retreating land she turns her eyes, And seems to call her maids, who wondering stood, And with her tears increase the briny flood; Her trembling feet she by contraction saves From the rude insult of the rising waves.
Here amorous Jove dissolving Leda trod, And in the vigorous swan conceal'd the god. Love lends him now an eagle's new disguise, Beneath his fluttering wings Asteria lies,
Th' enlivening colours here with force express'd
How Jove the fair Antiope caress'd.
In a strong satyr's muscled form he came,
Instilling love transports the glowing dame,
And lusty twins reward his nervous flame.
Here how he sooth'd the bright Alcmena's love,
Who for Amphitryon took th' impostor Jove;
And how the god in golden shower allur'd
The guarded nymph, in brazen walls immur'd:
How, in a swain, Mnemosyne he charms;
How lambent flame the fair Egina warms:
And how, with various glittering hues inlaid,
In serpent's form Deois he betray'd.
Here you, great Neptune, with a shortliv'd flame,
In a young bull enjoy th' Æolian dame.
Then in Enipeus' shape intrigues pursue:
"Tis thus th' Aloids boast descent from you.
Here to Bisaltis was thy love convey'd,
When a rough ram deceiv'd the yielding maid.
Ceres, kind mother of the bounteous year,
Whose golden locks a sheafy garland bear;
And the dread dame, with hissing serpents hung,
(From whom the Pegasæan courser sprung)
Thee in a snuffling stallion's form enjoy,
Exhaust thy strength, and every nerve employ;
Melantho as a dolphin you betray,
And sport in pleasures on the rolling sea:
Such just proportion graces every part,
Nature herself appears improv'd by art.
Here in disguise was mighty Phœbus seen,
With clownish aspect, and a rustic mien;
Again transform'd, he's dress'd in falcon's plumes,
And now the lion's noble shape assumes;
Now, in a shepherd's form, with treacherous smiles,
He Macareian Isse's heart beguiles.
Here his plump shape enamour'd Bacchus leaves,
And in the grape Erigone deceives.
There Saturn, in a neighing horse, she wove,
And Chiron's double form rewards his love.
Festoons of flowers, enwove with ivy, shine, [twine.
Border the wondrous piece, and round the texture
Not Pallas, nor ev'n spleen itself, could blame
The wondrous work of the Mæonian dame;
With grief her vast success the goddess bore,
And of celestial crimes the story tore.
Her boxen shuttle now, enrag'd, she took,
And thrice the proud Idmonian artist struck:
Th' unhappy maid, to see her labours vain,
Grew resolute with pride, and shame, and pain:
Around her neck a fatal noose she ty'd,
And sought by sudden death her guilt to hide.
Pallas with pity saw the desperate deed,
And thus the virgin's milder fate decreed:
Live, impious rival, mindful of thy crime,
Suspended thus to waste thy future time!
Thy punishment involves thy numerous race,
Who, for thy fault, shall share in thy disgrace."
Her incantation magic juices aid,
With sprinkling drops she bath'd the pendent maid,
And thus the charm its noxious power display'd.
Like leaves in autumn drop her falling hairs,
With these her nose, and next her rising ears.
Her head to the minutest substance shrunk,
The potent juice contracts her changing trunk ;
Close to her sides her slender fingers clung,
There, chang'd to nimble feet, in order hung;
Her bloated belly swells to larger size,
Which now with smallest threads her work supplies;
The virgin in the Spider still remains ;
And in that shape her former art retains.
SOMPNER'S PROLOGUE OF CHAUCER.
IN IMITATION OF CHAUCER'S STYLE.
THE Sompner leudly hath his prologue told,
And saine on the Freers his tale japing and bold;
How that in Hell they searchen near and wide,
And ne one freer in all thilke place espyde:
But lo! the Devil turn'd his erse about,
And twenty thousand freers wend in and out.
By which in Jeoffry's rhyming it appears,
The Devil's belly is the hive of freers.
Now listneth lordings! forthwith ye shall hear,
What happen'd at a house in Lancashire.
A misere that had londs and tenement,
Who raketh from his villaines taxes and rent,
Owned a house which emptye long ystood,
Full deeply sited in a derkning wood;
Murmring a shallow brook runneth along,
Mong the round stones it maken doleful song.
Now there spreaden a rumour that everich night
The rooms yhaunted been by many a sprite;
The milter avoucheth, and all thereabout,
That they full oft hearen the hellish rout;
Some saine they hear the jingling of chains,
And some hath yheard the psautries straines ;
At midnight some the heedless horse ymcet,
And some espien a corse in a white sheet,
And oother things, faye, elfin, and elfe,
And shapes that fear createn to itselfe.
Now it so hapt, there was not ferre away,
Of grey freers a fair and rich abbaye,
Where fiven a freer yeleped Pere Thomas, [pass.
Who daren alone in derke through church-yerds
This freer would lye in thilke house all night,
In hope he might espyen a dreadful sprite.
He taketh candle, beades, and holy watere,
And legends eke of saintes, and bookes of prayere.
He entereth the room, and looketh round a sout,
And haspen the door, to haspen the goblin out.
The candle hath he put close by the bed,
And in low tone his ave marye said.
With water now besprinkled hath the floore,
And maken cross on key hole of the doore.
Ne was there not a mouse-hole in thilke place,
But he ycrossed hath by God his grace:
He crossed hath this, and eke he crossed that,
With benedicite and God knows what.
Now he goeth to bed and lieth adown,
When the clock had just stricken the twelfth soun.
Bethinketh him now what the cause had ybeen,
Why many sprites by mortals have been seen.
Hem remembreth how Dan Plutarch hath ysed
That Cæsar's sprite came to Brute his bed;
Of chains that frighten erst Artemidore,
The tales of Pline, Valere, and many more.
Hem thinketh that some murdere here been done,
And he mought see some bloodye ghost anone,
Or that some orphlines writings here be stor'd,
Or pot of golde laine deep beneath a board:
Or thinketh hem, if he might see no sprite,
The abbaye mought buy this house cheap outright.
As hem thus thinketh, anone asleep he lies,
Up starten Sathanas with saucer eyes,
He turned the freer upon his face downright,
Displaying his nether cheeks full broad and white.
Than quoth Dan Sathanas as he thwacked him sore,
"Thou didst forget to guard thy postern-dore.
There is an hole which hath not crossed been:
Farewell, from whence I came, I creepen in."
Now plain it is ytellen in my verse,
If Devils in Hell hear freers in their erse,
On Earth the Devil in freers doth ydwell; [EL
Were there no freers, the Devil mought keep in
A MAN may lead a happy life,
Without that needful thing a wife:
This long have lusty abbots known,
Who ne'er knew spouses-of their own.
What though your house be clean and neat,
With couches, chairs, and beds complete;
Though you each day invite a friend,
Though he should every dish commend ;
On Bagshot-heath your mutton fed,
Your fowls at Brentford born and bred;
| Though purest wine your cellars boast,
Wine worthy of the fairest toast;
Yet there are other things requir'd:
Fing, and let's see the maid you bir’d.—
Bless me! those hands might hold a broom,
Twirl round a mop, and wash a room:
A batchelor his maid should keep,
Not for that servile use to sweep;
Let her his humour understand,
And turn to every thing her hand.
Get you a lass that 's young and tight,
Whose arms are, like her apron, white.
What though her shift be seldom seen,
Let that, though coarse, be always clean;
She might each morn your tea attend,
And on your wrist your ruffle mend;
Then, if you break a roguish jest,
Or squeeze her hand, or pat her breast,
She cries," Oh, dear sir, don't be naught !”
And blushes speak her last night's fault.
To her your household cares confide,
Let your keys jingle at her side.
A footman's blunders teaze and fret ye;
Ev'n while you chide, you smile on Betty.
Discharge him then, if he's too spruce;
For Betty's for his master's use.
Will you your amorous fancy baulk,
For fear some prudish neighbour talk?
But you'll object, that you're afraid
Of the pert freedoms of a maid.
Besides, your wiser heads will say,
That she who turns her hand this way,
From one vice to another drawn,
Will lodge your silver-spoons in pawn.
Has not the homely wrinkled jade
More need to learn the pilfering trade?
For love all Betty's wants supplies,
Laces her shoes, her manteau dyes,
All her stuff-suits she flings away,
And wears thread-sattin every day.
Who then a dirty drab would hire,
Brown as the hearth of kitchen-fire;
When all must own, were Betty put
To the black duties of the slat,