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But that once o'er, the short-liv'd union ends : The road divides, and there divide the friends.
The Panther nodded when her speech was done, And thank'd her coldly in a hollow tone : But said, her gratitude had gone too far For common offices of Christian care. If to the lawful heir she had been true, She paid but Cæsar what was Cæsar's due. I might, she added, with like praise describe Your suff'ring sons, and so return your bribe : But incense from my hands is poorly priz'd; For gifts are scorn'd, where givers are despis'd. I serv'd a turn, and then was cast away ; You, like the gaudy fly, your wings display, And sip the sweets, and bask in your great pa
This heard, the Matron was not slow to find What sort of malady had seiz'd her mind : Disdain, with gnawing Envy, fell Despight, 70 And canker'd Malice, stood in open sight: Ambition, Int'rest, Pride without control, And Jealousy, the jaundice of the soul ; Revenge, the bloody minister of ill, With all the lean tormentors of the will. 'Twas easy now to guess from whence arose Her new-made union with her ancient foes, Her forc'd civilities, her faint embrace, Affected kindness, with an alter'd face : Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound, 80 As hoping still the nobler parts were sound:
But strove with anodynes tassuage the smart,
Complaints of lovers help to ease their pain ;
99 The labour'd earth, your pains have sow'd and till'd; 'Tis just you reap the product of the field: Yours be the harvest, 'tis the beggar's gain To glean the fallings of the loaded wain. Such scatter'd ears as are not worth your care, Your charity for alms may safely spare, For alms are but the vehicles of pray'r. My daily bread is litrally implor'd; I have no barns, nor granaries to hoard.
* Remains of kindness,
If Cæsar to his own his hand extends,
Shew more occasion for your discontent:
This last illusion gall’d the Panther more, Because, indeed, it rubb’d upon the sore : Yet seem'd she not to wince, tho'shrewdly pain’d; But, thus, her passive character maintain'd.
I never grudg'd (whate'er my foes report,) Your flaunting fortune in the lion's court,
You have your day, or you are much bely’d,
doctrine; and I need not say I will not, for I cannot disobey.
140 On this firm principle I ever stood, He, of my sons, who fails to make it good, By one rebellious act, renounces to my blood.
Ah! said the Hind, how many sons have you, Who call you mother whom you never knew ! But most of them, who that relation plead, Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead. They gape at rich revenues which you hold, And, fain, would nibble at your grandame Gold; Inquire into your years, and laugh to find 150 Your crazy temper shews you much declin'd. Were you not dim, and doted, you might see A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree, No more of kin to you, than you to me. Do you not know that, for a little coin, Heralds can foist a name into the line ? They ask your blessing but for what you have, But once possess'd of what with care you save, The wanton boys would piss upon your grave.
Your sons of latitude, that court your grace, Tho' most resembling you in form and face, Are far the worst of your pretended race ; 162. And, (but I blush your honesty to blot,) Pray God you prove them lawfully begot: For in some Popish libels I have read, The wolf has been too busy in your bed ;
At least her hinder parts, the belly-piece,
Think you your new French proselytes are come
181 More vacant pulpits would more converts make; All would have latitude enough to take ; The rest, unbenefic’d, your sects maintain ; For ordinations without cures are vain, And chamber practice is a silent gain. Your sons of breadth at home, are much like
these; Their soft and yielding metals run with ease ; They melt, and take the figure of the mould,But harden, and preserve it best in gold. 190
Your Delphic sword, the Panther then reply'd, Is doubled-edg'd, and cuts on either side. Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield Three steeples argent in a sable field,