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THE

E S P O US A L.

A SOBERECLOGUE.

Between two of the People called QUAKERS.

CALEB. TABITHA.

B

ENEATH the shadow of a beaver hat,

Meek Caleb at a silent meeting fat;
His eye-balls oft' forgot the holy trance,
While Tabitha demure, return’d the glance.
The meeting ended, Caleb filence broke,
And Tabitha her inward yearnings spoke.

CALEB
Beloved, see how all things follow love,
Lamb fondleth lamb, and dove disports with dove ?
Yet fondled lambs their innocence secure,
And none can call the turtle's bill impure;
O fairest of our fifters, let me be
The billing dove, and fondling lamb to thee.

TABITHA.
But, Caleb, know that birds of gentle mind
Elect a mate among the fober kind,

Not

E 2

Not the mockaws, all deck'd in scarlet pride,
Entice their mild and modeft hearts afide ;
But thou, vain man, beguild by Popish shows,
Doatest on ribands, flounces, furbelows.
If thy false heart be fond of tawdry dyes,
Go, wed the painted arch in summer skies ;
Such love will like the rainbow's hue decay,
Strong at the first, but passeth foon away.

CALEB.
Name not the frailties of my youthful days,
When vice mis-led me through the haplot's ways;
When I with wanton look the fex beheld,
And nature with each wanton look rebell’d;
Then parti-colour's pride my heart might move
With lace; the net to catch unhallow'd love.
All such like love is fading as the flower,
Springs in a day, and withereth in an hour:
But now I feel the spousal love within,
And spoufal love no fifter holds a fin.

TABITHA.
I know thou longest for the flaunting maid,
Thy falsehood own, and say I am betray'd ;
The tongue of man is blister'd' o'er with lies,
But truth is ever read in woman's

eyes ;
O that my lip obey'd a tongue like thine!
Or that thine eye bewray'd a love like mine!

CALE B.
How bitter are thy words ! forbear to teaze,
I too might blame---but love delights to please.
Why should I tell thee, that when last the sun
Painted the downy peach of Newington,
Foiab led thee through the garden's walk,
And mingled melting kiffes with his talk ?

Ah

Ah Jealousy! turn, turn thine eyes

aside,
How can I see that watch'adorn thy side ?
For verily no gift the filters take
For luft of gain, but for the giver's fake.

TABITHA.

.
I own, Josiah gave the golden toy,
Which did the righteous hand of Quare employ;
When Caleb hath affign'd some happy day,
I look on this and chide the hours delay :
And when Josiah would his love pursue,
On this I look and fhun his wanton view.
Man but in vain with trinkets tries to move,
The only present love demands is love.

CALEB.
Ah Tabitha, to hear these words of thine,
My pulse beats high, as if inflam'd with wine !
When to the brethren first with fervent zeal
The spirit mov'd thy yearnings to reveal,
How did I joy thy trembling lip to see
Red as the cherry from the Kentish tree ;
Whén ecstasy had warm’d thy look so meek,
Gardens of roses blushed on thy cheek.
With what sweet transport didit thou roll thine eyes,
How did thy words provoke the brethren's fighs!
Words that with holy fighs might others move,
But, Tabitha, my fighs were fighs of love,

TABITHA.
Is Tabitha beyond her wishes blest?
Does no proud worldly dame divide thy breaft?
Then hear me, Caleb, witness what I speak,
This solemn promise death alone can break;
Sooner I would bedeck my brow with lace,
And with immodest fav’rites Thade

my
face,

Sooner

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Sooner like Babylon's lewd whore be drest
In Aaring di'monds and a scarlet veft,
Or make a curtsie in Cathedral pew,
Than prove inconftant, while my Caleb's true.

CALEB.
When I prove false, and Tabitha forsake,
Teachers shall dance a jig at country wake;
Brethren unbeaver'd then shall bow their head,
And with prophane mince-pies our babes be fed.

TABITH A.
If that Tofiah were with paflion fir'd,
Warm as the zeal of youth when first inspir’d;
In steady love though he might persevere,
Unchanging as the decent garb we wear,
And thou wert fickle as the wind that blows,
Light as the feather on the head of Beaus ;
Yet I for thee would all thy fex resign,
Sisters, take all the reft -- be Caleb mine.

CALEB.
Though I had all that finful love affords,
And all the concubines of all the Lords,
Whose couches creak with whoredom's sinful shame,
Whose velvet chairs are with adult'ry lame;
Evin in the harlot's hall, I would not fip
The dew of lewdness from her lying lip;
I'd fhun her paths, upon thy mouth to dwell,
More sweet than powder which the merchants fell;
O folace me with kisses

pure

like thine !
Enjoy, ye Lords, the wanton concubine.
The spring now calls us forth ; come, fifter, come,
To see the primrose and the daisie bloom.
Let ceremony bind the worldly pair,
Cifters esteem the brethren's words fincere.

TABITHA.

TABITHA.
Espousals are but forms. O lead me hence,
For secret love can never give offence.

Then hand in hand the loving mates withdraw.
True love is nature unrestrain'd by law.
This tenet all the holy sect allows ;
So Tabitha took earnest of a spouse.

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