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Ere Hymen gives her to his longing arms !
But when he leads her to his homely cot,
And friends attendant greet the lovely pair,
With warmest wishes that they both may find
The marriage-state a state of happiness,
Oh! who can speak his bliss ? Let Fancy gaess;
For sure no pen, no pencil can describe
His joyous features : every look is love.
Nor less the fair with equal flame the burns,
And feels an equal joy. Replete with love
Her beauteous orbs appear, whether the beams
Their radiant lights around her chearful friends,
Or slily glances on the blissful swain,
With looks of cordial Love and Friendship fir'd.
O, Anna! think not this the rapt'rous strain
Of thoughtless youth, by Reason unmatur'd;
But rather view it as th' anticipation
Of our too tardy, but approaching union :
An union strict, which Death can scarce divide,
Ere twelve short months are pafsd-for time with them
Glides swift along their mutual loves receive
A tender pledge ; (the greatest gift that God
On earth can give, or they on earth receive !)
O then what rapture fills the parents hearts !
Such bliss their offspring brings, as nothing less
Than parents know, and they cannot describe.
The happy pair each day with joy behold
Some new-born beauty in their lovely babe :
The mother views the father's manly mien
Strong on the infant; while the doating fire
Fondly imagines he can well perceive
The mother's softness in his darling's smiles,
And both their virtues in his winning ways.
Each year produces such another guest,
With equal beauty, and with equal love :
Nor fear the fostring parents to provide,
(Tho' small the pittance Fortune has bestow'd)
Sufficient nurture for their lovely babes ;
For well they know the Heav'nly Father sends,
For all His children ev'ry thing they need;
And soon they learn their little hands to raise
Devout, to bow the supplicating knee,
And lisp their ev'ry want to Him who fees
The heart fincere, and grants them all they ask.
Content, that never leaves the happy pair,
Smiling receives what bounteous Heav'n bestows,
And never murmurs at the homely fare,
But genuine thanks with grateful heart returns,
Nor thinks she can do less.
Not fo the great:
Tho' both the Indies roll their choiceft ftores
Of fruits and spices grateful to the taste,
Made richer still by art, to give them food;
And tho' the purple grape, from France, from Spain,
And fair Italia's fhore, is frequent press'd,
To fill their mantling bowl with bevrage rare;
No God they thank, or own but think it due
To their distinction's favour, deem it none.
O, may the pair my Muse would fain. escribe,
Ne'er wish to taste the dainties of the great!
Nor other food receive without due thanks,
(If mortal man can give to God due thanks ;)
At leaft, such as they ought, and He requires !
Their pamp’ring viands, and their madd’ning drink,
Surcharge the streams of life, and make them flow
In grosser channels : whence the tort'ring gout,
And other various illness, take their rise;
With those unknown, or very rarely found,
Where Temperance with ceaseless care presides.
Proceed, my Muse; and fear not to defcribe
Sufficient joys in wedlock’s blissful state,
To prove it far superior to the life
Of those who fpurn at Hymen's sacred laws!
Soon as their tender offspring can discern
?Twixt right and wrong, the careful parents train
Their early minds to knowledge of the world:
Teach them to fhun the fpecious fnares of vice
With ftudious care, tho' Pleasure leads the way ;
And follow Virtue thro' the path of life,
Rugged at first, but pleasant in the end.
This leads to certain honour and renown;
While that a doubtful fame can only give,
At most, which must in final ruin end!
What pleasure to behold their godlike minds
Receive the flame of facred Liberty !
Oh! how their bosoms burn, to hear the fire
Recount the various deeds perform’d of old i
By their renown'd.ancestors ; whose great names
Are found recorded in th' historick page,
As firm protectors of their country's rights,
When despots would have made a heavy yoke,
And bow'd them to the earth !
He then instructs them rightly to discern
?Twixt those who make their country's love pretext
To introduce disorder and confusion,
That they may ravage on the various spoil ;
And those who strive, at peril of their lives,
To curb tyrannick sway, 'when princes feek
To rob the people of their legal rights.
The first--what punishment can be devis'd
Sufficiently fevere! who basely plunge
A nation into war, (nay, civil war;
Where father-brother-fon-together strive,
And seek to slay each other) that they may
Feed their curs'd ambition, never satiate ?
The last-(but o how feldom these engage
In war, reluctant when they must!) what gift
Is equal to their merit ?-Heav'n alone
Can give them just reward, as hell the other.
Next he recites, why first society
Was form’d among mankind ; that each degreç
Might give assistance to the other parts,
By mutual int'reft, mutual duty bound.
Nor less the monarch to his people owes
Protection of their property and ļives,
And—what is dearer far-their Liberties;
Than they to him allegiance just and true,
With chearful contributions for his aid,
When he requires, and whom themselves have chofe
His requisitions reasonable deem,
Pointing the way in which they may be rais'd
With greater ease by their conftituents,
Themselves likewise assisting.
Nor does the parent fond forget to teach
His children dear the duty which they owe
(Far, far above what mortal man can claim)
To God in heaven above.
For foon, with pious care, he them informs
Why man was first created how he fell
And “ who seduc'd him to the foul revolt."
Thence he explains the nature and the cause
Of fin original; by means of which
The babe of newest birth is guilty found
In God's all-pure and penetrating eye ;
And lays them down a plain confiftent scheme
Of true religion, all from Scripture drawn ;
Wherein he shews the wond'rous works that God
Has wrought for man, in ev'ry age and place;
Then tells how Christ, his dear-beloved Son,
In mercy to mankind, from heav'n came down,
(When nothing else could have appeas'd his wrath,
By various crimes of mortal man incurr’d)
And fatisfy'd th' Almighty, by his death,
For all the ans of those who Him believe,
And trust not in their own unhallow'd works,
But on his merits only place their hopes
With stedfast faith: no others will He save,
With keenest looks the zealous parent eyes
His children dear, while he to the recounts
The Son of God's unbounded love to man ;
And sees their rising doubts, and heals them as they sile,
Meanwhile the fans, with mute attention sits,
And hears her little family receive
The feeds of virtue and of science mix'd,
Instructive, by the skilful father's care;
Who gains new love from her admiring heart,
As she reflects, how juftly doth accord
Each virtuous precept that he recommends,
With what the practice of his life displays:
Not like those teachers who point out the fteep
Where Virtue's temple ftands, commending much
The situation, and the joys of those
Who reach the happy place;
But never let the wond'ring pupil see
Themselves advance to gain the blissful spot,
Tho' easy of ascent, as they relate.
Nor doth herself neglect to give advice,
Such as the can, to form their youthful minds ;
And close within her mem'ry has she kept
A pleasing store of useful precepts,
Which she fondly blends with kind embraces,
Frequently bestow'd, of overflowing love.
The daughters hear, from her inftru&tive lips,
Of chafte Lucretia's, and of Portia's fame,
With other females, who in Virtue's path
Undeviating trod, devoid of fear
From aught of pain could be on earth bestow'd,