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So they might leave a spotless name behind.
With nicest kill, as they advance in life,
Full oft she probes their youthful hearts, to find
If Love's infinuating flame perchance has stole
Within their gentle, unsuspecting breasts ;
And frequent warns them ftudiously to guard
Against the wiles of that false traitor—MAN;
Who, like th' ungrateful monfter of the Nile,
Seeks their compaffion first, and then destroys.
Not that all men unfaithful are in love,
Or that she wishes they should never know
The bliss which flows from love with love repaid ;
But well the knows how seldom those are true,
Who seek in privacy to gain the hearts
Of unsuspecting innocence and youth,
Without consulting those, whom ev'ry tie,
Of duty-honour--and advantage too,
Requires them to solicit for the prize.
And who, that worthy wears the human form,
When real worth permission alks to sue,
With proffer'd hand, and undisguised heart,
('Gainst whom not Calumny herself can raise
A fingle blemish to detract his fame,
The fair approving, too, the honest suit)
Will dare refuse the privilege he seeks?
If such there are, no treason to revolt;
Withdrawn their duty, your allegiance, too,
Is equally withdrawn, with greater right.
But, ah! be cautious duty to withdraw;
Left in your eye alone his virtues reign,
While all befides can see the man of vice!
For think what pangs of fad remorfe muft wring
The hearts of those, whose stubborness hath wrought
The woe of friends of parents and themselves !
While thus employ'd, in grafting Virtue's fruit Upon their youthful minds, the parents feel,
Within the compass of one short-liv'd hour,
More real joy than singleness can know
Throughout a life of many tedious years :
But when they see their progeny improve
In virtuous practice what their precepts taught;
Behold them blaze, as constellations bright,
In ev'ry sphere which Nature has affign's ;
Whether to join the noisy din of war,
Or ferve their country and their king at home;
Let not th' unmarry'd dotard think he knows
A single thought sufficiently refind
To guess the bliss thế ravish'd parents feel !
Nor to th' exalted date of bliss supreme Which duteous children to their parents gives (Tho' far beyond th' expression of the Mase) Is happiness of wedded life confin'd. A thousand nameless pleasures, ev'ry hour, Receive their birth, unknown, perhaps, before ; Whether in converse sweet they spend their time, Around their chearful hearth, while Winter reigns, Repeating all their former tales of love ; Or walk along the gay enameli'd meads, When vernal Spring has scented o'er the fields, Admiring Nature's works, and giving praise, (For all His gifts) where praise, alone, is due.
Sometimes they wander through the leafy grove Where first their mutual passion was disclos'd, And with excess of happiness elate, Carol their Maker as they pass along; While from the spray the listning fongsters bend, With admiration of their notes divine, And inftant close their own enchanting fong, Fearful to sing in less harmonious strains.
Oft they bemoan the feather'd warblers fate, Who, robb’d by froward youths, deplore the loss,
many a plaintive note, of eggs or young;
And frequently they warn their children dear,
That they engage not in such cruel sports.
Within their cot no death-fraught tube is found,
No wiry prison to confine the wings
By Nature made to fit the boundless air:
With freedom bless'd themselves, they wish all free!
What, though their little tenement contains
Scarce room, perhaps, for children and themselves,
Gladly they ope the hospitable door,
To give the wearied traveller repose.
For, though not bless'd with Fortune's richest gifts,
(And Fortune's gifts are blessings to mankind,
When used for the purpose they were given)
Enough they have, and freely do bestow
The little they can spare to those who need;
And where they cannot give sufficient aid,
With tears they wail their fellow-mortals woe,
And heal those griefs witli sweet Religion's balm,
Beyond their power to cure by other means.
Their gentle offspring, too, with mournful looks,
And pitying accents, sympathize distress ;
And reach with eager hands their own support,
To feed the stranger destitute of food.
O learn from these, ye great ones of the earth,
The brightest virtue of the human mind;
Nor let thé vagrant poor be driv'n away,
(Tho’ deem'd offenders 'gainst our well-meant laws)
Unheard, unfed, unpitied, from your gates!
know what motives
An honest man to wander from his home;
What fad oppressions may have driv’n him thence,
Guiltless, perhaps, but forc’d, with aching heart,
To quit the tenderest ties, and seek fupport
From fellow-christians, through his native land!
But chiefly strive- let the Muse prevail !-
To find out merit struggling with distress;
Nor let the widow's tears in secret shed,
Nor tender orphan's cries, nor age's moans,
In vain apply to Heav'n and you for aid:
So fall your days on earth with
peace be crown'd, And Heav'n reward you, when ye quit this life, With bliss eternal in the realms above!
E'en should Oppression, with his iron hand,
A Mict the gentle pair with fad distress,
Arm’d by Religion, they resist his force,
And smile beneath the torture he inflicts :
Or does the loathed breath of sickness reach
(For who can boast exemption from disease!)
The lovely fair, and blight the crimson rose
That lately flourish'd in her now pale cheek;
With equal paleness the true partner fits,
And checks the struggling figh, and stops the tear,
Which Nature, fcorning the diffembler's part,
Tho' e'en in Virtue's cause, still quick returns;
Till, with united and increafing force,
No longer able to sustain the assauit,
His labouring bosom swells, his eyes o'erflow,
And quick retiring from the mournful scene,
'tis death to leave, filent he goes, And yields to all the luxury of grief.
Yet still, with genial warmth, the sun of Hope
Drinks up the dew shed in Afiation's night,
While with a momentary gleam it breaks
Through the thick clouds collected by Defpair.
Then back he haftes, assumes a chearfyl look,
And speaks, with seeming confidence, that peace
To the afflicted fair, which his own breast,
Heal'd as it is from the extreme of grief,
Still more than half disowns; till he believes,
Almost, himself, spite of the change he sees,
Far distant yet the irresistless stroke,
Which must, he knows, and oft with tears has mourn'd,
(With mingled tears, e’en in their gayest hours,
Shed by the blissful pair) one day divide
(Ah! be it distant far!) their ever-faithful loves !
But when, at length, the awful period comes,
(And come it muft to all of human birth,
Till the last trump, tremendous, shall proclaim
The all-fubduing king himself fubdu'd,
And trembling mortals fearful shall await-
mercy, Heav'n!-th’ irrevocable doom,
Which else must plunge millions of million souls
In never-ending pain !) that quite cuts off
Each cherish'd ray of oft-deceiving Hope,
then what pangs, unutterable pangs!
Torture the partner-heart, that vainly strives,
With unassuaged grief to melt away,
And join it's dear, lamented counterpart,
In those bless'd realms where forrow is no inore!
O, Anna! whither has the vagrant Muse
My devious footsteps led!—Ah, fearful state!'
Methinks I hear you cry, “if these the scenes,
And falsely call'd of joy !--- Alas! what pangs
• Has Heav'n provided for the human heart,
• If these, which in description rive the breast,
• Are rightly nam'd-PLEASURES OF WEDDED LOVE?''
' Still mix'd with grief,' the injur'd Muse replies, • Is all of human joy: fo Heav'n ordain'd, • When disobedient man untimely broke - The sole command that limited each wish, ' And snatch'd the fruit but for his good witheld. • E'er fince, compassionate to human woe, As, from this fatal breach, all mortal fleth