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When Hymen, penfive and fedate,
Held o'er the fields his mufing gait.
Behind him, through the green-wood fhade,
Death's meagre form the god furvey'd;
Who quickly, with gigantic ftride,
Out-went his pace and join'd his fide,
The chat on various fubjects ran,
Till angry Hymen thus began.
Relentless death, whofe iron fway
Mortal reluctant must obey;
Still of thy pow'r fhall I complain,
And thy too partial hand arraign?
When Cupid brings a pair of hearts,
All over ftuck with equal darts,
Thy cruel shafts my hopes deride,
And cut the knot that Hymen ty'd.
Shall not the bloody and the bold,
The mifer, hoarding up his gold,
The harlot, reeking from the stew,
Alone thy fell revenge pursue?
But muft the gentle, and the kind,
Thy fury, undiftinguifh'd, find?
The monarch calmly thus reply'd;
Weigh well the caufe, and then decide.
That friend of yours you lately nam'd,
Cupid, alone is to be blam'd;
Then let the charge be juftly laid;
That idle boy neglects his trade,
And hardly once in twenty years,
A couple to your temple bears.
The wretches, whom your office blends,
Silenus now, or Plutus fends ;
Hence care, and bitterness, and ftrife,
Are common to the nuptial life.
Believe me; more than all mankind,'
Your vot❜ries my compaffion find;
Yet cruel am I call'd, and bafe,
Who feek the wretched to release;
The captive from his bonds to free,
Indiffoluble but for me.
Tis I entice him to the yoke;
By me, your crowded altars smoke:
For mortals boldly dare the noofe,
Secure that death will fet them loose.
The WOLF, the SHEEP, and the LAMB.
UTY demands, the parent's voice
Should fanctify the daughter's choice;
In that is due obedience fhewn;
To chufe belongs to her alone.
May horror feize his midnight hour,
Who builds upon a parent's pow'r,
And claims, by purchase vile and bafe,
The loathing maid for his embrace;
Hence virtue fickens; and the breast,
Where peace had built her downy neft,
Becomes the troubled feat of care,
And pines with anguifh, and defpair.
A wolf, rapacious, rough and bold,
Whose nightly plunders thin'd the fold,
Contemplating his ill-fpent life,
And cloy'd with thefts, would take a wife.
His purpose known, the favage race,
In num'rous crowds, attend the place;
For why, a mighty wolf he was,
And held dominion in his jaws.
Her fav'rite whelp each mother brought,
And humbly his alliance fought;
But cold by age, or elfe too nice,
None found acceptance in his eyes.
It happen'd, as at early dawn
He folitary crofs'd the lawn,
Stray'd from the fold, a sportive lamb
Skip'd wanton by her fleecy dam;
When Cupid, foe to man and beast,
Difcharg'd an arrow at his breast.
The tim'rous breed the robber knew,
And trembling o'er the meadow flew;
Their nimblest speed the wolf o'ertook,
And courteous, thus the dam bespoke.
Stay, faireft, and fufpend your fear,
Trust me, no enemy is near;
These jaws, in flaughter oft imbru'd,
At length have known enough of blood;
And kinder bufinefs brings me now,
Vanquish'd, at beauty's feet to bow.
You have a daughter-Sweet, forgive
A wolf's addrefs-in her I live;
Love from her eyes like light'ning came,
And fet my marrow all on flame;
Let your confent confirm my choice,
And ratify our nuptial joys.
Me ample wealth, and pow'r attend,
Wide o'er the plains my realms extend;
What midnight robber dare invade
The fold, if I the guard am made?
At home the fhepherd's curr may fleep,
While I fecure his master's fheep.
Difcourfe like this, attention claim'd;
Grandeur the mother's breast inflam'd;
Now fearless by his fide she walk'd,
Of fettlements and jointures talk'd;
Propos'd, and doubled her demands
Of flow'ry fields, and turnip-lands.
The wolf agrees. Her bofom fwells;
To Mifs her happy fate she tells;
And of the grand alliance vain,
Contemns her kindred of the plain.
The loathing lamb with horror hears,
And wearies out her dam with pray'rs ;
But all in vain ; mamma best knew
What unexperienc'd girls fhould do ;
So, to the neighb'ring meadow carry'd,
A formal afs the couple marry'd.
Torn from the tyrant-mother's fide,
The trembler goes, a victim-bride,
Reluctant, meets the rude embrace,
And bleats among the howling race.
With horror oft her eyes behold
Her murder'd kindred of the fold;
Each day a fifter-lamb is ferv'd,
And at the glutton's table carv'd;
The crashing bones he grinds for food,
And flakes his thirft with ftreaming blood.
Love, who the cruel mind detefts,
And lodges but in gentle breafts,