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Retchless of laws, affects to rule alone,
Anxious to reign, and restless on the throne:
First vegetive, then seels, and reasons last;
Rich of three souls, and lives all three to waite.
Some thus; but thousands more in flow'r of age:
For few arrive to run the latter itage.
Sunk in the firít, in battle some are slain,
And others whelm'd beneath the stormy main.
What makes all this, but Jupiter the king,
At whose command we perish, and we spring ?
Then 'uis our best, since thus ordain'd to die,
To make a virtue of necessity.
Take what he gives, since to rebel is vain;
The bad grows beiter, which we well sustain;
And could we chuse the time, and chuse aright,
'Tis best to die, our honour at the height.
When we have done our ancestors no shame,
But serv'd our friends, and well secur'd our fame;
Then should we wish our happy life to close,
And leave no more for fortune to dispose:
So should we make our death a glad relief
From future shame, from sickness, and from grief :
Enjoying while we live the present hour,
And dying in our excellence and flow'r.
Then round our death-bed ev'ry friend should run,
And joyous of our conquest early won:
While the malicious world with envious tears
Shou'd grudge our happy end, and wish it theirs.
Since then our Arcite is with honour dead,
Why should we mourn, that he so soon is freed,
Or call untimely, what the Gods decreed?
With grief as jult, a friend may be deplor’d,
From a foul priton to free air restor'd.
Ought he to thank his kinsman or his wife,
Cou'd tears recall him into wretched life?
Their sorrow hurts themselves; on him is lost;
And worse than both, offends his happy ghost.
What then remains, but, after past annoy,
To take the good viciffitude of joy?
To thank the gracious Gods for what they give,
Possess our souls, and while we live, to live?
Ordain we then two sorrows to combine,
And in one point th’extremes of grief to join;
That thence resulting joy may be renew'd,
As jarring notes in harmony conclude.
Then I propose that Palamon Mall be
In marriage join'd with beauteous Emily;
For which already I have gain'd th' affent
Of my free people in full parliament.
Long love to her has born the faithful knight,
And well deserv'd, had fortune done him right:
'Tis time to mend her fault; since Emily
By Arcite's death from former vows is free:
If you, fair filter, ratify th'accord,
And take him for
your nd, and your lord,
'Tis no dishonour to confer your grace
On one descended from a royal race:
And were he less, yet years of service past
From grateful souls exact reward at last:
Pity is heav'n's and your's; nor can he find
A throne so soft as in a woman's mind.
He said; the bluth'd; and as o'er-aw'd by mighe,
Seem'd to give Theseus what she gave the knight.
Then turning to the Theban thus he said;
Small arguments are needful to persuade
Your temper to comply with my command';
And speaking thus, he gave Emilia's hand.
Smild Venus, to behold her own true knight
Obtain the conqueft, tho' he loft the fight;
And bless'd with nuptial bliss the sweet laborious night.
Eros, and Anteros, on either side,
One fir'd the bridegroom, and one warm'd die bride;
And long-attending Hymen from above,
Show'r'd on the bed the whole Idalian grove.
All of a tenor was their after-life,
No day discolour'd with domestic ftrife ;
No jealousy, but mutual truth believ'd,
Secure repose, and kindness undeceiv'd.
Thus Heav'n, beyond the compass of his thought,
Sent him the blessing he so dearly bought.
So may the Queen of love long duty bless,
And all true lovers find the fame success.
TALE of the NUN's PRIEST.
HERE liv'd, as authors tell, in days of yore,
A widow somewhat old, and very poor :
Deep in a cell her cottage lonely stood,
Well thatch'd, and under covert of a wood.
This dowager, on whom my tale I found,
Since last she laid her husband in the ground,
A simple sober life, in patience, led,
And had but just enough to buy her bread :
But huswifing the little Heav'n had lent,
She duly paid a groat
And pinch'd her belly, with her daughters two,
To bring the year about with much ado.
The cattle in her homestead were three sows,
An ewe callid Mally, and three brinded cows.
Her parlour-window stuck with herbs around,
Of fav'ry smell ; and rushes strew'd the ground.
A maple-dresser in her hall The had,
On which full many a slender meal she made ;
For no delicious morsel pass'd her throat;
According to her cloth he cut her coat:
No poynant sauce she knew, nor costly treat,
Her hunger gave a relish to her meat:
A sparing diet did her health assure ;
Or fick, a pepper posset was her cure.
Before the day was done, her work she sped,
And never went by candle light to bed:
With exercise she sweat ill humours out,
Her dancing was not hinder'd by the gout.
Her poverty was glad; her heart content,
Nor knew he what the spleen or vapours meant.
Of wine she never tasted through the year,
But white and black was all her homely chear :
Brown bread, and milk, (but first she skim'd her bowls)
And rashers of sing'd bacon on the coals.
On holy days an egg, or two at most;
But her ambition never reach'd to roast.
A yard she had with pales enclos’d about,
Some high, some low, and a dry ditch without.
Within this homestead, liv’d, without a peer,
For crowing loud, the noble Chanticleer;
So hight her cock, whose singing did surpass
The merry notes of organs at the mass.
More certain was the crowing of the cock
To number hours, than is an abbey-clock;
And sooner than the mattin-bell was rung,
He clap'd his wings upon his rooft, and sung:
For when degrees fifteen ascended right,
By sure instinct he knew 'twas one at night.
High was his comb, and coral-red withal,
In dents embattell'd like a castle wall;
His bill was raven-black, and shone like jet;
Blue were his legs, and orient were his feet:
White were his nails, like silver to behold,
His body glitt'ring like the burnish'd gold.
This gentle cock, for solace of his life
Six misses had, besides his lawful wife;
Scandal that spares no king, tho' ne'er so good,
Says, they were all of his own flesh and blood,
His sisters both by fire and mother's side ;
And sure their likeness Thow'd them near ally'd.