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His dream returns; his friend appears again :
The murd'rers come, now help, or I am lain :
'Twas but a vifion still, and visions are but vain.
He dreamt the third : but now his friend appear'd
Pale, naked, pierc'd with wounds, with blood besmear'd:
Thrice warn'd, awake, said he ; relief is late,
The deed is done; but thou revenge my fate :
Tardy of aid, unseal thy heavy eyes,
Awake, and with the dawning day arise:
Take to the western gate thy ready way,
For by that passage they my corps convey :
My corps is in a tumbril laid, among
The filth, and ordure, and inclos?d with dung,
That cart arrest, and raise a common cry;
For sacred hunger of my gold, I die:
Then hew'd his griefly wound: and last he drew
A pitcous figh; and took a long adieu.
The frighted friend arose by break of day,
And found the stall where late his fellow lay,
Then of his impious host inquiring more,
Was answer'd that his gueft was gone before :
Mutt'ring he went, said he, by morning-light,
And much complain'd of his ill rest by night.
This rais’d suspicion in the pilgrim's mind;
Because all hosts are of an evil kind,
And oft to Mare the spoils with robbers join'd.
His dream confirm'd his thought: with troubled look Straight to the western
he took :
There, as his dream foretold, a.cart he found,
That carry'd compofs forth to dung the ground.
This when the pilgrim faw, he stretch'd his throat,
And cry'd out murder with a yelling note.
My murder'd fellow in this cart lies dead,
Vengeance and justice on the villain's head,
You, magiftrates, who facred laws dispense,
you I call to punish this offence.
The word thus giv'n, within a little space,
The mob came roaring out, and throng'd the place.
All in a trice they cast the cart to ground,
And in the dung the murder'd body found;
Tho' breathless, warm, and reeking from the wound.
Good heav'n, whose darling attribute we find,
mercy to mankind,
Abhors the cruel; and the deeds of night
By wond'rous ways reveals in open light:
Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time,
But tardy justice will o'ertake the crime.
And oft a speedier pain the guilty feels :
The hue and cry of heav'n pursues him at the heels,
Fresh from the fact; as in the present case,
The criminals are seiz'd upon the place :
Carter and hoft confronted face to face,
Stiff in denial, as the law appoints,
On engines they diftend their tortur'd joints :
So was confession forc'd, th' offence was known,
And public justice on th' offenders done.
Here may you see that visions are to dread;
And in the page that follows this, I read
Of two young merchants, whom the hope of gain
Induc'd in partnership to cross the main :
Waiting till willing winds their fails fupply'dy
Within a trading-town they long abide,
Full fairly situate on a haven's fide,
One ev'ning it befel, that looking out,
The wind they long had wish'd was come about;
Well pleas’d they went to reft; and if the gale
Till morn continu'd, both resolv'd to fail.
But as together in a bed they lay,
The younger had a dream at break of day.
A man he thought stood frowning at his fide:
Who warn'd him for his fafety to provide,
Nor put to fea, but fafe on shore abide.
I come, thy genius, to command thy stay;
Trust not the winds, for fatal is the day,
And death unhop'd attends the watry way.
The vision said: and vanish'd from his fight:
The dreamer waken’d in a mortal fright:
Then pullid his drowsy neighbour, and declar'd
What in his Number he had seen and heard.
His friend smil'd scornful, and with proud contempt
Rejects as idle what his fellow dreamt.
Stay, who will stay: for me no fears restrain,
Who follow Mercury the god of gain ;
Let each man do as to his fancy seems,
I wait, not I, till you have better dreams.
Dreams are but interludes which fancy makes
When monarch reason Deeps, this mimic wakes :
Compounds a medley of disjointed things,
A mob of coblers, and a court of kings:
Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad:
Both are the reasonable soul run mad :
And many monstrous forms in fleep we see,
That neither were, nor are, nor e’er can be.
Sometimes forgotten things long caft behind
Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind.
The nurse's legends are for truths receiv'd,
And the man dreams but what the boy believ’d.
Sometimes we but rehearse a former play,
The night restores our actions done by day ;
As hounds in sleep will open
In short the farce of dreams is of a piece,
Chimeras all; and more absurd, or less :
You, who believe in tales, abide alone;
Whate'er I get this voyage is
Thus while he spoke, he heard the shouting crew
That call'd aboard, and took his last adieu.
The veífel went before a merry gale,
And for quick pasage put on ev'ry fail :
But when least fear'd, and ev’n in open day,
The mischief overtook her in the way :
Whether she sprung a leak, I cannot find,
Or whether she was overset with wind,
Or that some rock below her bottom rent;
But down at once with all her crew she went:
Her fellow-ships from far her loss descry’d;
But only she was sunk, and all were safe beside.
By this example you are taught again,
That dreams and visions are not always vain:
But if, dear Partlet, you are still in doubt,
Another tale Thall make the former out.
Kenelm the son of Kenulph, Mercia's king,
Whose holy life the legends loudly fing,
Warn'd in a dream, his murder did foretel
From point to point as after it befel :
All circumstances to his nurse he told,
(A wonder from a child of sev'n years
The dream with horror heard, the good old wife
From treason counselld him to guard his life;
But close to keep the secret in his mind,
For a boy's vision small belief would find.
The pious child, by promise bound, obey'd,
Nor was the fatal murder long delay'd :
By Quenda Dain, he fell before his time,
Made a young martyr by his sister's crime.
The tale is told by venerable Bede,
Which at your better leisure, you may read.
Macrobius too relates the vision fent
To the great Scipio, with the fam'd event:
Objections makes, but after makes replies,
And adds, that dreams are often prophesies.
Of Daniel you may read in holy writ,
Who, when the king his vision did forget,
Cou'd word for word the wond'rous dream repeat.
Nor less of patriarch Joseph understand,
Who by a dream enslav'd th' Egyptian land,
years of plenty and of dearth foretold,
When, for their bread, their liberty they sold.
Nor must th' exalted butler be forgot,
Nor he whose dream presag'd his hanging lot.
And did not Cræsus the same death foresee,
Rais'd in his vision on a lofty tree?
The wife of Hector, in his utmost pride,
Dreamt of his death the night before he dy'd;
Well was he warn'd from battle to refrain,
But men to death decreed are warn’d in vain :
He dar'd the dream, and by his fatal foe was flain.
Much more I know, which I forbear to speak,
For see the ruddy day begins to break;
Let this fuffice, that plainly I foresee
My dream was bad, and bodes adversity :
But neither pills nor laxatives I like,
They only serve to make the well-man fick:
Of these his gain the sharp physician makes,
And often gives a purge, but feldom takes :
They not correct, but poison all the blood,
And ne'er did any but the doctors good.
Their tribe, trade, trinkets, I defy them all ;
With ev'ry work of ’pothecary's hall.
These melancholy matters I forbear:
But let me tell thee, Partlet mine, and swear,
That when I view the beauties of thy face,
I fear not death, nor dangers, nor disgrace :
So may my soul have bliss, as when I spy
The scarlet red about thy partridge eye,
While thou art constant to thy own true knight,
While thou art mine, and I am thy delight,
All forrow's at thy presence take their flight.
For true it is, as in principio,
Mulier eft hominis confufio.
Madam, the meaning of this Latin is,
That woman is to man his sovereign bliss.