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HERE liv'd in Lombardy, as authors write, T
In days of old, a wise and worthy knight ; Of gentle manners, as of gen'rous race, Bleft with much sense, more riches; and fomegrače: Yet led astray by Venus' soft delights,
5 He scarce could rule some idle appetites: For long ago, let Priests say what they cou'd, Weak sinful laymen were but flesh and blood.
But in due time, wheň sixty years were o’er, He vow'd to lead this vitious life no more; Whether
pure holiness inspir’d his mind, Or dotage turn’d his brain, is hard to find; But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed,
the pleasures of a lawful bed.
JANUARY AND MAY.] This translation was done at fix teen or feventeen years of Age. P.
This was his nightly dream, his daily care, 15
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still,
age, and bring a worthy heir ; To footh his cares, and free from noise and strife, Conduct him gently to the verge of life. Let sinful batchelors their woes deplore, Full well they merit all they feel, and more : 30 Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine, Like birds and beasts, promiscuously they join : Nor know to make the present blessing last, To hope the future, or esteem the past : But vainly boast the joys they never try'd, 35 And find divulg'd the secrets they would hide. The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease, Secure at once himself and heav'n to please ; And pass his inoffensive hours away, In bliss all night, and innocence all day: 40
Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains,
50 All other goods by fortune's hand are giv'n, A wife is the peculiar gift of heav'n, Vain fortune's favours, never at a stay, Like empty fhadows, pass, and glide away; One folid comfort, our eternal wife,
55 Abundantly supplies us all our life: This blessing lasts (if those who try, say true) As long as heart can wish---and longer too.
Our grandfire Adam, ere of Eve possess’d, Alone, and ev'n in Paradise unbless'd, 60 With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey'd, And wander'd in the solitary shade. The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God.