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J. Wale detin

(Mosley Joulp. Ye sovereign 'give

ear and understand, Thus shali lye speed and exercise Command.

Wife of Bath.

Wives

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you true.

EHOLD the woes of matrimonial life,

And hear with rev’rence an experienc'd wife! To dear-bought wisdom give the credit due, And think, for once, a woman tells In all these trials I have borne a part,

5 I was myself the scourge that caus’d the smart; For, since fifteen, in triumph have I led Five captive husbands from the church to bed.

Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture says, And saw but one, 'tis thought, in all his days; 10 Whence some infer, whose conscience is too nice, No pious Christian ought to marry twice.

But let them read, and solve me, if they can, The words address'd to the Samaritan :

Five times in lawful wedlock she was join'd; 15 And sure the certain stint was ne'er defin'd.

Encrease and multiply, was heav'n's command,
And that's a text I clearly understand.
This too, " Let men their fires and mothers leave,
« And to their dearer wives for ever cleave.” 20
More wives than one by Solomon were try'd,
Or else the wisest of mankind's bely'd.
I've had myself full many a merry fit ;
And trust in heav'n I

may
have

many yet.
For when my transitory spouse, unkind, 25
Shall die, and leave his woeful wife behind,
I'll take the next good Christian I can find.

Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn, Declar'd 'twas better far to wed than burn. There's danger in assembling fire and tow; 30 I grant 'em that, and what it means you

know, The same Apostle too has elfewhere own'd, No precept

for Virginity he found : "Tis but a counsel and we women still Take which we like, the counsel, or our will. 35 I

envy not their bliss, if he or she Think fit to live in perfect chastity ; Pure let them be, and free from taint or vice; I, for a few slight spots, am not so nice.

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