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In vain the gibbet or the pillory claim
But I detain you with these tedious lays,
WIFE AND THE NURSE:
A NEW BALLAD.
VICE once with Virtue did engage,
To win Jove's conqu’ring son; So, for th' Alcides of our age,
As strange a fray begun.
His wife and ancient nurse between,
Arose this wond'rous strife:
Contended with his wife.
His wife, an island-nymph most fair,
Bore plenty in her hand ;
Her graces love command.
With modest dignity she stood ;
Fast down her lovely face
A righteous cause to grace.
The tatter'd nurse, of aspect grum,
Look'd prouder still than poor, With lofty airs inspir’d by-mum
The queen of beggars, sure:
Mud was her dwelling, lean her plight,
Her life on heaths she led ; With wreaths of turnip-tops bedight;
Her eyes were dull as lead.
Yet thus the Caitiff, proud and poor,
Our hero-judge address'd-
“ I am thy aged nurse, so kind,
“ Who ne'er did cross thy will; Thy wife to all thy charms is blind, “ Perverse and thwarting still.
“ Give me her clothes,” (continued she),
“ With thy assistance soon “ Her costly robe may shine on me,
“On her my rags be thrown.
“ Seize on her store of boasted gold,
“ Which she with jealous fear “ From thee still grudging would with-hold,
66 And trust it to my
The lady of the işle
“ And spurn this Caitiff vile.
“ With thine
same, “For thee my sailors toil; They for thy safety, pow'r, and fame, “ Enrich my spacious isle.
“ Think too upon thy solemn vow,
“When thou didst plight thy love, “ Thou cam'st to save me; wilt thou now
Thy self my ruin prove ?
XIV. “ How was I courted, how ador'd !
“ More happy as thy bride ; “ For thee, my safeguard, love and lord,
“I slighted all beside.
XV. “ Do thou still act a guardian's part,
“ Nor be thy love estrang'd ; “ Treat me but kindly, and my heart
“ Shall e'er remain unchang'd.