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In vain the gibbet or the pillory claim

The wretch who blasts a helpless virgin's fame.
Where laws are dup'd, 'tis nor unjust nor mean
To seize the proper time for honest spleen.
An open candid foe I could not hate,

Nor even insult the base in humbled state;
But thriving malice tamely to forgive-
'Tis somewhat late to be so primitive.

But I detain you with these tedious lays,
Which few perhaps would read, and fewer praise.
No matter: could I please the polish'd few
Who taste the serious or the gay like you,
The squeamish mob may find my verses bare
Of every grace-but curse me if I care.
Besides, I little court Parnassian fame;
There's yet a better than a poet's name.
'Twould more indulge my pride to hear it said
That I with you the paths of honour tread,
Than that amongst the proud poetic train
No modern boasted a more classic vein,
Or that in numbers I let loose my song,
Smooth as the Thames, and as the Severn strong.





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:

The froward Hag, his heart to win,

Contended with his wife.


His wife, an island-nymph most fair,

Bore plenty in her hand;

A crown adorns her regal hair,
Her graces love command.


With modest dignity she stood;

Fast down her lovely face

A stream of swelling sorrow flow'd,
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.

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"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,

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"Seize on her store of boasted gold,

"Which she with jealous fear

"From thee still grudging would with-hold,

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This caught the judge's partial ear.

The lady of the işle

Spake next: "Thyself at least revere,

"And spurn this Caitiff vile.


"With thine my int'rest is the same,

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"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?


"How was I courted, how ador'd!

"More happy as thy bride;

"For thee, my safeguard, love and lord,

"I slighted all beside.


"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.

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