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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', '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.

THE

WIFE AND THE NURSE:

A NEW BALLAD.

I.

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.

II.

His wife and ancient nurse between,

Arose this wond'rous strife:
The froward Hag, his heart to win,

Contended with his wife.

JII.

His wife, an island-nymph most fair,

Bore plenty in her hand ;
A crown adorns her regal hair,

Her graces love command.

IV.

With modest dignity she stood ;

Fast down her lovely face
A stream of swelling sorrow flow'd,

A righteous cause to grace.

V.

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:

VI.

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.

VII.

Yet thus the Caitiff, proud and poor,

Our hero-judge address'd-
Thy fondness all to me assure,
« To me, who loves the best.

VIII.

“ 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.

IX.

“ Give me her clothes,” (continued she),

“ With thy assistance soon “ Her costly robe may shine on me,

“On her my rags be thrown.

X.

“ 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

care.”

XI.
This caught the judge's partial ear.

The lady of the işle
Spake next : “ Thyself at least revere,

“ And spurn this Caitiff vile.

XII.

“ With thine

my
int'rest is the

same, For thee my sailors toil; They for thy safety, pow'r, and fame, “ Enrich my spacious isle.

XIII.

“ 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.

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