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Fruitful fufpicions often bear 'em,
You feel them from the time you fear 'em.
Cuckoo Cuckoo! that echoed word,
Offends the ear of vulgar bird ;
But those of finer tafte have found,
There's nothing in 't beside the sound
Preferment always waits on horns,
And houfhold peace the gift adorns
This way, or that, let factions tend,
The fpark is ftill the cuckold's friend ;
This way, or that, let madam roam,
Well pleas'd and quiet fhe comes home.
Now weigh the pleasure with the pain,
The plus and minus, loss and gain,
And what La Fontaine laughing says,
Is ferious truth, in fuch a cafe;
Who flights the evil, finds it least ;
"And who does nothing, does the best."
I never ftrove to rule the roaft,
She ne'er refus'd to pledge my toast :
In vifits if we chanc'd to meet,
I seem'd obliging, she discreet;
We neither much carefs'd nor ftrove,
The Three kind Sisters broke the chain,
She dy'd, I mourn'd, and woo'd again.
T. Let me with jufter grief deplore
My dear Columbo, now no more;
Let me with conftant tears bewail —
S. Your forrow does but spoil my tale.
My fiftb, the prov'd a jealous wife,
Lord fhield us all from fuch a life!
'Twas doubt, complaint, reply, chit-chat,
'Twas this, to-day; to-morrow, that.
Sometimes, forfooth, upon the brook
I kept a Mifs; an honest Rook
Told it a Snipe, who told a Steer,
Who told it those who told it her.
One day a Linnet and a Lark
Had met me ftrolling in the dark;
The next a Woodcock and an Owl,
Quick-fighted, grave, and fober fowl,
Would on their corporal oath alledge,
I kiss'd a Hen behind the hedge.
Well; madam Turtle, to be brief,
(Repeating but renews our grief)
As once the watch'd me from a rail,
(Poor foul!) her footing chanc'd to fail,
And down the fell, and broke her hip;
The fever came, and then the pip:
Death did the only cure apply;
She was at quiet, fo was I.
T. Could Love unmov'd thefe changes view? His forrows, as his joys, are true.
S. My dearest Dove, one wife man says, Alluding to our present cafe,
"We're here to-day, and gone to-morrow :'
Then what avails fuperfluous forrow!
Another, full as wife as he,
Adds; that "a marry'd man may fee
"Two happy hours;" and which are they? The first and laft, perhaps you'll say.
'Tis true, when blithe fhe goes to bed, And when the peaceably lies dead,
"Women 'twixt fheets are beft, 'tis faid,
Be they of holland, or of lead."
Now, cur'd of Hymen's hopes and fears,
And fliding down the vale of years,
I hop'd to fix my future reft,
And took a Widow to my nest.
(Ah, Turtle! had she been like thee,
Sober, yet gentle; wife, yet free !)
But she was peevish, noisy, bold,
A witch ingrafted on a scold.
Jove in Pandora's box confin'd
A hundred ills, to vex mankind:
To vex one bird, in her bandore,
He had at least a hundred more.
And, foon as Time that veil withdrew,
The plagues o'er all the parish flew ;
Her stock of borrow'd tears grew dry,
And native tempefts arm'd her eye;
Black clouds around her forehead hung,
And thunder rattled on her tongue.
We, young or old, or Cock or Hen,
All liv'd in Æolus's den;
The nearest her, the more accurft,
Ill far'd her friends, her husband worst.
But Jove amidst his anger spares,
Remarks our faults, but hears our prayers.
In short, fhe dy'd. Why then she 's dead,
Quoth I, and once again I 'll wed.
Would heaven, this mourning year were past!
One may have better luck at last.
Matters at worst are fure to mend,
The Devil's Wife was but a fiend.
T. Thy Tale has rais'd a Turtle's fpleen, Uxorious inmate! bird obfcene!
Dar'ft thou defile thefe facred groves,
Thefe filent feats of faithful loves?
Be gone, with flagging wings fit down
On fome old pent-house near the town;
In brewers' ftables peck thy grain,
Then wash it down with puddled rain;
And hear thy dirty offspring fquall
To Cities and to Courts repair, Flattery and Falfehood flourish there; There all thy wretched arts employ, Where riches triumph over joy ;
Where Paffion does with Interest barter,
And Hymen holds by Mammon's charter;
Where Truth by point of Law is parry'd,
And Knaves and Prudes are fix times marry'd.
Written long after the T A LE.
O dearest Daughter of two dearest Friends,
To thee my Muse this little Tale commends.
Loving and lov'd, regard thy future mate,
Long love his person, though deplore his fate;
Seem young when old in thy dear husband's arms,
For conftant Virtue has immortal charms.
And, when I lie low fepulchred in earth,
And the glad year returns thy day of birth,
Vouchsafe to fay, "Ere I could write or spell,
"The bard, who from my cradle wish'd me well,
"Told me I fhould the prating Sparrow blame,
"And bad me imitate the Turtle's flame."
* Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, daughter of Edward earl of Oxford, and afterwards Duchefs of Portland.