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Sad state of matters! when we dare
Nor ask for peace, nor offer war ;
Nor Livy nor Comines have shown
What in this juncture may be done.
Grotius might own, that Paulo's case is
Harder, than any which he places
Amongst his Belli and his Pacis.
He strove, alas ! but flrove in vain,
By dint of logick to maintain,
That all the sex was born to grieve,
Down to her Ladythip from Ere.
He rang'd his tropes, and preach'd-up patience,
Back’d his opinion with quotations,
Divines and Moralists; and run ye on
Quite through from Seneca to Bunyan.
As much in vain he bid her try
To fold her arms, to close her eye ;
Telling her, rest would do her good,
If any thing in nature could :
So held the Greeks quite down from Galen,
Masters and princes of the calling :
So all our modern friends maintain
(Though no great Greeks) in Warwick-lane.
Reduce, my Muse, the wandering song:
A tale should never be too long.
The more he talk'd, the more she burn'd,
And figh’d, and tost, and groan'd, and turn’d':
At last, I wish, said she, my dear
(And whisper'd something in his ear).
You wish! with on, the Doctor cries :
Lord! when will womankind be wise ?
What, in your waters ? are you mad?
Why poison is not half so bad.
I'll do it but I give you warning:
You 'll die before to-morrow morning.
'Tis kind, my dear, what you
The lady with a sigh replies !
But life, you know, at best is pain ;
And death is what we should disdain,
So do it therefore, and adieu :
For I will die for love of you.
Let wanton wives by death be scard :
But, to my comfort, I'm prepar'd.
HE sceptics think, 'twas long ago,
Since gods came down incognito,
To see who were their friends or foes,
And how our actions fell or rose :
That, since they gave things their beginning;
And set this whirligig a-spinning;
Supine they in their Heaven remain,
Exempt from passion and from pain :
And frankly leave us human elves,
To cut and Thuffle for ourselves :
To stand or walk, to rise or tumble,
As matter and as motion jumble.
The Poets now and Painters hold
This thesis both absurd and bold :
And your good-natur'd gods, they say,
Descend some twice or thrice a-day :
Else all these things we toil so hard in
Would not avail one single farthing :
For, when the hero we rehearse,
his actions and our verse;
'Tis not by dint of human thought,
That to his Latium he is brought ;
Iris descends by Fate's commands,
To guide his steps through foreign lands:
And Amphitrite clears the way
From rocks and quick-sands in the sea.
And if you see him in a sketch
(Though drawn by Paulo or Carache),
He shews not half his force and strength,
Strutting in armour, and at length :
That he may make his proper figure,
The piece must yet be four yards bigger :
The nymphs conduct him to the field;
One holds his sword, and one his shield :
Mars, standing by, afferts his quarrel;
And Fame fies after with a laurel.
These points, I say, of speculation,
(As 'twere to save or sink the nation)
Men idly-learned will dispute,
Affert, object, confirm, refute :
Each mighty angry, mighty right,
With equal arms sustains the fight;
Till now no umpire can agree 'em :
So both draw off, and fing Te Deum,
Is it in equilibrio,
if deities defcend or no?
Then let th' affirmative prevail,
As requifite to form
For by all parties 'tis confeft,
That those opinions are the best,
Which in their nature most conduce
To prefent ends, and private use.
Two gods came therefore from above,
One Mercury, the other Jove :
The humour was (it seems). to know,
If all the favours they bestow,
Could from our own perverfeness ease us ;
And our wish enjoy'd would please us.
Discourfing largely on this theme,
O’er hills and dales their godfhips came
Till, well nigh tir'd at almost night,
They thought it proper to alight.
Note here, that it as true as odd is,
That in disguise a god or goddess
Exerts no supernatural powers ;
But acts on maxims much like ours.
They spied at last a country farm,
Where all was snug, and clean, and warm ;
For woods before, and hills behind,
Secur'd it both from rain and wind :
Large oxen in the field were lowing:
Good grain was sow'd : good fruit was growing:
Of last-year's corn in barns great store :
Fat turkeys gobbling at the door :
And wealth (in fhort) with peace consented,
That people here should live contented :
But did they in effect do so?
Have patience, friend, and thou shalt know.'
The honest fariner and his wife,
To years declin'd from prime of life,
Had struggled with the marriage noofe ;
As almost every couple does :
Sometimes, my płague ! sometimes, my darling!
Kissing to-day, to-morrow snarling;
Jointly submitting to endure
That evil, which admits no cure,
Our gods the outward gate unbarrid:
Our farmer met them in the yard ;
Thought they were folks that lost their way ;
And ask'd them civily to stay :
Told them, for supper, or for bed,
They might go on, and be worse sped.
So said, so done; the gods consent :
All three into the parlour went :
They compliment; they fit; they chat;
Fight o'er the wars ; reform the state :
A thousand knotty points they clear,
Till supper and my
Jove made his leg, and kiss’d the dame :
Obsequious Hermes did the same.
Jove kiss’d the farmer's wife, you say !
He did - but in an honest way :