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Contemplating his ill-spent life,
And cloy'd with thefts, would take a wife.
His purpose known, the favage race,
In num'rous crowds, attend the place;
For why, a mighty wolf he was,
And held dominion in his jaws.
Her fav’rite whelp each mother brought,
And humbly his alliance fought ;
But cold by age, or else too nice,
None found acceptance in his eyes.
It happen'd, as at early dawn
He solitary cross’d the lawn,
Stray'd from the fold, a sportive lamb -
Skip'd wanton by her fleecy dam;
When Cupid, foe to man and beast,
Discharg’d an arrow at his breaft.
The tim'rous breed the robber knew, And trembling o'er the meadow flew; Their nimblest speed the wolf o'ertook, And courteous, thus the dam bespoke.
Stay, faireft, and suspend your fear, Trust no enemy is rear; These jaws, in slaughter oft imbru'd, At length have known enough of blood; And kinder business brings me now, Vanquish'd, at beauty's feet to bow. You have a daughter-Sweet, forgive A wolf's address in her I live;
Love from her eyes like lightning came,
And set my marrow all on flame ;
Let your consent confirm my choice,
And ratify our nuptial joys.
Me ample wealth, and pow'r attend,
Wide o'er the plains my realms extend;
What midnight robber dare invade
The fold, if I the guard am made ?
At home the shepherd's curr may Aleep,
While I secure his master's sheep.
Discourse like this, attention claim'd;
Grandeur the mother's breast inflam'd;
Now fearless by his side she walk’d,
Of settlements and jointures talk’d;
Propos'd, and doubled her demands
Of flow'ry fields, and turnip-lands.
Her bosom swells;
To Miss her happy fate the tells;
And of the grand alliance vain,
Contemns her kindred of the plain.
The loathing lamb with horror hears,
And wearies out her dam with pray’rs ;
But all in vain ; mamma best knew
What unexperienc'd girls should do ;
So, to the neighb'ring meadow carry'd,
A formal ass the couple marry’d.
Torn from the tyrant-mother's side,
The trembler goes, a victim-bride,
Reluctant, meets the rude embrace,
the howling race. With horror eft her
Her murder'd kindred of the fold;
Each day a sister-lamb is serv’d,
And at the glutton's table carv'd;
The crashing bones he grinds for food,
And flakes his thirst with streaming blood.
Love, who the cruel mind detests,
And lodges but in gentle breasts,
Was now no more. Enjoyment past,
The favage hunger'd for the feast;
But (as we find in human race,
A mak conceals the villain's face)
Justice must authorize the treat ;
'Till then he long'd, but durft not eat,
As forth he walk'd, in quest of prey,
The hunters met him on the way;
Fear wings his flight; the marsh he fought;
The snuffing dogs are set at fault.
His stomach baulk’d, now hunger gnaws,
Howling, he grinds his empty jaws ;
Food must be had, and lamb is nigh;
His maw invokes the fraudful lie.
Is this (diffembling rage, he cry'd)
The gentle virtue of a bride?
That, leagu'd with man's destroying race,
She sets her husband for the chace ?
By treach'ry prompts the noisy hound
To fcent his footsteps on the ground?
Thou trait'ress vile! for this thy blood
Shall glut my rage, and dye the wood!
So saying, on the lamb he flies,
Beneath his jaws the victim dies.
OON as the morning trembles o’er the sky,
And, unperceiv’d, unfolds the spreading day ;
Before the ripened field the reapers ftand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop, and swell the lusty fheaves;
While thro' their chearful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal unfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks;
And conscious, glancing oft on every fide
His fated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick,
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fling
From the full fheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think!
How good the God of Harvest is to you ;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields ;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of heaven, ,