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But on those terms receive the blessing.
Till thou'rt on earth, forbear possessing.
He who has play'd like thee in hell,
Might e'en do t'other thing as well;
And shades of our eternal night
Were not design'd for such delight.
Therefore, if such in hell thou usest,
Thy spouse immediately thou losest.
Quoth Orpheus, I am manacled, I see:
You and your gift be damn'd, thought he;
And shall be, if my skill don't fail me,
And if the devil does not ail me.
Now Orpheus saw importance free,
By which once more a slave was he.
The damned changed presently their notes.
And stretch'd with hideous howl their throats;
And two and two together link'd,
Their chains with horrid music clink'd;
And in the concert, yell and fetlock
Express'd the harmony of wedlock.
He, by command, then lugg'd his dowdy
To Acheron, with many a how-d'ye ;
But, as the boat was tow'rd them steering,
The rogue with wicked ogle leering,
Darted at her fiery glances,
Which kindled in her furious fancies,
Her heart did thick as any drum beat,
Alarming Amazon to combat.
He soon perceives it, and too wise is
Not to lay hold on such a crisis:
His moiety on the bank he threw,
Whilst thousand devils look'd askew.
Thus spouse, who knew what long repentance
Was to ensue by Pluto's sentence,
* There seems some error here, but such is Dr. Barrett's text.
Could not forbear her recreation
One poor half day, to avoid damnation.
Her from his arms the Furies wrung,
And into hell again they flung.
He singing thus, repass'd the ferry,-
"Since spouse is damn'd, I will be merry."
OR THE ORIGINAL OF HORN FAIR.
SOME time about the month of July, Or else our ancient authors do lie, Diana, whom poetic noddies Would have us think to be some goddess, (Though, in plain truth, a witch she was, Who sold grey pease at Ratcliff Cross,) Went to the upsetting of a neighbour, Having before been at her labour. The gossips had of punch a bowlful, Which made them all sing, O be joyful! A folly took them in the noddle, Their over-heated bums to coddle; So they at Limehouse took a sculler, And cramm'd it so, no egg was fuller. With tide of ebb, they got to Eriff, Where Punchinello once was sheriff, Our jovial crew then made a halt, To drink some Nantz, at what d'ye call't. And thence, if any cared a fart for't, Went to a stream that comes from Dartford;
Where all unrigg'd, in good decorum,
As naked as their mothers bore them;
And soon their tattling did outdo
An Irish howl or hubbubboo.
"O la," cries one, to joke the aptest,
"Methinks I'm grown an Anabaptist;
If to be dipped, to Grace prefers,
I'm graced and soused o'er head and ears.”
Whilst thus she talk'd, all of a sudden
They grew as mute as hasty-pudding:
Daunted at th' unexpected sounds
Of hollaing men and yelping hounds,
Who soon came up, and stood at bay
At those who wish'd themselves away.
But, to increase their sad disaster,
After the curs appear'd their master;
Actæon named, a country gent,
Who, hard by somewhere, lived in Kent;
And hunting loved more than his victuals,
And cry of hounds, 'bove sound of fiddles.
He saw his dogs neglect their sport,
Having sprung game of better sort;
Which put him in a fit of laughter,
Not dreaming what was coming after.
Bless me! how the young lecher stared!
How pleasingly the spark was scared!
With hidden charms his eyes he fed,
And to our females thus he said:
"Hey, jingo! what the de'il's the matter;
Do mermaids swim in Dartford water?
The poets tell us, they have skill in
That sweet melodious art of singing:
If to that tribe you do belong,
Faith, ladies, come,-let's have a song.
What, silent! ne'er a word to spare me?
Nay, frown not, for you cannot scare me.
Ha, now I see you are mere females,
Made to delight and pleasure us males.
Faith, ladies, do not think me lavish,
If five or six of you I ravish.
I'gad, I must." This did so frighten
The gossips, they seem'd thunder-smitten.
At last Diana takes upon her
To vindicate their injured honour;
And by some necromantic spells,
Strong charms, witchcraft, or something else,
In twinkling of the shell of oyster,
Transmogrified the rampant royster
Into a thing some call a no-man,
Unfit to love or please a woman.
The poets, who love to deceive you,
(For, once believe them, who'd believe you?)
Say that, to quench his lecherous fire,
Into a stag she changed the squire;
Which made him fly, o'er hedges skipping,
Till his own hounds had spoil'd his tripping.
But I, who am less given to lying,
Than jolly rakes to think of dying,
Do truly tell you here between us,
She only spoil'd the spark for Venus;
Which soon his blood did so much alter,
He cared for love less than for halter:
No more the sight of naked beauty
Could prompt his vigour to its duty:
And in this case, you may believe,
He hardly stay'd to take his leave.
He had a wife, and she, poor woman,
Soon found in him something uncommon.
In vain she strived, young, fair, and plump,
To rouse to joy the senseless lump.
She from a drone, alas! sought honey,
And from an empty pocket money.
Thus used, she for her ease contrives
That sweet revenge of slighted wives;
And soon of horns a pair most florid
Were by her grafted on his forehead;
At sight of which his shame and anger
Made him first curse, then soundly bang her.
And then his rage, which overpower'd him,
Made poets say, his dogs devour'd him.
At Cuckold's Point he died with sadness;
(Few in his case now shew such madness ;)
Whilst gossips, pleased at his sad case,
Straight fixed his horns just on the place,
Lest the memory on't should be forgotten,
When they, poor souls, were dead and rotten ;
And then from queen Dick got a patent,
On Charlton Green to set up a tent ;
Where once a-year, with friends from Wapping,
They tell how they were taken napping.
The following age improved the matter,
And made two dishes of a platter,
The tent where they used to repair,
Is now become a jolly fair;
Where, every eighteenth of October,
Comes citizen demure and sober,
With basket, shovel, pickaxe, stalking,
To make a way for's wife to walk in :
Where, having laid out single money,
In buying horns for dearest honey,
O'er furmity, pork, pig, and ale,
They cheer their souls, and tell this tale.