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The only Woman that has Pow'r to kill,
And yet is good enough to want the Will ;
Who needs no soft alluring Words repeat:
Nor study'd Looks of languishing Deceit.
Fantastick Beauty, always in the wrong,
Still thinks some Pride must to its Pow'r belong ;
An Air affected and a haughty Mien ;
Something that seems to say, I would be seen.
But of all Womankind this only She
Full of its Charms, and from its Frailty free,
Deserves some nobler Muse her Fame to raise,
By making the whole Sex beside, herPyramid of Praise.
She, She appear'd, the Source of all my Joys ;
The dearest Care that all my Thought employs :
Gently she look'd, as when I left her last;
When first she seiz'd my Heart, and held it fast;
When, if my Vows, alas ! were made too late,
I saw my Doom came not from her, but Fate.
With Pity then she eas'd my raging Pain,
And her kind Eyes could scarce from Tears refrain :
Why gentle Swain, said she, why do you grieve
In Words I should not hcar, much lets believe?
Igaze on that which is a Fault to mind,
And ought to fly the Dangci which I find :
Of false Mankind tho’you inay be the best,
Ye all have robb'd poor Women of thcir Rcft.
I see your Pain, and see it too with Grief,
Because I would, yet must not give Relief
Thus, for a Husband's sake; as well as yours:
My scrup’lous Soul divided Pain endures;
Guilty, alas, to both ; for thus I do
Too much for him, yet not enough for you.
Give over then, give over, hapless Swain,
A Passion moving, but a Pallion vain.
Not Chance, nor Time Thall ever change my Thoughts
'Tis better much to die, than do a Fault.
Oh worse than ever! Is it then my Doom
Just to see Heav'n, where I must never come?
Your soft Compassion, if not something more :
Yet I remain as wretched as before :
The Wind indeed is fair, but ah! no Sight of Shore.
Farewel, too scrup'lous Fair-one, oh farewel,
What Torments I endure, no Tongue can tell ;
Thank Heav'n my Fate transports me now, where I
Your Martyr may with Ease and Safety die.
With that I kneeld, and seiz'd her tremblingHand,
While she impos'd this cruel kind Command :
Live and love on; you will be true I know,
But live then, and come back to tell me so;
For tho’I blush at this last guilty Breath,
I can endure that better than your Death.
Tormenting Kindness! Barbarous Reprieve!
Condemn'd to die, and yet compell’d to live!
This tender Scene my Dream repeated o’er, Just as it pass’d in real Truth before. Methought I then fell grov'ling to the Ground, Till on a sudden rais’d, I wond'ring found
A strange Appearance all in taintless White; His Form gave Rev'rence, and his Face Delight: Goodness and Greatness in his Eyes were seen ; Gentle his Look, and affable his Mien. A kindly Notice of me thus he took ; “What mean these flowing Eyes, this ghastly Look? “These trembling Joints, this loose disheveld Hair, “And this cold Dew, the Drops of deep Despair?
With Grief and Wonder first my Spirits faint, But thus at last I vented my Complaint. Behold a Wretch whom cruel Fate has found, And in the Depth of all Misfortune drown'd. There shines a Nymph, to whom an envy'd Swain Is ty'd in HYMEN's ceremonious Chain, But cloy’d with Charms of such a Marriage-Bed, And fed with Manna, yet he longs for Bread; And will, most Husband-like, not only range For Love perhaps of nothing else but Change ; But to inferiour Beauty prostate lics, And courts her Love, in scorn of FLAVIA's Eyes.
All this I knew, (the Form divinc reply'd)
And did but ask to have thy Temper try'd,
sincere. Of both I know the Mind,
She is too scrupulous, and thou too kind:
But since thy fatal Love's for ever fix’d,
Whatever Time or Absence come betwixt;
Since thy fond Heart ev'n her Disdain prefers
To others Love, I'll foniething soften hers;
Else in the Search of Virtue she
Well-mcaning Mortals should not lose their Way.
She now indeed fins on the safer Side,
For Hearts too loose are never to be ty'd ;
But no Extremes are either good or wise;
And in the midst alone truc Virtue lies.
When Marriage-Vows unite an equal Pair,
'Tis a meer Contract, made by humane Care,
By which they both are for Convenience ty’d;
The Eridegroom yet more strictly than the Bride ;
For Circumstances alter ev'ry Ill,
And Woman meets with most Temptation still ;