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The rage of jealousy then feiz'd his mind, For much he fear'd the faith of womankind. His wife not fuffer'd from his fide to stray, Was captive kept, he watch'd her night and day, Abridg'd her pleasures, and confin'd her fway. Full oft in tears did hapless May complain, And figh'd full oft; but figh'd and wept in vain; She look'd on Damian with a lover's eye; For oh, 'twas fixt; fhe must possess or die! Nor less impatience vex'd her am'rous Squire, Wild with delay, and burning with defire. Watch'd as he was, yet could he not refrain By fecret writing to difclofe his pain; The dame by figns reveal'd her kind intent, Till both were confcious what each other meant.


Argus himself, fo cautious and fo wife,
Was over-watch'd, for all his hundred
So many an honeft husband may, 'tis known,
Who, wifely, never thinks the cafe his own.

The dame at laft, by diligence and care,
Procur'd the key her knight was wont to bear;
She took the wards in wax before the fire,
And gave th' impreffion to the trusty Squire.
By means of this, fome wonder fhall appear,
Which, in due place and feafon, you may hear.

K 2


Ah, gentle knight, what would thy eyes avail,
Tho' they could fee as far as fhips can fail?
'Tis better, fure, when blind, deceiv'd to be,
Than be deluded when a man can fee!





Well fung sweet Ovid, in the days of yore,
What flight is that, which love will not explore?
And Pyramus and Thisbe plainly show

The feats true lovers, when they lift, can do:
Tho' watch'd and captive, yet in spite of all,
They found the art of kiffing through a wall.
But now no longer from our tale to stray;
It hap'd that once upon a fummer's day,
Our rev'rend Knight was urg'd to am'rous play:
He rais'd his fpoufe ere Matin-bell was rung,
And thus his morning canticle he fung.

Awake, my love, disclose thy radiant eyes;
Arife, my wife, my beauteous lady, rife!
Hear how the doves with penfive notes complain,
And in foft murmurs tell the trees their pain:
The winter's paft; the clouds and tempefts fly;
The fun adorns the fields, and brightens all the fky.
Fair without fpot, whofe ev'ry charming part 531
My bofom wounds, and captivates my heart;
Come, and in mutual pleasures let's engage,
Joy of my life, and comfort of my age.

This heard, to Damian ftraight a fign fhe made, To hafte before; the gentle Squire obey'd: Secret and undefcry'd he took his way, And ambush'd clofe behind an arbour lay.


It was not long ere January came,
And hand in hand with him his lovely dame;
Blind as he was, not doubting all was fure,
He turn'd the key, and made the gate fecure.






Here let us walk, he faid, obferv'd by none,
Conscious of pleasures to the world unknown :
So may my foul have joy, as thou my wife
Art far the dearest folace of my
And rather would I chufe, by Heav'n above,
To die this inftant, than to lose thy love.
Reflect what truth was in my paffion shewn,
When, unendow'd, I took thee for my own,
And fought no treasure but thy heart alone.
Old as I am, and now depriv'd of fight,
Whilft thou art faithful to thy own true Knight,
Nor age, nor blindness, rob me of delight.
Each other lofs with patience I can bear,
The lofs of thee is what I only fear.


Confider then, my lady and my wife, The folid comforts of a virtuous life. As first, the love of Chrift himself you gain; Next, your own honour undefil'd maintain ; And lastly, that which fure your mind must move, My whole estate fhall gratify your love: Make your own terms, and ere to-morrow's fun Difplays his light, by Heav'n it fhall be done. I feal the contract with a holy kiss, And will perform, by this-my dear, and thisHave comfort, Spouse, nor think thy Lord unkind; 'Tis love, not jealousy, that fires my mind. For when thy charms my fober thoughts engage, And join'd to them my own unequal age,


K 3






From thy dear fide I have no pow'r to part,
Such fecret tranfports warm my melting heart.
For who that once poffefs'd those heav'nly charms,
Could live one moment abfent from thy arms?

He ceas'd, and May with modeft grace reply'd;
(Weak was her voice, as while she spoke fhe cry'd ;)
Heav'n knows (with that a tender figh she drew)
I have a foul to fave as well as you;

And, what no less you to my charge commend,
My dearest honour, will to death defend.
To in holy Church I gave my hand,
And join'd my heart in wedlock's facred band:
Yet, after this, if you diftruft my care,


Then hear, my Lord, and witness what I swear;
First may the yawning earth her bofom rend,
And let me hence to hell alive defcend;
Or die the death I dread no less than hell,
Sew'd in a fack, and plung'd into a well:
Ere I my fame by one lewd act difgrace,
Or once renounce the honour of my race.
For know, Sir Knight, of gentle blood I came,
I loath a whore, and ftartle at the name.

But jealous men on their own crimes reflect,
And learn from thence their ladies to fufpect:
Elfe why these needlefs cautions, Sir, to me?
These doubts and fears of female conftancy!
This chime ftill rings in ev'ry lady's ear,
The only ftrain a wife muft hope to hear,






Thus while fhe spoke a fidelong glance she caft, Where Damian kneeling, worship'd as fhe past: 600 She faw him watch the motions of her eye, And fingled out a pear-tree planted nigh: 'Twas charg'd with fruit that made a goodly show, And hung with dangling pears was ev'ry bough. Thither th' obfequious Squire addrefs'd his pace, And climbing, in the summit took his place; The Knight and Lady walk'd beneath in view, Where let us leave them, and our tale purfue.

'Twas now the season when the glorious fun His heav'nly progress through the Twins had run ; And Jove, exalted, his mild influence yields, 611 To glad the glebe, and paint the flow'ry fields: Clear was the day, and Phoebus rifing bright, Had ftreak'd the azure firmament with light; He pierc'd the glitt'ring clouds with golden ftreams, And warm'd the womb of earth with genial beams. It fo befel, in that fair morning tide, The Fairies fported on the garden fide,


And in the midst their Monarch and his Bride.
So featly tripp'd the light-foot ladies round,
The knights fo nimbly o'er the green-fword bound,
That scarce they bent the flow'rs, or touch'd the



The dances ended, all the fairy train


For pinks and daifies fearch'd the flow'ry plain;
While on a bank reclin'd of rifing green,
Thus, with a frown, the King befpoke his Queen.


K 4

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