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I'M come to tell you, that my fears are over,
I've seen papa, and have secur'd my lover.
And, troth, I'm wholly on our author's side,
For had (as Corneille made him) Gormaz dy'd,
My part had ended as it first begun,
And left me still unmarry'd, and undone,
Or, what were harder far than both—a nun.
The French, for form indeed, postpones the wedding,
But gives her hopes within a year of bedding.
Time could not tie her marriage-knot with honour,
The father's death still left the guilt upon her :
The Frenchman stopp'd her in that forc'd regard,
The bolder Briton weds her in reward:
He knew your taste would ne'er endure their billing
Should be so long deferr'd, when both were willing.
Your formal Dons of Spain an age might wait,
But English appetites are sharper set.
'Tis true, this difference we indeed discover,
That, though like lions you begin the lover,
To do you right, your fury soon is over.
Beside, this scene thus chang'd, the moral bears,
That virtue never of relief despairs:
But while true love is still in plays ill-fated,
No wonder you gay sparks of pleasure hate it—
Bloodshed discourages what should delight you,
And from a wife, what little rubs will fright you!
And virtue not consider'd in the bride,
How soon you yawn, and curse the knot you've ty’d!
How oft the nymph, whose pitying eyes give quarter,
Finds in her captive she has caught a Tartar!
While to her spouse, that once so high did rate her,
She kindly gives ten thousand pounds to hate her.
So, on the other side, some sighing swain,
That languishes in love whole years in vain,
Impatient for the feast, resolves he'll have her,
And in his hunger vows he'll eat for ever;
He thinks of nothing but the honey-moon,
But little thought he could have din'd so soon.
Is this not true? Speak, dearies of the pit,
Don't you find too how horribly you're bit ?
For the instruction, therefore, of the free,
Our author turns his just catastrophe.
Before you wed, let love be understood,
Refine your thoughts, and chase it from the blood:
Nor can you then of lasting joys despair,
For when that circle holds the British fair,
Your hearts may find heroic daughters there.
FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.