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But fince the facred leaves to all are free,
And men interpret texts, why should not we?'
By this no more was meant, than to have shown,
That fov'reign goodness dwells in him alone 680
Who only is, and is but only One.
But grant the worst; fhall women then be weigh'd
By ev'ry word that Solomon has said ?


What tho' this King (as ancient story boasts)
Built a fair Temple to the Lord of Hofts;
He ceas'd at last his Maker to adore,
And did as much for Idol gods, or more.
Beware what lavish praises you confer
On a rank leacher and idolater;
Whofe reign, indulgent God, fays holy writ,
Did but for David's righteous fake permit;
David, the monarch after Heav'n's own mind,
Who lov'd our fex, and honour'd all our kind..

Well, I'm a Woman, and as fuch muft fpeak;
Silence would fwell me, and my heart would break.
Know then, I fcorn your dull authorities, 69.6.
Your idle wits, and all their learned lies.
By Heav'n, thofe authors are our fex's foes,
Whom, in our right, I must, and will oppose.
Nay (quoth the King) dear Madam, be not wroth.:
F yield it up; but fince I gave my oath,
That this much-injur'd knight again should see;
It must be done I am a King, faid he,.
And one, whofe faith has ever facred been.


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And fo has mine (the faid) I am a Queen:
Her answer she shall have, I undertake;
And thus an end of all dispute I make.
Try when you lift; and you shall find, my Lord,.
It is not in our fex to break our word.

We leave them here in this heroic strain,
And to the Knight our flory turns again ;.





Who in the garden, with his lovely May,
ung merrier than the Cuckow or the Jay:
This was his fong; “Oh kind and constant be,
"Conftant and kind I'll ever prove to thee."

Thus finging as he went, at last he drew
By easy steps, to where the Pear-tree grew :
The longing dame look'd up, and spy'd her Love
Full fairly perch'd among the boughs above.
She flopp'd, and fighing: Oh good Gods! fhe cry'd,
What pangs, what fudden fhoots diftend my
fide? 721
O for that tempting fruit, fo fresh, fo green;
Help, for the love of heav'n's immortal Queen!
Help, deareft Lord, and fave at once the life
Of thy poor infant, and thy longing wife!

Sore figh'd the Knight to hear his Lady's cry,
But could not climb, and had no servant nigh:
Old as he was, and void of eye-fight too,
What could, alas! a helpless husband do?
And must I languish then, fhe faid, and die,
Yet view the lovely fruit before my eye?
At least, kind Sir, for charity's fweet fake,
Vouchsafe the trunk between your arms to take;
Then from your back I might afcend the tree;
Do you but ftoop, and leave the rest to me.

With all my foul, he thus reply'd again,
I'd spend my dearest blood to ease thy pain.
With that, his back against the trunk he bent,
She feiz'd a twig, and up the tree she went.

Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all!
Nor let on me your heavy anger fall:
'lis truth I tell, tho' not in phrase refin'd;
Tho' blunt my tale, yet honeft is my mind.
What feats the Lady in the Tree might do,
I pafs, as gambols never known to you;





- 740


But fure it was a merrier fit, she swore,
Than in her life the ever felt before.

In that nice moment, lo! the 'wond'ring knight
Look'd out, and ftood reftor'd to fudden fight.
Straight on the tree his eager eyes he bent,
As one whofe thoughts were on his spouse intent ;
But when he faw his bofom-wife fo drefs'd,


His rage was fuch as cannot be express'd:


Not frantic mothers when their infants die,
With louder clamours rend the vaulted sky:
He cry'd, he roar'd, he ftorm'd, he tore his hair;
Death! hell! and furies! what doft thou do there?
What ails my Lord? the trembling dame reply'd;
I thought your patience had been better try'd:
Is this your love, ungrateful and unkind,
This my reward for having cur'd the blind?
Why was I taught to make my husband fee,
By ftruggling with a Man upon a Tree ?
Did I for this the pow'r of magic prove?
Unhappy wife, whofe crime was too much love! 765
If this be ftruggling, by this holy light,

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'Tis ftruggling with a vengeance (quoth the Knight) So Heav'n preserve the fight it has restor❜d,

As with thefe eyes I plainly faw thee whor'd;
Whor'd by my flave
perfidious wretch! hell
As furely feize thee, as I faw too well.



Guard me, good Angels! cry'd the gentle May, Pray heav'n, this magic work the proper way! Alas, my love! 'tis certain, could you fee, You ne'er had us'd these killing words to me: So help me, Fates, as 'tis no perfect fight, But fome faint glimm'ring of a doubtful light. What I have faid (quoth he) I must maintain, For by th' immortal pow'rs it feem'd too plain 779



By all thofe pow'rs, fome frenzy feiz'd your mind, (Reply'd the dame) are these the thanks I find? Wretch that I am, that e'er I was so kind! She faid; a rifing figh exprefs'd her woe, The ready tears apace began to flow, And, as they fell, fhe wip'd from either eye The drops (for women when they lift, can cry.) The Knight was touch'd, and in his looks appear'd Signs of remorfe, while thus his fpouse he chear'd:. Madam, 'tis paft, and my fhort anger o'er ;


Come down, and vex your tender heart no more: 790
Excuse me, dear, if aught amiss was said,
For, on my foul, amends fhall foon be made ::
Let my repentance your forgiveness draw,
By Heav'n, I fwore but what I thought I saw.
my. lov'd lord! 'twas much unkind (she cry'd):
On bare fufpicion thus to treat your bride. 796
But till your fight's eftablifh'd, for a while,
Imperfect objects may your sense beguile.
Thus when from fleep we first our eyes difplay,
The balls are wounded with the piercing ray,
And dusky vapours rife, and intercept the day.
So just recov'ring from the fhades of night,
Your swimming eyes are drunk with fudden light,
Strange phantoms dance around, and fkim before
your fight:



Then, Sir, be cautious, nor too rafhly deem;
Heav'n knows how feldom things are what they seem!
Confult your reason, and you foon fhall find
'Twas you were jealous, not your wife unkind:
Jove ne'er spoke oracle more true than this,
None judge fo wrong as those who think amifs.
With that she leap'd into her Lord's embrace,
With well-diffembled virtue in her face.


He hugg'd her close, and kiss'd her o'er and o'er,
Difturb'd with doubts and jealoufies no more:
Both, pleas'd and bless'd, renew'd their mutual vows,
A fruitful wife, and a believing spouse.

Thus ends our tale, whofe moral next to make,
Let all wife husbands hence example take;
And pray, to crown the pleasure of their lives,
To be fo well deluded by their wives.


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