페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Or Flavia been content to stop

At triumphs in a Fleet Street shop. 0, had her eyes forgot to blaze! Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze. 0! But let exclamation cease; Her presence banish'd all his peace : So with decorum all things carried, Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then was—married.

Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
Or draw the curtains closed around?
Let it suffice, that each had charms :
He clasp'd a goddess in his arms ;
And, though she felt his usage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.

The honeymoon like lightning flew;
The second brought its transports too :
A third, a fourth were not amiss;
The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss :
But when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay:

Found half the charms that deck'd her face

Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the worst remain'd behind,
That very face had robb’d her mind.

Skill'd in no other arts was she
But dressing, patching, repartee ;
And, just as humour rose or fell,
By turns a slattern or a belle;
"Tis true she dress'd with modern grace,
Half naked at a ball or race;
But when at home, at board, or bed,
Five greasy nightcaps wrapp'd her head.
Could so much beauty condescend

To be a dull domestic friend?

Could any curtain lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing!
In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting;
By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powder'd coxcombs at her levy;
The squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations.

Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were pass'd between
Insulting repartee or spleen.

Thus as her faults each day were known,

He thinks her features coarser grown:

He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose :
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes ;
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.

Now, to perplex the ravel'd noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or laquacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower,
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Level'd its terrors at the fair ;

And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.

The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright:
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes.
In vain she tries her paste and creams
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens:
The squire himself was seen to yield,
And e'en the captain quit the field.

Poor madam, now condemn’d to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack, Perceiving others fairly flown, Attempted pleasing him alone. Jack soon was dazzled to behold Her present face surpass the old ; With modesty her cheeks were dyed, Humility displaces pride; For tawdry finery is seen A person ever neatly clean:

No more presuming on her sway, She learns good nature every day: Serenely gay, and strict in duty, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.

« 이전계속 »