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who shudders not åt Pluto's odious Bed ?
What Virgin would a One-ey'd Cyclops wed?
Were I to judge, no Vulcan e'er should
A horrid Husband to the Queen of Love,
Some fitter Task his barren Age should find,
In hamm’ring Bolts for Jove to plague Mankind.
Doom'd to old Arna's Forge he should remain,
And drudge out dull immortal Years in vain.
BUT he who judges right of what is fair,
With healthy Sons will healthy Daughters pair :
As unperforming useless Drones, will drive
The Weak and sickly from the Marriage-Hive;
Whether a Man, by frequent Visits, feel
The gnawing Torments of the Gouty ill
Qr sudden Epilepsies seize his Mind,
Or bilious Cholick rack his Breast with Wind;
Or on his wasted Lungs an'Ulcer prey,
Or a Consumption lingringly betray
His pining Life, and murder by Delay.
FOR, Man's new curious System to compose,
An equal Portion every Limb bestows,
From every Nerve collected Nature flows :
Whence by Traduction from the Father run
Ill Habitudes, intaild upon the Son ;
The latent Poison in the Bowels grows,
And propagates a Family of Woes.
How oft do Men their ill-Atard Birth bewail,
Condemn'd to a difeaseful Body's Jail!
How oft with vain Complaints they load the Skies,
And guiltless Gods accuse with fruitless Cries !
When the true cause of their repeated Blame,
From a distemper'd feeble Marriage came.
Let then a healthy Bridegroom and a Bride
Be in connubial Leagues of Love ally'd ;
If they desire that future Times should know
To what a lovely Origin they owe
A Race of Men, for all that's generous born,
Or to defend their Country, or adorn
The prudent Farmers, who of Heaven implore
A plenteous Harvest, and increasing Store;
The finest of their Wheat for Seed retain,
Nor fow their Acres with corrupted Grain.
Hence loaded Fields their annual Wealth unfold,
And smiling Ceres wayes in fheafy Gold.
Thus lab'ring Hinds, for a rich Crop of Corn,
Improve their Ground, while you neglect with Scorn
The grateful Soil, from whence Mankind is born :
Unwilling, or unmindful, to produce
From a hale Body, pure and generous Juice;
Which in clear Channels may unblended run,
From the bright Pather to the brighter Son.
Is then the Price of Man no better wn,
Or God, who form'd thy Image from his own?
Cannot that Soul which does with Art survey
The Stars, and travels o'er the Milky Way,
Erect thy Spirits, and refine thy Clay?
Does Sloth fupine in such strong Fetters bind
Your abject Sense, and make you less inclin'd
To found a beauteous Temple for th’Athereal Mind?
Ye Gods, who to a human Birth repair,
And watch the Cradle with a Guardian's Care,
From Nuptial Banes exclude a weakly Pair ;
Left Execrations from their Childrens Throat,
Their wretched Parents to the Fiends devote.
And thou, Great Father of all human Race,
Whose Hand preserves this Globe in strict Embraces
No longer let the wicked Custom reign,
Nor the just Beauty of thy Labour stain.
Let a new Genius from the Skies descend
With better Nature, and Mankind befriend :
this Theme with well-wrote Rules adorn, And give Instruction to an Age unborn.
NOR is't enough that Marriages agree
In mutual Vigour, and from Sickness free i
If you desire an Offspring, you must learn
Another Lesson of the first Concern.
The nuptial Knot shou'd be with Equals tyd,
No fanguine Bridegroom to a sapless Bride ;
Nor should a bloomy Nymph entomb her Charms
In an old Husband's monumentál Arms.
Hymen will such an ill-yok'd Couple blame,
And Juno kindle an unhappy Flame :
Alecto, frowning on the luckless Pair,
Shakes her fulphureous Torch, and snaky Hair.
See how young Chloe, keen with strong Desires,
From her old wicher'd Spouse with Scorņ retires,
His frigid Kiffes fhuns, and languid Fires ;
With frequent Tears bedews her Face, and quits
Her idle Drudge, and the detested Sheets.
Thee, happy Atys, Rhea from above
Pursu'd with chaste Desires, and honest Love.
Had th' antiquated Goddess thee caress’d,
And with cold Kisses in her Bosom press'd,
Thy wasting Youth had found its certain Doom,
Upsinew'd of its Strength and springing Bloom.
For the dull Dryness of Old Age desires
More Alimént to feed its dying Fires,
And lusty Nature's whole vivifick Stock requires.
So ever-burning Sands in Libyan Plains,
Suck in with greedy Thirst the falling Rains;
And still unsated with the watry Store,
Their Drought increasing, make Deinands for more.
YET more from Discord of unequal Seed,
When Youth and Age are coupled for the Breed,
Diseases in a fickly Train proceed:
And if at last a 'weakly Offspring's born,
How oft his wretched Being will he mourn ?
How oft a Life in Misery extend,
Unuseful to his Country, or his Friend?
NOR can we here forget the modish Crime,
Which flights the Rules of our instructing Rhyme:
How ill-advising Thirst of Gold supplies
The want of Paffion, and perverts our Eyes ;
Which to a Face Superior and Divine
Prefers the Monarch’s Image on rhe Coin :
How, fashionably vain, farge Portions prove
Rebellious Subje&s to commanding Love:
For if the Chests of a rich Father hold
The sacred Load of Writings, or of Gold,
If he can jointure a consenting Mate
With the Ruin of a vast Estate
Blind with the shining Hopes, each Nymph will run
With proffer'd Beauty to the charming Son,
While the fond Parents wilh her wealthily undone:
Tho the pale Wretch with sure Contagion kills,
Infected with an Hospital of Ills,
And every vile Disease which crouds the Weekly Bills:
T'ho pining in the last Decline of Life,
A fruitless Burden to his longing Wife.
How hard her Fate, who in her youthful Pride,
Finds a dry Monster snoring by her Side,
A married Virgin she, and widow'd Bride !
Of her loft Bloom how oft will she complain,
And wer the joyless Sheets with nightly Rain !
How will the childless mourn ! or what is worse,
Loath her derefted Race, a heavier Curse !
Besides, if prompted by her strong Desires,
She seeks new Springs to cool her wanton Fires;
If wand'ring in the search of Bliss she fies,
To seek what her enervate Drudge denies ;
(For who wou'd with a loathsome Joy to prove,
Or languish in the Arms of sickly Love ?)
What rank Adulteries thy House will ftain,
And croud it with a long promiscuous Train,
Which thou, good-natur'd Cuckold, mult maintain !
Tis true, the Boy, not thine, will bear thy Name,
Tho twenty Fathers have a better Claim.