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What! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
This translation was first printed in one of our Author's earliest works, * The Present State of Learning in Europe, 12mo. 1759; but was omitted in the second edition, which appeared in 1774.
Here then at once I welcome every shame, And cancel at threescore a life of fame; No more my titles shall my children tell, The old buffoon will fit my name as well ; This day beyond its term my fate extends, For life is ended when our honour ends.
A TALE. *
SECLUDED from domestic strife
Such pleasures, unallay'd with care,
-but let exclamations cease,
Need we expose to vulgar sight The raptures of the bridal night?
* This and the following Poem were published by Dr Goldsmit" in his Volume of Essays, which appeared in 1765.
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
The honey-moon 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 night-caps 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 levee; 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 shews, 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 ravell’d noose,
The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Poor madam now condemn'd to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack,