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ON THE CHOICE OF A WIFE:
SILVIO AND STREPHON.
'If thou hadst liberty to choose For life, dear Stripling! let thy Muse,'
, Thus Silvio, to his STREPHON said, 'Give me a picture of the Maid, With whom you'd live! for whom could die!' Thus gentle STREPHON made reply.
*Were I, my friend! to choose a Wife,
*Wealth should not my affections move. The treasure I require is Love! For, surely, riches in excess Are not the means to happiness! Yet may kind Heaven sufficient give, With comfort and with ease to live!
Beauty alone, I would despise;
Yet may the Graces charms impart,
'She should, devout in constant prayer, Religion make her chiefest care ! And, next to Heaven, me learn to please, Crowning my happy days with ease! Still kind, and kind to me alone! Her years proportioned to my own. Her humour of a piece with mine. Her dress genteelly neat, not fine. Her temper amiably mild; With constancy and sweetness filled.
'She should not want the foreign aid Of silk, embroid'ry, or brocade; In native innocence arrayed. Should be with wit and sense endowed, Yet not of those endowments proud; Nor stiffly dumb, nor pertly loud. To decent cheerfulness inclined; And of the softest mould her mind. With such a Nymph contented I Could live! for such a Nymph could die!'
• Whate'er we meet with in Romances, Or dreaming Lovers' airy fancies;
Surely, such Nymph on British ground,
'O, Silvio!' STREPHON sighing said, O, did you know the charming Maid!
the fair ELIZA viewed,
· Prudence does o'er her wit preside;
‘How shall my feeble pencil paint
'If I'm indulged to choose a Wife, A dear companion for my life; Bless me, kind Heaven! with such a Dame! And yet not such—but O, the same!'
In vain, dear Cloe! you suggest,
Or loved a fairer She!
Consult your Glass and me!
If then, you think that I can find
You've reason for your fears!
prove To your own beauty and my love;
How needless are your tears!
If, in my way, I should, by chance,
I like but while I view !
Which I receive from you!
With wanton flight, the curious bee
And, where each blossom blows,
He ravishes the rose !
So, my fond fancy to employ
From Nymph to Nymph I roam;
For Cloe is my home!