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« 'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws, . .. Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind, That binds their peace, but harmony itself, Attuning all their passions into love; Where friendship full exerts her softest pow'r, Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire Ineffable, and sympathy of soul; Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will, With boundless confidence: for nought but love Can answer love, and render bliss secure. Let him ungenerous, who alone intent To bless himself, from sordid parents buys The loathing virgin, in eternal care, Well merited, consume his nights and days: Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel; Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possess'd Of a mere lifeless violated form: While those whom love cements in holy faith, And equal transport, free as nature live, Disdaining fear. What is the world to them, · Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all! Who in each other clasp whatever fair High fancy forms, and lavish hearts'can wish; Something than beauty dearer, should they look Or on the mind, or mind illumin'd face; Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven. Meantime a smiling offspring rises round, And mingles both their graces. By degrees, The human blossom blows; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm, The father's lustre, and the mother's blonm. Then infant reason grows apace, and calls For the kind hand of an assiduous care. Delightful task ! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
This is indeed a beautiful picture of the happiness of the marriage state, Poets. and Painters must be permitted to embellish their performances a little. We must also remember that they endeavour always to keep out of sight, whatever would appear like a blemish in their works. But the Pleasures and Sorrows of the marriage state must be mixed ; it is impossible to enjoy the one, without enduring the other. It is however to be observed that the sorrows of married people, in numerous instances, serve greatly to increase their pleasures. As. no man enjoys the pleasures of health, or liberty, with such an exquisite relish as he who has been deprived of either: so it pleases, God of his infinite mercy, to make our sorrows a source of lasting pleasure.
The pleasures arising from the possession of a good wife occupy the thoughts, and prove a comfort to the mind, in circumstances very unpleasant in themselves. I will again have recourse to the aid of poetry, to illustrate this remark more properly.
Thus Burns, when writing to a brother Poet has expressed it:
• This life has joys for you and I ;
And joys the very best,
The lover an' the Frien';
And I my darling Jean!
To mention but her name :
And sets me a' on flame!
The sympathetic glow;
Had it not been for you!
Fate still has blest me with a friend,
In every care and ill;
A tie more tender still.
The tenebrific scene,
My Davie, or my Jean! This subject may receive further illustration, from an anecdote which a friend of mine related to me at Plymouth, where the circumstance occurred, during the American war. An officer of high rank was on board one of his Majesty's ships in the Sound in a storm, and wrote the following lines to his lady on shore.
Blow high, blow low, let tempests tear
The main mast by the board,
And love well stor'd;
Scorp all fear,
Io hopes on shure,
Safe moor’d with thee, What the feelings and fears of his lady might have been, during such a tempestuous night, it is impossible for us to conceive : but we can easily imagine, that their mutual pleasures were greatly increased, whenever those beau
tiful lines were mentioned, as a memorandum of the circumstance.
The feelings, the fears, and the pleasures of a married couple, are also most excellently expressed in a Poem by Bloomfield, entitled,
O THE MARKET NIGHT.'
O Winds, howl not so long and loud ;
The lone night Traveller's fancy swell.