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ON A VERY OLD WEDDING RING.
The device-two hearts united.
I LIKE that ring, that ancient ring,
Of massive form, and virgin gold, As firm, as free from base alloy,
As were the sterling hearts of old. I like it-for it wafts me back,
Far, far along the stream of time, To other men, and other days,
The men and days of deeds sublime." But most I like it as it tells
The tale of well-requited love; How youthful fondness persevered
And youthful faith disdain’d to rove ;How warmly he his suit preferr'd,
Though she, unpitying, long denied, Till, soften'd and subdued, at last
He won his fair and blooming bride ;How, till the appointed day arrived,
They blamed the lazy-footed hours : How then the white-robed maiden train
Strew'd their glad way with freshest flowers ;-
They stood in all their youthful pride,
Which bind the husband to his bride;
The gift of every earthly thing,
For this I like that ancient ring.
Two blended hearts, though time may wear them, No mortal change, no mortal chance,
“ Till death," shall e'er in sunder tear them.
Year after year, 'neath sun and storm,
Their hopes in heaven, their trust in God, In changeless, heartfelt, holy love,
These two, the world's rough path ways trod. Age might impair their youthful fires,
Their strength might fail 'mid life's bleak weather, Still, hand in hand, they traveli'd on,
Kind souls! they slumber now together. I like its simple poesy.tov;
“Mine own dear love, this heart is thine!" . Thine, when the dark storm howls along,
As when the cloudless sunbeams shine. “This heart is thine, mine own dear love!"
Thine, and thine only, and for ever; Thine, till the springs of life shall fail
Thine, till the chords of life shall sever: Remnant of days departed long,
Emblem of plighted troth unbroken, Pledge of devoted faithfulness,
Of heartfelt, holy love, the token What varied feelings round it cling! For these, I like that ancient ring.
* CAUSES OF UNHAPPINESS IN THE
MARRIED STATE. Many are the epistles I every day receive from husbands who complain of vanity, pride, but, above all, ill nature in their wives. I cannot tell how it is, but I think I see in all their letters that the cause of their uneasiness is in themselves ; and indeed I have hardly ever observed the married condition unhappy, but for want of judgment or temper in the man. The truth is, we generally make love in a style and
with sentiments very unfit for ordinary life: they are half theatrical and half romantic. By this means we raise our imaginations to what is not to be expected in human life; and, because we did not beforehand think of the creature we are enamoured of, as subject to dishonour, age, sickness, impatience, or sullenness, but altogether considered her as the object of joy; human nature itself is often impoted to her as her particular imperfection, or defect.
I take it to be a rule, proper to be observed in all occurrences of life, but more especially in the domestic, or matrimonial part of it, to preserve always a disposition to be pleased. This cannot be supported but by considering things in their right light, and as Nature has formed them, and not as our own fancies or appetites would have them. He then who took a young lady to his bed, with no other consideration than the expectation of scenes of dalliance, and thought of her (as I said before) only as she was to administer to the gratification of desire; as that desire flags, will, without her fault, think her charms and her merit abated : from hence must follow indifference, dislike, peevishness, and rage. But the man who brings his reason to support his passion, and beholds what he loves as liable to all the calamities of human life, both in body and mind, and even at the best what must bring upon him new cares, and new relations ; such a lover, I say, will form himself accordingly, and adapt his mind to the nature of his circumstances. This
latter person will be prepared to be a father, a friend, an advocate, a steward for people yet unborn, and has proper affections ready for every incident in the marriage state. Such a man can hear the cries of children with pity instead of anger; and, when they run over his head, he is not disturbed at their noise, but is glad of their mirth and health. Tom Trusty has told me, that he thinks it doubles his attention to the most intricate affair he is about, to hear his children, for whom all his cares are applied, make a noise in the next room : on the other side, Will Sparkish cannot put on his periwig, or adjust his cravat at the glass, for the noise of those nurses and squalling brats ; and then ends with a gallant reflection upon the comforts of matrimony, runs out of the hearing, and drives to the coffee-house.
According as the husband is disposed in himself, every circumstance of his life is to give him torment or pleasure. When the af. fection is well placed, and supported by the considerations of duty, honour, and friendship, which are in the highest degree engaged in this alliance, there can nothing rise in the common course of life, or from the blows or favours of fortune, in which a man will not find matters of some delight unknown to a single condition.
He who sincerely loves his wife and family, and studies to improve that affection in himself, conceives pleasure from the most indifferent things; while the married man, who has not bid adieu to the fashions and false gallantries of the town, is perplexed with every thing around him. In both these cases men cannot, indeed, make a sillier figure than in repeating such pleasures and pains to the rest of the world; but I speak of them only as they sit upon those who are involved in them. As I visit all sorts of people, I cannot indeed but smile, when the good lady tells her husband what extraordinary things the child spoke since he went out. No longer than yesterday I was prevailed with to go home with a fond husband : and his wife told him, that his son, of his own head, when the clock in the parlour struck two, said papa would come home to dinner presently. While the father has him in a rapture in his arms, and is drowning him with kisses, the wife tells me he is but just four years old. Then they both struggle for him, and bring him up to me, and repeat his observation of two o'clock. I was called upon, by looks upon the child, and then at mne, to say something ; and I told the father that this remark of the infant of his coming home, and joining the time with it, was a certain indication that he would be a great historian and chronologer. They are neither of them fools, yet received my compliment with great acknowledgment of my prescience. I fared very well at dinner, and heard many other notable say. ings of their heir, which would have given very little entertainment to one less turned to reflection than I was: but it was a pleasing