[Page 292]


1 QUOTH John to his teacher, Good Sir, if you please,
2 I wou'd beg your advice in a difficult case;
3 'Tis a weighty concern, that may hold one for life
4 'Tis, in short, the old story of taking a wife.
5 There's a pair of young damsels I'm proffer'd to marry,
6 And whether to choose puts me in a quandary:
7 They're alike in age, family, fortune, and feature,
8 Only one has more grace, and the other good-nature.
9 As for that, says the teacher, good-nature and love,
10 And sweetness of temper are gifts from above,
[Page 293]
11 And as coming from thence we shou'd give 'em their due;
12 Grace is a superior blessing, 'tis true.
13 Ay, Sir, I remember an excellent sarment,
14 Wherein all along you gave grace the preferment.
15 I shall never forget it, as how you were telling,
16 That heaven resided where grace had its dwelling.
17 Why John, quoth the teacher, that's true: but, alas,
18 What heaven can do is quite out of the case;
19 For by day and by night, with the woman you wed
20 'Tis you that must board, and 'tis you that must bed;
21 And a good-natur'd girl may quickly grow gracious,
22 But a sour-headed saint will be ever vexatious.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): GRACE and NATURE.
Themes: sex; relations between the sexes
References: DMI 161

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 292-293. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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