Not so! He thought of you with tender care.
Quoth he: “Heaven knows how fervently I prayed,
For wife and children when from Malta bound;—
The prayer hath heaven with favor crowned;
We took a Turkish vessel which conveyed
Rich store of treasure for the Sultan’s court;
Its own reward our gallant action brought;
The captur’d prize was shared among the crew,
And of the treasure I received my due.”
How? Where? The treasure hath he buried, pray?
Where the four winds have blown it, who can say?
In Naples as he stroll’d, a stranger there,—
A comely maid took pity on my friend:
And gave such tokens of her love and care,
That he retained them to his blessed end.
Scoundrel! to rob his children of their bread!
And all this misery, this bitter need,
Could not his course of recklessness impede!
Well, he hath paid the forfeit, and is dead.
Now were I in your place, my counsel hear;
My weeds I’d wear for one chaste year,
And for another lover meanwhile would look out.
Alas, I might search far and near,
Not quickly should I find another like my first!
There could not be a fonder fool than mine,
Only he loved too well abroad to roam;
Loved foreign women too, and foreign wine,
And loved besides the dice accurs’d.
All had gone swimmingly, no doubt,
Had he but given you at home,
On his side, just as wide a range.
Upon such terms, to you I swear,
Myself with you would gladly rings exchange!
The gentleman is surely pleas’d to jest!
Now to be off in time, were best!
She’d make the very devil marry her.
How fares it with your heart?
How mean you, Sir?
The sweet young innocent!
But ere you leave us, quickly tell!
I from a witness fain had heard,
Where, how, and when my husband died and was interr’d.
To forms I’ve always been attached indeed,
His death I fain would in the journals read.