That with your infant ev’ry thing goes right;
To you, from thence, great happiness will spring:
You’ll reign the parent of what’s more than king;
Your relatives to noble rank will rise:
Some will be princes; others lords comprise;
Your nephews cardinals; your cousins too
Will dukes become, if they the truth pursue;
And places, castles, palaces, there’ll be,
For you and them of every high degree;
You’ll nothing want: eternal is the source,
Like waters flowing in the river’s course.
This long prediction o’er: with features grave,
His benediction to them both he gave.
Whenhome returned, the girl, each day and night,
Amused her mind with prospects of delight;
By fancy’s aid she saw the future pope,
And all prepared to greet her fondest hope;
But what arrived the whole at once o’erthrew
Hats, dukedoms, castles, vanished from the view:
The promised elevation of the name
Dissolved to air:-a little female came!
WhenCupid with his dart, would hearts assail,
The rampart most secure is not the veil;
A husband better will the fair protect,
Than walls or lattices, I much suspect.
Those parents, who in nunneries have got
Their daughters (whether willingly or not),
Most clearly in a glaring error prove,
To fancy God will round their actions move;
’Tis an abuse of what we hold divine;
The Devil with them surely must combine.
Besides, ’twere folly to suppose that vice
Ne’er entered convent walls, and nuns were ice.
A very diff’rent sentiment I hold:
Girls, who in publick move, however bold,
Have greater terrors lest they get a stain;
For, honour lost, they never fame regain.
Few enemies their modesty attack;
The others have but one their minds to rack.
Temptation, daughter of the drowsy dame,
That hates to move, and idleness we name,
Is ever practising each wily art,
To spread her snares around the throbbing heart;
And fond desire, the child of lorn constraint,
Is anxious to the soul soft scenes to paint.
If I’ve a worthy daughter made a nun,
Is that a reason she’s a saint?—Mere fun!
Avaunt such folly!—three in four you’ll find,
Of those who wear the veil—have changed their