Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus

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Fable XII

As Cupid in Cythera's grove
Employed the lesser powers of love;
Some shape the bow, or fit the string;
Some give the taper shaft its wing,
Or turn the polished quiver's mould,
Or head the dart with tempered gold.
   Amidst their toil and various care,
Thus Hymen, with assuming air,
Addressed the god: 'Thou purblind chit,
Of awkward and ill-judging wit,

If matches are not better made,
At once I must forswear my trade.
You send me such ill-coupled folks,
That 'tis a shame to sell them yokes.
They squabble for a pin, a feather,
And wonder how they came together.
The husband's sullen, dogged, shy;
The wife grows flippant in reply:
He loves command and due restriction,
And she as well likes contradiction:

She never slavishly submits;
She'll have her will, or have her fits.
He this way tugs, she t'other draws:
The man grows jealous, and with cause.
Nothing can save him but divorce;
And here the wife complies of course.'
   'When,' says the boy, 'had I to do
With either your affairs or you?
I never idly spent my darts;
You trade in mercenary hearts.

For settlements the lawyer's fee'd;
Is my hand witness to the deed?
If they like cat and dog agree,
Go, rail at Plutus, not at me.'
   Plutus appeared, and said, “Tis true,
In marriage gold is all their view:
They seek not beauty, wit, or sense;
And love is seldom the pretence.
All offer incense at my shrine,
And I alone the bargain sign.

How can Belinda blame her fate?
She only asked a great estate.
Doris was rich enough, 'tis true;
Her lord must give her title too:
And every man, or rich or poor,
A fortune asks, and asks no more.'
   Av'rice, whatever shape it bears,
Must still be coupled with its cares.



The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends


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