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THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION:
SECLUDED from domestic strife,
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
Such pleasures, unalloy'd with care,
O had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!
Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop!
O!.......But let exclamation cease:
Her presence banish'd all his peace.
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
Or draw the curtains clos'd around?
Let it suffice, that each had charms;
The honey-moon like lightning flew,
The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss :
But, when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that deck'd her face
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace:
But still the worst remain'd behind....
That very face had robb'd her mind.
Skill'd in no other arts was she,
But dressing, patching, repartee;
And, just as humour rose or fell,
By turns a slattern or a belle:
'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace,
Half naked at a ball or race;
But when at home, at board or bed,
Five greasy night-caps wrap'd her head.
Could so much beauty condescend
To be a dull domestic friend?
Could any curtain lectures bring
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powder'd čoxcombs at her levee;
The 'squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations;
Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown:
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose;
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! .
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz:
And, though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the revell'd noose,
As each a different way pursues,