« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Martha, who the frequent visit Now had lost, and sore did miss it, With impatience waxed cross, Counted Margaret's gain her loss : All that Mary did confer On her friend, thought due to her. In her girlish bosom rise Little foolish jealousies, Which into such rancour wrought, She one day for Margaret sought; Finding her by chance alone, She began, with reasons shown, To insinuate a fear Whether Mary was sincere; Wish'd that Margaret would take heed Whence her actions did proceed. For herself, she'd long been minded Not with outsides to be blinded ; All that pity and compassion, She believ'd was affectation ; In her heart she doubted whether Mary car'd a pin for either. She could keep whole weeks at distance, And not know of their existence, While all things remain'd the same ; But, when some misfortune came,
Then she made a great parade
With such speeches, smoothly made, She found methods to persuade Margaret (who, being sore From the doubts she'd felt before, Was prepared for mistrust) To believe her reasons just; Quite destroy'd that comfort glad, Which in Mary late she had ; Made her, in experience' spite, Think her friend a hypocrite, And resolve, with cruel scoff, To renounce and cast her off.
See how good turns are rewarded !
All their comfort, and their stay-
Two long years did intervene Since they'd either of them seen, Or, by letter, any word Of their old companion heard, When, upon a day, once walking, Of indifferent matters talking, They a female figure met ;Martha said to Margaret, “ That young maid in face does carry A resemblance strong of Mary."
Margaret, at nearer sight,
did first behold them, How they blush'd !-but, when she told them, How on a sick bed she lay Months, while they had kept away, And had no inquiries made If she were alive or dead ;How, for want of a true friend, She was brought near to her end, And was like so to have died, With no friend at ber bed-side ; How the constant irritation, Caus’d by fruitless expectation Of their coming, had extended The illness, when she might have mended, Then, O then, how did reflection Come ou them with recollection!
All that she had done for them,
But sweet Mary, still the same, Kindly eas'd them of their shame; Spoke to them with accents bland, Took them friendly by the hand; Bound them both with promise fast, Not to speak of troubles past; Made them on the spot declare A new league of friendship there; Which, without a word of strife, Lasted thenceforth long as life. Martha now and Margaret Strove who most should pay the debt Which they ow'd her, nor did vary Bver after from their Mary.