Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/43

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37
CANTO I.


XXVIII.

 Might old observances have there been kept,
 Then should the husband to that pensile bed,
 Like one exhausted with the birth have crept,
 And laying down in feeble guise his head,
 For many a day been nursed and dieted
 With tender care, to childing mothers due.
 Certes a custom strange, and yet far spread
 Thro' many a savage tribe, howe'er it grew,
And once in the old world known as widely as the new.

XXIX.

 This could not then be done; he might not lay
 The bow and those unerring shafts aside;
 Nor thro' the appointed weeks forego the prey,
 Still to be sought amid those regions wide,
 None being there who should the while provide
 That lonely household with their needful food:
 So still Quiara thro' the forest plied
 His daily task, and in the thickest wood
Still laid his snares for birds, and still the chace pursued.