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And all the glory Fannia boasts,
And all the price that glory costs,
At once are reckoned up, in one—
One word of bliss and folly–Tom.
Not these the thoughts that could perplex The fancies of our fickle sex, When England's favourite, good Queen Bess, Was Queen alike o'er war and dress. Then ladies gay played chesse—and ballads, And learned to dress their hair—and salads; Sweets—and sweet looks were studied then, And both were pleasing to the men ; For cookery was allied to taste, And girls were taught to blush—and baste. Dishes were bright—and so were eyes, And lords made love—and ladies pies.
Then Valour won the wavering field,
By dint of hauberk and of shield;
And Beauty won the wavering heart,
By dint of pickle, and of tart.
The minuet was the favourite dance,
Girls loved the needle—boys the lance;
And Cupid took his constant post
At dinner, by the boiled and roast,
Or secretly was wont to lurk
In tournament, or needle-work.
Oh! 'twas a reign of all delights,
Of hot Sir-loins,—and hot Sir knights;
Feasting and fighting, hand in hand,
Fattened, and glorified the land;
And noble chiefs had noble cheer,
And knights grew strong upon strong beer;
Honour and oxen both were nourished,
And chivalry—and pudding flourished.
I’d rather see that magic face,
That look of love, that form of grace,
Circled by whalebone, and by ruffs,
Intent on puddings, and on puffs,
I’d rather view thee thus, than see
“A Fashionable” rise in thee.
If Life is dark, 'tis not for you
(If partial Friendship's voice is true)
To cure its griefs, and drown its cares,
By leaping gates, and murdering hares,
Nor to confine that feeling soul,
To winning lovers—or the Vole.
If these and such pursuits are thine,
Julia thou art no friend of mine !
I love plain dress—I eat plain joints,
I cannot play ten-guinea points,
I make no study of a pin,
And hate a female whipper-in.
“For she in shape and beauty did excel
All other idols that the heathen do adore.”
“And all about her altar scattered lay
Great sorts of lovers piteously complaining.”
A Look as blithe, a step as light As fabled nymph, or fairy sprite ; A voice, whose every word and tone Might make a thousand hearts its own ; A brow of fervour, and a mien Bright with the hopes of gay fifteen ; These, loved and lost one these were thine, When first I bowed at Beauty's shrine; But I have torn my wavering soul From woman’s proud and weak control; The fane where I so often knelt, The flame my heart so truly felt, Are visions of another time, Themes for my laughter, and my rhyme.
She saw, and conquered ; in her eye
There was a careless cruelty,
That shone destruction, while it seemed
Unconscious of the fire it beamed.
And oh! that negligence of dress,
That wild, infantine playfulness,
That archness of the trifling brow,
That could command—we know not how,
Were links of gold that held me then,
In bonds I may not bear again ;
For dearer to an honest heart
Is childhood's mirth than woman's art.
Already many an aged dame,
Skilful in scandalizing fame,
foresaw the reign of Iaura's face,
Her sway, her folly, and disgrace.
Minding the beauty of the day
More than her partner, or her play :—
“Taura a beauty ? flippant chit!
I vow I hate her forward wit!”
(“I lead a club l’’)—“Why, Ma'am, between us,
Her mother thinks her quite a Venus;
But every parent loves, you know,
To make a pigeon of her crow.”
“Some folks are apt to look too high—
She has a dukedom in her eye.”
“The girl is straight” (“we call the ace”),
“But that’s the merit of her stays.”
“I’m sure, I loathe malicious hints—
But—only look, how Laura squints l’”
“Yet Miss, forsooth”—(“who play'd the ten?”)
‘Is quite perfection with the men;
The flattering fools—they make me sick”—
(“Well—four by honours, and the trick.”)
While thus the crones hold high debate
On Laura's charms and Laura's fate,
A few short years have rolled along,
And—first in Pleasure's idle throng—
Laura, in ripened beauty proud,
Smiles haughty on the flattering crowd;
Her sex’s envy—fashion’s boast—
An heiress—and a reigning toast.
The circling waltz, and gay quadrille,
Are in or out, at Taura's will ;
The tragic bard, and comic wit,
Heed not the critic in the pit,
If Laura's undisputed sway
Ordains full houses to the play;
And fair ones of an humbler fate,
That envy, while they imitate,
Prom Laura's whisper strive to guess
The changes of inconstant dress.
Where'er her step in beauty moves,
Around her fly a thousand loves;
A thousand graces go before,
While striplings wonder and adore;
And some are wounded by a sigh,
Some by the lustre of her eye;
And these her studied smiles insnare,
And those the ringlets of her hair.