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Poem by Mary Wortley Montagu


Epistle to Lord Hervey on the King's Birthday from the Country


Where I enjoy in contemplative chamber,
Lutes, laurels, seas of milk, and ships of amber.

Through shining crowds you now make way,
With sideling bow and golden key;
While wrapped in spleen and easy-chair,
For all this pomp so small my care,
I scarce remember who are there.
Yet in brocade I can suppose
The potent Knight whose presence goes
At least a yard before his nose:
And majesty with sweeping train,
That does so many yards contain,
Superior to her waiting nymphs,
As lobster to attendant shrimps.
I do not ask one word of news,
Which country damsels much amuse.
If a new batch of Lords appears,
After a tour of half six years,
With foreign years to grace the nation,
The Maids of Honour's admiration;
Whose bright improvements give surprise
To their own lady-mother's eyes:
Improvements, such as colts might show,
Were mares so mad to let them go;
Their limbs perhaps a little stronger,
Their manes and tails grown somewhat longer.
I would not hear of ball-room scuffles,
Nor what new whims adorn the ruffles.
This meek epistle comes to tell,
On Monday, I in town shall dwell;
Where, if you please to condescend
In Cavendish-square to see your friend,
I shall disclose to you alone
Such thoughts as ne'er were thought upon.



Mary Wortley Montagu


Mary Wortley Montagu's other poems:
  1. John Duke of Marlborough
  2. Epigram, 1734
  3. To Mr. ------
  4. Town Eclogues: Monday; Roxana, or the Drawing-Room
  5. Town Eclogues: Wednesday; the Tête à Tête

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