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Poem by John Gay


To a Lady


When I some antique Jar behold,
Or white, or blue, or speck'd with gold,
Vessels so pure, and so refin'd
Appear the types of woman-kind:
Are they not valu'd for their beauty,
Too fair, too fine for household duty?
With flowers and gold and azure dy'd,
Of ev'ry house the grace and pride?
How white, how polish'd is their skin,
And valu'd most when only seen!
She who before was highest priz'd
Is for a crack or flaw despis'd;
I grant they're frail, yet they're so rare,
The treasure cannot cost too dear!
But Man is made of coarser stuff,
And serves convenience well enough;
He's a strong earthen vessel made,
For drudging, labour, toil and trade;
And when wives lose their other self,
With ease they bear the loss of Delf. 



John Gay


John Gay's other poems:
  1. Trivia, or The Art of Walking the Streets of London. Book 1
  2. Trivia, or The Art of Walking the Streets of London. Book 2
  3. Trivia, or The Art of Walking the Streets of London. Book 3
  4. To A Young Lady, With Some Lampreys
  5. An Elegy on a Lap-dog


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas Hardy To a Lady ("NOW that my page upcloses, doomed, maybe")
  • Matthew Prior To a Lady ("Spare, gen'rous victor, spare the slave")
  • William Dunbar To a Lady ("SWEET rois of vertew and of gentilness")

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