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I sing of Woman; Ladies, lend an ear,
Some to the Ladies have at once assign'd
demand A juster picture from a milder hand.
Kind Heav'n form’d Woman on the social plan,
She wipes the bitter tear from mis'ry's eye;
Tho' form'd for Love, for gentle arts design'd, Her courage argues a superior mind; Not rashly bold, the warlike sword she draws, To violate fond nature's sacred laws; But for some glorious end, some godlike deed, That Kings and Heroes had been proud to bleed ! While oft rebellious man, when ills arise, Arraigns th' unerring judgments of the skies; To her superior piety is giv'n, She learns to bless the chast’ning hand of Heav'n.
In scenes domestic, scenes which most endear, She shines resistless in her brightest sphere; Close to her bosom prest, with fond alarms, See infant Beauty smiles in all his charms ! Endearing sight! O may he ne'er destroy, Thy mother's hope, thy dream of future joy; But by his filial love fulfil thy pray'r, And well repay thy tenderness and care.
Fair is the morn, the gilded prospect gay, May no dark wintry cloud obscure the day! When Beauty, blooming like an Eastern Queen,
Forsakes the shade to grace a brighter scene.
To please a Woman is a task indeed ! We all attempt; alas ! how few succeed ! A shameful truth, that female charms are sold, Some are with flatt'ry bought, and some with gold. Delia, who once inspir’d the poet's page, Soon finds a ready purchaser, in age. Daphne, who lov'd a fool, mistaken fair! Because he prais'd her beauty, shape, and air; Her raptures over, her illusions past, Longs to obey one will—that will—his last !
In Woman various characters we find, No two alike in feature, or in mind. Laura, whose spouse is sober once a week, Ne'er felt the flush of anger warm her cheek. Clio, whose scolding tongue affrights the house, Screams at a beetle, trembles at a mouse.
Consid'rate Fanny, tender-hearted dame !
Amelia wears a smile from morn to night,
health! The sturdy vulgar are exempt from pain, 'Tis only folks of quality complain!
Say, is not Prudence more than Dian chaste ? What mortal man will suit her maiden taste? How cold her eye, it freezes with despair! Love, tender Love, can never enter there ! O strange reverse ! beneath that artful guise, Some wicked thoughts intrude, and mischief lies.
Now view the contrast in Clarissa's air, Light, easy, graceful, spruce, and debonnair! Her laughing eye, soft smile, at once bespeak Love warms her mind, and blushes in her cheek; Blest with each grace that nature can impart To captivate the eye, and charm the heart,
Clarissa weds for love-and, what is worse,
What sudden friendships has Lucretia made, Eternally betraying, and betray'd ! 'Tis hers to heave th' involuntary sigh, The tear unconscious glistens in her eye, Yet, sympathetic soul ! she knows not why! If soft Lucretia hear her friend is dead, Her lap-dog's scalded, or her monkey's fled; If Poll no more can charm her gentle ears With dainty oaths, the nymph dissolves in tears! The pity which in female hearts we prize, Flows from no deeper channel than her eyes.
Stern Hecatissa gives the world her hate, Her thoughts are fix'd upon a future state; From morn to night, in mere religious whim, She screams aloud her anabaptist hymn! Mistaken fool! put off thy borrow'd part, Learn meekness and sincerity of heart; Heav'n counts thy vows as vain, and nothing worth, Unless a righteous spirit give them birth.
Behold yon captious dame, reserv'd, and sly,