1708 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Smith

Anonymous, "To Mr. Edmund Smith" Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems (1708) 329-31.



Mun, rarely credit common Fame,
Unheeded let her praise or blame;
As Whimsies guide the Gossip Tattles,
Of Wits, of Beauties, and of Battles;
To Day the Warriour's Brow she crowns,
For Navel Spoils, and taken Towns:
To Morrow all her Spite she rallies,
And votes the Victor to the Gallies.

Nor in her Visits can she spare
The Reputation of the Fair:
For instance, — Cloe's Bloom did boast
A while to be the reigning Toast:
Lean Hectick Sparks abandon'd Bohee,
And in Beer-Glasses pledg'd to Cloe.
What Fops of Figure did she bring
To the Front-Boxes and the Ring?
While Nymphs o' Quality look'd sullen,
As breeding Wives, or moulting Pullen.
Bless'd Charmer She, 'till prying Fame
Incog. to Miss's Toilet came;
Where in the Gally-Pots she spy'd
Lillies, and Roses that defy'd
The Frost of Age; with certain Pickles,
They call — Cosmeticks for the Freckles;
Away she flew with what she wanted,
And told at Court that Cloe painted.

"The who'd on common Fame rely?
Who's chief Employment's to decry;
A cogging, fickle, jilting Female,
As ever ply'd at six in the Mall;
The Father of all Fibs begat her
On some old News-Man's Fusty Daughter."
O CAPTAIN! Taisez voux — 'Twere hard
Her Novels ne'er should have regard:
One Proof I'll in her Favour give,
Which none but you will disbelieve.

When Phoebus sent her to recite
The Praises of the most Polite,
Whose Scenes have been, in ev'ry Age,
The Glories of the British Stage,
Then she, to rigid Truth confin'd,
Your Name with lofty Shakespeare joyn'd;
And speaking, as the God directed,
The Praise she gave was unsuspected.