1716 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Addison

Leonard Welsted, "To the Countess of Warwick, on her Marraige with Mr. Addison" 1716; Welsted, Epistle and Odes on Several Subjects (1724) 19-21.



Ambition long has Woman's Heart betray'd,
And Tinsel Grandeur caught th' unwary Maid;
The pompous Stiles, that strike th' admiring Throng,
Have glitter'd in the Eye of Beauty long:
You, MADAM, first the Female Taste improve,
And give your Fellow-Charmers Laws for Love;
A Pomp you covet, not to Heralds known,
And sigh for Vertues equal to your own;
Part in a Man immortal greatly claim;
And frown on Titles, to ally with Fame:
Not Edward's Star, emboss'd with Silver Rays,
Can vie in Glory with thy Consort's Bays;
His Country's Pride does Homage to thy Charms,
And every Merit crowds into thy Arms.

While others gain light Conquests by their Eyes,
'Tis thine with Wisdom to subdue the Wise:
To their soft Chains while courtly Beaux submit,
'Tis thine to lead in Triumph captive Wit:
Her sighing Vassals let Clarinda boast,
Of Lace and languishing Cockades the Toast;
In Beauty's Pride unenvied let her reign,
And share that wanton Empire with the Vain:
For Thee, the Arts of Greece and Rome combine;
For all the Glories, Cato gain'd, are thine;
Still Warwick in thy boasted Rank of Life,
But more illustrious, than when Warwick's Wife.

Come forth, reveal Thy self, thou chosen Bride,
And shew great Nassau's Poet by thy Side;
Thy bright Example shall instruct the Fair,
And future Nymphs shall make Renown their Care;
Embroid'ry less shall charm the Virgin's Eye,
And kind Coquets, for Plumes, less frequent die:
Secure shall Beauty reign, the Muse its Guard;
The Muse shall triumph, Beauty its Reward.