1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Anonymous, "To the Pretty Women of England ... recommending to them the Erection of a Monument in Honour of the Lady M. W. Montagu" Lloyd's Evening Post (13 January 1773) 42.



Ye beauteous Sisters of our sea-girt isle,
On whom the handmaid Hebe deigns to smile,
Do ye not think some little tribute's due,
In honour of our peerless MONTAGU!
Are ye not fair as Circassian Maids,
And learned as the Girls of Pindus' shade?
'Twas she preserv'd the beauties of each face,
And made our Belles the glory of the race!
Hence to her fame let Art and Genius raise
The grateful monument of Beauty's praise,
And on the column let these lines be writ,
More to declare your gratitude than wit:

"This by the British Beauties, peerless Dame,
Was rear'd in honour of your worth and fame;
To tell with gratitude the rising race,
That you preserv'd their beauties from disgrace;
That form Circassia's shore your brought the art
Of saving that, which first allures the heart.
All the transcendent beauties which we boast,
The joys peculiar to a Reigning Toast;
The life of pleasure, and the love of sway,
Without the obligation to obey;
All this we owe to you — this scepter'd pow'r,
Which suppliant man confesses ev'ry hour.
Thanks, noble Dame; and let this column tell
The lively sense of ev'ry beauteous Belle.
Here shall the sweetest Maidens yearly smile,
And the first roses scatter round the pile."