1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah Cowley

Alexis, "Verses written by an Officer of the Guards, on seeing the Belle's Stratagem" Morning Chronicle (17 November 1780).



Touch, Dorus, touch thy softest lyre,
To harmonize my mind!
New language may its notes inspire
By taste itself refined.

For sure no common bards can point
The powerful charms of YOUNGE;
All hacknied epithets are faint,
It asks the Muse's tongue.

Wouldst thou know all, that's meant by Grace,
What's sweet, what's witching tell,
What's gay, and elegant, wouldst trace?
Then see her in the BELLE.

But if you Love's sweet pangs despise,
Or dread its tender woe;
If vulgar liberty you prize,
The shun the lovely foe.

For oh! be sure it were as well,
To stand the lightning's dart,
As view her in th' accomplish'd Belle,
Yet hope to keep your heart.