1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

Anonymous, "Verses on Mrs. Yearsley, on reading her Royal Captives and other Publications" Bath Herald (15 August 1795).



For Bristol Milk, of old, 'tis said,
Were Bristol Cits well known;
Imported — from the fam'd Nag's Head,
Consign'd — unto their own.

Their Milky Helicon of late,
Derives from nobler part;
Now springs from out a Female's pate,
But flows — to every heart.

Thus wond'rous flow'd the smitten rock
In HOREB'S barren land;
Thus marvel'd ISRAEL'S drooping flock,
And bless'd the Giver's hand.

No more the tasteless TOLZEY shews
Dull Traffic's anxious crew;
But like the Land of Promise flows
With Milk and Honey too.

From happy trips, by Genius made,
Arriv'd new Merchandize;
And taught — that sweetest sugar trade,
"Commercing with the skies."

APOLLO heard LACTILLA'S strain,
And smack'd his lips divine;
"That hands no bestial Teates shall drain,
'Twas form'd to milk my Nine.

"Unchill'd shall flow thy silver stream,
Nor taint in sultry hour;
No cloying Flatt'ry clout thy Cream,
Nor Satyr turn thee sour.

"Pure as thy Pail each thought appear,
Nor shall it 'ere be said
Tho' sweet thy milk through all the year,
'Twas ever kept in Lead.

"Thy draught shall Vincent's Fount surpass,
But not thy cup convey.
The meagre froth of moping Ass,
Nor Cambria's rank Goats whey.

"Thy Paps shall pour Pierian streams
For Wisdom's Infant race,
Her Sucklings skim thy virtuous themes,
And thrive like Babes of Grace.

"Link'd with the fair Celestial Few,
To Fame's proud Buskins rise;
In Stocking of immortal Blue,
Trudge onward to the Skies.

"From Pail, from Stool, from Bestial Race,
Thy Milk-white Soul shall stray,
And thine our brightest Star, to grace
The Heav'ns own milky way!"