1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Crop, "To Lord M—n, on the report of Perditta's being created a Countess!" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (24 August 1780).



Advice, that opposes a passion like thine,
May rash and ungrateful appear;
Yet friendship forbids me a truth to decline,
Tho' it hopes not thy patience to hear.

It grieves me to see thee thus covet with rage,
A heart that no merit can move;
While health, with disease, or libidinous age,
In a moment would melt her to love.

And more still I'm griev'd, that a whim-begot aim,
In spleen, fits, and idleness bred,
Shou'd now, by long habit, be nurs'd to a flame,
And thy heart be thus dup'd by thy head!—

Her fancy is lifeless, and sluggish her sense;
Abortive each wish and desire;
And her nerves only stretch to the sound of the pence,
Her touchstone of amorous fire.

Her lips are no road to her hand or her heart,
They're a cramp flesh and blood can't discover;
And unless your warm touch burns with Midas's art,
You may press, and implore her for ever.

But in vain does your frizeur new miracles try,
And your tongue flow with Paris-bred jargon;
The head of your Cane has more charms in her eye,
And if gold — reasons best for the bargain.

Cou'd a Coffin a richer-bred passion unfold,
She wou'd gaze with more rapture upon it;
And the squeak of the hinge, was the metal but gold,
Wou'd prevail o'er your love labour'd sonnet.

Bring thy penitent vows to wrong'd Venus's shrine,
Treat her scorn, like the scheme, with a laugh;
Breathe out the pure flame to some Nymph half divine,
And let her bow down to her CALF!