1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah Cowley

Anonymous, "Verses on seeing a Portrait of Mrs. Cowley in the Lady's Magazine" St. James's Chronicle (19 October 1784).



Draw me (said Pallas) Cowley's Face,
Her sprightly Air, her easy Grace;
Let richest Rays illume the Frame,
The Ruby's Blush, the Diamond's Flame;
Let Pearls her blameless Life express,
And neat and simple be her Dress.

"Behold!" the exulting Artist cry'd;
Disgusted Pallas turn'd aside.
Is this the Portrait of the Fair?
This clumsy Form, this vacant Air!
This aged, vapid, speechless Look!
Her's these stiff Arms, and formal Book?
Why, Friend, thou'st drawn a fright — a Hag!
Give it the Flames — or Lady's Mag.