1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

J. L., "Lines on the ancient and modern Practice in Cases of female Infidelity" Star, Daily Evening Advertiser (11 August 1797).



When o'er the flow'ry meads fair HELEN hied,
A faithless wanderer from her husband's side,
Great MENELAUS 'rouz'd the Grecian States,
Implor'd the Gods, invok'd the trembling Fates,
To hurl destruction on the race of Troy,
Shake her proud walls, and the whole realm destroy:
The pray'r was heard — the Trojan hosts were slain,
And MENELAUS receiv'd his spouse again.

When fair PERDITA from her husband ran,
With FLORIZEL, the gay, perfidious man,
He call'd a coach, arous'd the Lawyer tribe,
Drew forth his purse, and shew'd the golden bribe;
Implor'd their eloquence his cause to plead,
And punish him who made his heart to blead;
Thus having gone the Law's wide tedious round,
He lost his Wife, but gain'd Five Thousand Pound!