Mary Russell Mitford

Anonymous, in "The Crowning of the Living British Poetesses" The Literary Gazette (30 June 1827) 413.

In garment of gingham, and chapeau de paille
Deck'd with many a flower of the wood and the vale;
Her apron of check, of black worsted her hose,
With tippet and mittens for out-of-door clothes,—
Did sweet Russell Mitford trip up to the Muse;
You might hear, as she trotted, the nails in her shoes;
Yet, wond'rous to tell, where her pocket-holes gape,
They discover'd a slip of Italian crape;
And a kind of a gorget yclep'd a "Foscari"
Was clasp'd round the throat of this marvellous Mary:
'Twas finished with tassels all gilded and gay,
And seem'd, for a cottager's neck, so outre,
That it look'd like a present, at first, or a pillage,—
While the garrulous maid told a tale of "Our Village,"—
Engaging the Muse with most winning rusticity;
But, sudden, she doffs her straw-hat of simplicity,
And throws back her tresses, discovering now,
Not "the peasant's bronzed cheek," but "the high Dama's brow;"
Her gingham disguise to the winds she has flung,
And the accents of tragedy dwell on her tongue;
All this in a moment was charmingly acted,
And soon as the player her part had enacted,
Calliope greeted her smiling and soft,
And said, as she held the bright chaplet aloft,
"What a happy assortment of trappings you've chose,—
My sweet little medley of poetry and prose!
If some be too coarse, there are others too fine,
With less, I must tell you, of service than shine;
And your voice, on the stage, sounds a little bit hoarse,—
But the garland you'll take as a matter of course."