1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Leapor

Anonymous, "Occasioned by reading an excellent Miscellany lately published, entitled, Poems by eminent Ladies" London Magazine 24 (Appendix, 1755) 626.



While other females flaunt at ball and play,
Or at the toilet waste the live-long day,
Some few behold, (who study'd real grace,
Nor thought all merit center'd in a face)
To lib'ral arts and nobler cares resign'd,
Adorn'd the soul, and cloath'd the female mind.
O! that ye too, gay daughters of brocade,
Were thus in sense as well as silk array'd;
Taught to seraphick strains to shape the pen,
Like Madan, Leapor, Montague, and Behn!
These with the noblest join'd the tuneful choir,
With Cowley, Pope, and Dryden, strung the lyre.
Rouse then for shame, each slothful toast and belle,
And wake to extasy the vocal shell.
Parnassus loses more than half its pride,
Unless bright females grace his flow'ry side:
In vain the laurel binds Apollo's brow,
Unless the muses at his altar bow.