1685
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the Bear-fac'd Lady.

Maggots, or, Poems on several Subjects, never before handled. By a Schollar.

Rev. Samuel Wesley


Samuel Wesley's epigram puns on "bare-faced": "He who to meet a Devil does prepare, | Like Spencer's Knight, may find an Angel there." The reference seems to be to Redcross's first encounter with Duessa, Faerie Queene 1.1.49: "Lo there before his face his Lady is, | Under blake stole hyding her bayted hooke, | And as halfe blushing offred him to kis."

Author's Note: "This Story, and the Lady's Picture — appertaining thereunto, — are notorious enough about London, without Explication of the Subject in general."

Thomas Park: "Prefixed to this singular little effusion of metrical jocoseness is a figure of a man writing at a table, with a laurel crown, and a large maggot on his forehead.... This print is said to represent Samuel Wesley the elder, who published, in riper years, The Life of our blessed Saviour, in verse, with cuts by Faithorne; Elegies on the death of Queen Mary and Archbishop Tillotson; and Dissertations in Latin upon the Book of Job, &c" Restituta or ... English Literature Revived 4 (1816) 481-82.

W. Davenport Adams: "Samuel Wesley, clergyman (b. 1662, d. 1735), wrote Maggots; or Poems on Several Subjects (1685); The Life of Jesus Christ, an heroick Poem (1693); The Pious Communicant, with Prayers and Hymns (1700); The History of the Old and New Testament attempted in Verse (1704); Dissertations in Librum Jobi (1736); and other works" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 682.



Too charming Maid, whose Viznomy divine
Shoots Darts around like any Porcupine!
Who give to Cupid's Arrows new supplyes,
Heading 'em from your Face, and not your Eyes,
Like Cleavland's Lover, Pallizado'd in,
And fenc'd by the sharp Turn-pikes of your Chin.
Happy the Man to whom you must disclose
The flaming Beauties of your Rain-bow Nose!
What tho' in vain t' approach your Lips he seek?
He may with leave come near, and kiss your Cheek;
If, as when Turks expect they should be heard
At Prayer, you will but turn aside your beard:
All this were true, tho' Art should you disgrace
And shew her own, instead of Nature's Face.
But you discreetly choose the Russian way,
And closely veyl it till the Wedding-day;
Not Stega-like, by too sincere a carriage,
Your Imperfections shew, and mar your Marriage
You are resolv'd that Faith and Stomach too
Shall meet in him who must be blest with you
And by so just a Touch-stone mean to prove
The Mettal of his Courage and his Love:
Nay, Joan, her self, whom he'l i'th dark embrace
When the Light comes, may have my Lady's Face:
He has his Chance, it may be good enough
For all Love's but a Game at Blind-mans buff
He who to meet a Devil does prepare,
Like Spencer's Knight, may find an Angel there.
Missing a Snake, he may at last prevail
To hold a fat, tho' slipry Eel by th' Tail.
When Psyche thro' the Air to Cupid rode,
She fear'd a Dragon, but she found a God.
Suppose the worst, a Rival's spight has sed
Here's Spouse enough, tho' she had ne're an Head.
A just proportion every where behold,
And Gold, the Cream o'th' Jest, remember Gold;
Gold! Gold! those subtle Charms must needs prevail;
Gold! Gold! enow, had she nor Head, nor Tail.
Sure this must even the flintyest Heart subdue;
Those Chains, those Pearls, those Lockets, all for you!
What if no Cubbs bless the ill-natur'd Joys?
Look, she's already stock'd with yellow Boys;
And she
May live like Etheldreda, undefil'd,
While you
Lye with her Coin, and get her Bags with Child.

NOTES. . . .
[Like Spencer's Knight, &c. See Spencer's Fairy Queen; In one of the first Canto's — instead of an old Witch, the Knight found a brisk young Lady.]

[pp. 29-32]