BY DR. GARTH1
SPOKEN BY MRS. PORTER2
What odd fantastic things we women do!
Who would not listen when young lovers woo?
But die a maid, yet have the choice of two!
Ladies are often cruel to their cost;
Vows of virginity should well be weighed; Too oft they're cancelled, though in convents made.
To give you pain, themselves they punish most. 5
Would you revenge such rash resolves -- you may:
Be spiteful -- and believe the thing we say;
We hate you when you're easily said nay.
How needless, if you knew us, were your fears!
Let love have eyes, and beauty will have ears.
Our hearts are formed, as you yourselves would choose,
Too proud to ask, too humble to refuse:
He sighs with most success that settles well. The woes of wedlock with the joys we mix;
We give to merit, and to wealth we sell; 15
'Tis best repenting in a coach and six
Blame not our conduct, since we but pursue
Your breasts no more the fire of beauty warms, But wicked wealth usurps the power of charms;
Those lively lessons we have learned from you: 20
What pains to get the gaudy thing you hate,
To swell in show, and be a wretch in state!
Even churches are no sanctuaries now: There, golden idols all your vows receive,
At plays you ogle, at the Ring' you bow; 25
She is no goddess that has nought to give.
Oh, may once more the happy age appear,
When gold and grandeur were unenvied things, And courts less coveted than groves and springs.
When words were artless, and the thoughts sincere; 30
Love then shall only mourn when truth complains,
And constancy feel transport in its chains.
And eyes shall utter what the lips conceal: Virtue again to its bright station climb,
Sighs with success their own soft anguish tell, 35
And beauty fear no enemy but time,
The fair shall listen to desert alone,
And every Lucia find a Cato's son. 40