female counsel in a female’s cause.
    Look on this form,1—where humour, quaint and sly,
Dimples the cheek, and points the beaming eye;
Where gay invention seems to boast its wiles
In amorous hint, and half-triumphant smiles;
While her light mask or covers satire’s strokes,
Or hides the conscious blush her wit provokes.
Look on her well—does she seem’d form’d to teach?
Should you expect to hear this lady preach?
Is grey experience suited to her youth?
Do solemn sentiments become that mouth?
Bid her be grave, those lips should rebel prove
To every theme that slanders mirth or love.

    Yet, thus adorn’d with every graceful art
To charm the fancy and yet reach the heart—
Must we displace her, and instead advance
The goddess of the woful countenance—
The sentimental Muse?—Her emblems view,
The Pilgrim’s Progress, and a sprig of rue!
View her—too chaste to look like flesh and blood—
Primly portray’d on emblematic wood!
There, fix’d in usurpation, should she stand,
She’ll snatch the dagger from her sister’s hand:
And having made her votaries weep a flood,
Good heaven! she’ll end her comedies in blood—
Bid Harry Woodward break poor Dunstal’s crown!
Imprison Quick, and knock Ned Shuter down;
While sad Barsanti, weeping o’er the scene,
Shall stab herself—or poison Mrs. Green.

    Such dire encroachments to prevent in time,
Demands the critic’s voice—the poet’s rhyme.
Can our light scenes add strength to holy laws
Such puny patronage but hurts the cause:
Fair virtue scorns our feeble aid to ask;
And moral truth disdains the trickster’s mask
For here their favourite stands,2 whose brow severe
And sad, claims youth’s respect, and pity’s tear;
Who, when oppress’d by foes her worth creates,
Can point a poniard at the guilt she hates.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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