By the Author


Ladies, for you—I heard our poet say—
He’d try to coax some moral from his play:
“One moral’s plain,” cried I, “without more fuss;
Man’s social happiness all rests on us:
Through all the drama—whether damn’d or not—
Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot.
From every rank obedience is our due—
D’ye doubt?—The world’s great stage shall prove it true.”
    The cit, well skill’d to shun domestic strife,
Will sup abroad; but first he’ll ask his wife:
John Trot, his friend, for once will do the same,
But then—he’ll just step home to tell his dame.
    The surly squire at noon resolves to rule,
And half the day—Zounds! madam is a fool!
Convinced at night, the vanquish’d victor says,
Ah, Kate! you women have such coaxing ways.
    The jolly toper chides each tardy blade,
Till reeling Bacchus calls on Love for aid:
Then with each toast he sees fair bumpers swim,
And kisses Chloe on the sparkling brim!
    Nay, I have heard that statesmen—great and wise—
Will sometimes counsel with a lady’s eyes!
The servile suitors watch her various face,
She smiles preferment, or she frowns disgrace,
Curtsies a pension here—there nods a place.
    Nor with less awe, in scenes of humbler life,
Is view’d the mistress, or is heard the wife.
The poorest peasant of the poorest soil,
The child of poverty, and heir to toil,
Early from radiant Love’s impartial light
Steals one small spark to cheer this world of night:
Dear spark! that oft through winter’s chilling woes
Is all the warmth his little cottage knows!
    The wandering tar, who not for years has press’d,
The widow’d partner of his day of rest,
On the cold deck, far from her arms removed,
Still hums the ditty which his Susan loved;
And while around the cadence rude is blown,
The boatswain whistles in a softer tone.
    The soldier, fairly proud of wounds and toil,
Pants for the triumph of his Nancy’s smile!
But ere the battle should he list her cries,
The lover trembles—and the hero dies!
That heart, by war and honour steel’d to fear,
Droops on a sigh, and sickens at a tear!
    But ye more cautious, ye nice-judging few,
Who give to beauty only beauty’s due,
Though friends to love—ye view with deep regret
Our conquests marr’d, our triumphs incomplete,
Till polish’d wit more lasting charms disclose,
And judgment fix the darts which beauty throws!
In female breasts did sense and merit rule,
The lover’s mind would ask no other school;
Shamed into sense, the scholars of our eyes,
Our beaux from gallantry would soon be wise;
Would gladly light, their homage to improve,
The lamp of knowledge at the torch of love!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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