“On seeing SAPHIRA in a Riding Habit”
WHEN Sapphira, in her sex’s garb we see,
The queen of beauty then she seems to be:
Now, fair Adonis, in this male disguise,
Or Cupid, killing with his mother’s eyes:
No stile of empire’s chang’d by this remove, 5
Who seem’d the goddess, seems the god of love.
Title Riding Habit “A garment or outfit worn for horse riding; (in later use) a riding dress worn by women or girls, consisting of a long skirt and tight-fitting, double-breasted jacket” (OED).
3 Adonis In classical myth, a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. In extended usage, an Adonis is an extremely handsome young man (OCD).
4 Cupid, killing with his mother’s eyes In classical mythology, the god of love and desire. He is often portrayed as the son of Venus, the goddess of love.
5 stile Variant spelling of the word “style.”
Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 36 (February 1766), p. 89.
Edited by Sierra Moreno