Tag Archives: anonymous

Anonymous, “To the Cottagers”


 “To the Cottagers”

Will you, ladies, think us rude,
If ourselves we thus intrude?
Will you pardon what is sent
With a friendly good intent?
Tho’ we own the mode is new,                                       5
Nor deny a selfish view.
Mop’d and starv’d with wintry weather,
Round the fire we crowd together;
To the window then we run,
Hoping still to see the Sun;                                                      10
But yon’ tow’ring mast and fane
Tell us still ‘twill blow and rain.
This the plea for pen that labours
For a peep at cottage neighbours.
Tell us, ladies, have you seen                                            15
Two fair nymphs, of gentle mien,
Tripping lightly o’er the green?
They frequent your usual way:
Did you see ‘em bathe to-day,
And emerge from Ribble’s arms,                                        20
Dripping, like the Grecian charms?
For they brought the Graces with ‘em,
Lately come to stay at Lytham!
If you know ’em, tell us true,
Own it, ladies,—are they you?                                             25
On one sad day, in luckless hour,
Of stormy wind, and pelting show’r,
We saw two scudding o’er the heath,
With flutt’ring lawn and panting breath;
We saw and griev’d, no cloak was there,                                    30
Nor broad umbrella had we near;
But, whilst we wail’d this sad disaster,
Wind, hail, and rain, descending faster,
We saw the witches take to flight,
And vanish sudden from our sight!                                              35
Had one sage author seen the deed,
How gladly he’d have chang’d his creed!
If you know ‘em, tell us true,
Own it, ladies,—were they you?
Lastly, ladies, should intrusion                                                      40
Not throw all parties in confusion,
’Twould make us proud to cross the gap,
And give your door a friendly rap;
Thrice happy should we deem our lot
To greet you in our humble cot;                                                     45
We then might saunter miles by dozens,
Or sit and chat of Yorkshire cousins.
And should you, kindly, so befriend us
As pardon, freely, soon to send us,
’Twould make the grateful hearts right glad                                 50
Of Frances, Charles, and Hugo Chad.


11 fane “A temple” (OED).

16 mien “The look, bearing, or conduct of a person, as showing character, mood” (OED).

20 Ribble “River rising in Yorkshire. It flows through Settle, Clitheroe Ribchester and Preston, before emptying into the Irish Sea between Lytham St. Annes and Southport, a length of 75 miles” (Settle Hydro).

21 Grecian charms In the sense of “persons or lives: fortified, protected, rendered invulnerable, etc., by a spell or charm” (OED).

22 Graces The “number of Graces varied in different myths, but usually there were three: Aglaia (Brightness), Euphrosyne (Joyfulness), and Thalia (Bloom). Frequently, the Graces were taken as goddesses of charm or beauty in general and hence were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love” (Britannica).

23 Lytham Seaside town in the Borough of Fylde in Lancashire, England.

34 witches “The trials of the Pendle Hill witches in Lancashire in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history. The twelve accused lived in the area surrounding Pendle Hill in Lancashire and were charged with the murders of ten people using witchcraft” (J. T. Swain, The Lancashire Witch Trials of 1612 and 1634 and the Economics of Witchcraft).

36 “Description of Blackpool, p. 40; where the Lancashire witches are spoken of a “leetle” irreverently” [Author’s Note].  The reference is to a book by William Hutton titled A Description of Blackpool in Lancashire (1789). The cited passage reads: “He may safely carry his heart in and through the country, and find the witches perfectly harmless. He will be in no more danger than Don Quixote with the lovely Altisidora. Perhaps he would find a more hazardous passage through the little town of Ashbourn in the Peak, than the whole county of Lancaster. Though beauties, at a cursory view, may seem to abound, as in other places, yet the careful observer, upon a fair examination, will think with me, they are a “leetle” below mediocrity” (40).

51 Frances, Charles, and Hugo Chad Unable to trace.

SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 68, part II (October 1798), p. 884. [J. Paul Leonard Library]

Edited by Gabriela Pires

Anonymous, “Sylvia on her Lover’s making the Campaign in Flanders” and “Dorothy,” “Sylvia Seconded”


“SYLVIA on her LOVER’s making the Campaign in Flanders”


Since honur call my love away,
Shall I inglorious cort his stay?
No—I am charm’d the yuth I love,
Ha’now the lot himself to prove,
A soldier stout, humane and free,                               5
Firm in the cause of liburty;
And heav’n furbid, thro’ me his fame
Be blasted with a coward’s name.
Chearful he leave the rural sports,
And honur’s mart, the camp, he corts;                        10
Wheer William, George his marshial son,
Do all the soldier’s danger run,
And base that Brittun sure mun be,
Who fears to face the enemy,
Led by so brafe a prince as he.                                     15
Although the world my Dicky range
His love is too sinsere to change;
Nor shall his absence make me stray,
No happier man shall find the way
To Sylvia’s hart; for he alone                                           20
Is monarc ther, and ther’s his throne.
Ye kindly pow’rs surround and shield
My champion in the hostil field.
Purtect him wher the bullets fly,
And place his gardian angel nye;                                   25
And when his country’s cause no more
Demands his sword, to Britain’s shore
Return my lover free from harms,
And bless me in his fathful arms.


Title the Campaign in Flanders Refers to England’s involvement in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) (Britannica).

11 William, George his marshial son Prince William, later Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765) was the youngest son of George II (c. 1683-1760), reigned from 1727.  William became a major-general in 1742 and was known for his martial exploits in several battles during the War of the Austrian Succession (Britannica).

16 Dicky Nickname derived from Richard.

20 Sylvia Derived from the Latin “silva,” meaning “a wood, forest, woodland” (OED).

SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. XV (August, 1745), p. 439.

Edited by Zoe Crowe


“SYLVIA Seconded

Shame to the lass whose fatal beauty
Retains her lover from his duty.
An honest country girl am I,
Untaught to patch, or paint—or lye;
I never led assembly dance,                                                5
Nor ap’d the monkey-modes of France;
Nor ever fainted at a ball,
These are no tricks for artless Doll.
Yet, chearful, with the ruddy dawn,
I sing along the russet lawn;                                              10
I milk the cows in yonder dale,
And home I bring the smoaking pail;
Each has her charge, of sisters three,
And the sweet dairy falls to me.
Yet tho’ I tend my rural care,                                      15
Our shepherds tell me I am fair;
And Will, I fear, has found the art
To steal a corner in my heart;
Yet, if he should refuse his hand,
Now, when his country does demand,                              20
I’d scorn the man I lov’d before,
Nor ever own his courtship more.
Would maidens but of high degree
Submit to be advis’d by me,
They would employ each grace and charm,                       25
For freedom ev’ry breast to warm;
No courtier at their feet should sigh,
Who for his king refus’d to die;
No lover meet their kind applause,
His sword undrawn in Britain’s cause.                                   30
Now—all that’s dear is lay’d at stake,
Ye fair, your fond admirers wake!
Bid them draw forth th’ avenging steel,
Till rebel foes their rashness feel.
Then—when the glorious task is o’er,                                    35
And peace restor’d to Albion’s shore,
Inform them your consenting smile
Shall meet their vows—and crown their toil.


Title (See p. 439).  [Editor’s note]

4 patch, or paint Makeup and patches, or beauty spots (la mouches), were popularized by French court circles in the mid-eighteenth century (Gardiner Museum).

6 monkey-modes of France “Modes,” here likely meaning “a prevailing fashion, custom, practice, or style, esp. one characteristic of a particular place or period” (OED). In the eighteenth century, France was considered the predominant pioneer in European fashion and popularized lavish styles of formal dress, such as the grand habit, which stood in stark contrast with trends within England that favored “egalitarian styles and fabrics” (Textile History).

23 degree “A stage or position in the scale of dignity or rank; relative social or official rank” (OED).

30 Britain’s cause Britain entered the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) to prevent the French from capturing the Austrian Netherlands and to protect its territory in Hanover (National Army Museum).

36 Albion’s shore “Originally: the island of Britain. Later: the nation of Britain or England, often with reference to past times, or to a romanticized concept of the nation” (OED).

39 Staffordshire Ceremonial county in the English West Midlands.

SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. XV (October, 1745), p. 551.

Edited by Zoe Crowe

Anonymous, “On Solitude”


“On Solitude”

Hail, modest Solitude, instructive maid,
Still to thy vot’ry, still vouchsafe thine aid
Still imp my soul with meditation’s wings,
And lead me far from modern trifling things.
Before my view bid ages past unfold,                                                  5
And let me mingle with the great of old.
With kings and heroes, saints and sages stray,
And let their converse cheat the devious way.
Behold, already to my joyful eyes,
From various realms the mighty shades arise;                                  10
Who once the bulwark of their country stood,
And, to be great, determin’d to be good.
Great too in crimes another race I view,
For all was great that former ages knew.
In Aristides just see Athens’ pride;                                                           15
See the brave Theban, who at Leuctra dy’d.
With him th’ unweary’d partner of his wars,
Looks up elate and glories in his fears.
There moves the father of the Grecian state,
Whose name Thermopylae hath snatch’d from fate;                            20
And yet an endless train to these succeeds,
The chief who conquers and the sage who bleeds,
Rome’s awful names now crowd upon my mind,
Her first great Brutus, glory of mankind,
The voice of nature dying in his ear,                                                       25
The voice of Rome alone he knew to hear;
There leans Horatius on his darling boy,
And smiles superior with a Roman joy,
The Fabii, Decii, see, and o’er the rest,
Great Cato tow’rs, the wisest and the best,                                            30
Cato, the last of Romans, and the pride,
Cato, who never err’d, but when he dy’d.
Behind the sons of glorious mischief press,
Whose deeds can plead no merit but success;
Young Ammon, Caesar, there with gesture proud,                                  35
Drink the mad plaudit of the ruin’d crowd.
But who are these of later times, I ween,
Of equal worth that crowd the shifting scene?
My soul presaging knows the kindred line,
Ye Henrys, Edwards, yes, I call ye mine.                                                      40
Each look, each smile, some pleasing thought conveys,
Of tyrants humbled on victorious days,
When Edward, Henry, and his son appears,
I start to Cressy, Agincourt, Poictiers,
And later yet, behold a virgin sway                                                             45
Fair Albion’s sceptre, and the world obey,
Yet, yet, one more, a mother, wife, and queen,
O’er vanquish’d nations looks with placid mien,
Imperial Anna; yes, thy name shall stand,
The grace, the pride, the glory of our land,                                                 50
Not Rome, nor Greece, nor antient times disdain,
To mix their honours with great Anna’s reign.
Thrice happy, Britain! if thy favour’d throne,
Still in a monarch had a parent known,
No wretch, who bold perverse and haughty still                                        55
Made his will law, and not our laws his will.
Yet let no murmurs rise, since heav’n presides,
Since all our fortunes boundless wisdom guides:
As guilt uncheck’d would call for burning rain,
Or bid some deluge drown the world again,                                                60
Tyrant’s must rise, the nation’s iron rod,
The scourge of vengeance in the hand of God.
Thus good and bad by turns appear to view,
The bad how many, and the good how few:
But tyrants soon in penal chains shall groan,                                               65
And injur’d kings possess a lasting throne.


 2 vot’ry Votary, “a devoted or zealous worshipper” (OED); vouchsafe “Confer or bestow” (OED).

 15 Aristides just Aristides the Just (fl. 5th century BC), an Athenian statesman, general, and founder of the Delian League” (Britannica).

16 the brave Theban, who at Leuctra dy’d Probably a reference to Epaminondas, a “Theban statesman” who defeated Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra “and made Thebes the most powerful state in Greece.” However, Epaminondas did not die at Leuctra, but at Mantineia years later (Britannica).

19 the father of the Grecian state Probably a reference to Leonidas I (d. 480 BC), a Spartan king who led a “stand against the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae” (Britannica).

24 Brutus Lucius Junius Brutus (fl. 600-551 BC) was a “semilegendary figure” believed “to have founded the Roman Republic” (Britannica).

27 Horatius Horatius Cocles (6th century or legendary hero) who “defended the Sublician bridge (in Rome) against … the entire Etruscan army” (Britannica).

29 Fabii, Decii Ancient Roman patrician and plebeian families, famous for their patriotic courage and sacrifice (Britannica).

30 Great Cato Marcus Porcius Cato (95-46 BC), a Roman senator “who tried to preserve the Roman republic against power seekers, in particular Julius Caesar” (Britannica).

35 Ammon “Egyptian deity who was revered as king of the gods” (Britannica); Caesar Possible reference to Roman dictator Caius Julius Caesar, though the word can also refer to all Roman emperors “down to the fall of Constantinople” (OED).

36 plaudit “Applause,” or “any emphatic expression of approval” (OED).

37 ween “To think, surmise, suppose” (OED).

39 presaging “To foretell; to predict, forecast” (OED).

40 Henrys, Edwards Likely a general reference to the past kings of England. At the time of this poem’s publication, fourteen English monarchs had borne the name Henry or Edward (Historic UK).

43 Edward Edward III (1312-1377, reigned from 1327, began the Hundred Years’ War and oversaw English victories at Crecy and Poitiers; Henry, and his son appears Most likely references Henry IV (1367-1413), reigned from 1399, and Henry V (1386-1422), reigned from 1413, defeated the French at Agincourt and would have succeeded to the French throne had he not died prematurely of dysentery (Historic UK).

44 Cressy, Agincourt, Poictiers Battles between English and French forces during the Hundred Years’ War that resulted in English victories (Britannica).

45 behold a virgin sway Reference to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), reigned from 1558, known as the “Virgin Queen” (Britannica).

46 Albion’s “Originally: the island of Britain. Later: the nation of Britain or England, often with reference to past times, or to a romanticized concept of the nation” (OED).

49 Imperial Anna Queen Anne (1665-1714), reigned from 1702; she was “the last Stuart Monarch” (Britannica).

59 burning rain Biblical reference to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah from the Book of Genesis:  “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (King James Bible, Genesis 19:24).

60 some deluge drown the world again Reference to “the biblical account of the Deluge” from the Book of Genesis, in which God destroys the world with a catastrophic flood (Britannica).

SOURCE:  The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 24 (March 1754), pp. 135-136. [Google Books]

Edited by Ethan Rappeport

Anonymous, “To Mr. C–T–BY”


“To Mr. C – T – BY”

Ne sit ancilla tibi amor pudori, &c.
Horace, Book II. Ode IV. Imitated


Smit with a spider-brusher’s face,
Think not thy passion a disgrace,
Nor look to d—’d dejected;
Where is thy ancient valour fled?
Nay – never blush, and hang thy head,                           5
Like Bobadil detected.

When Cupid wills his darts to fly,
From corner of a cookmaid’s eye,
The stoutest may be taken;
And whilst she stirs the kitchen fire,                               10
Kindling her cheeks, and his desire,
His heart may melt like bacon.

Then blush not at th’ ignoble flame,
Heroes of old have done the same,
Tho’ great within the trenches;                                 15
Achilles, Ajax, and the Czar,
Soften’d the rugged brow of war
In private with their wenches.

Courage, dear boy, return once more,
Leave not Cindrilla to deplore,                                          20
Whom thy sweet air bewitches;
Her mop, her brush, neglected lie—
She can nor make or bake a pie—
Scarce see to wash her dishes.

Wilt thou no more frequent the green?                             25
With folded arms no more be seen,
Thy own sweet person viewing?
O how she longs to see thee there,
With wrinkled boot, and turn’d-up hair,
Tho’ to her own undoing!                                              30

And then to hear thee talk so fine,
Of horses, w—s, and where to dine,
In neat set phrase so charming—
Cindrilla swears her heart is won,
That she’s resolv’d to be undone,                                        35
And give her mistress warning.

The misses may be pert and sneer,
But servants, tho’ in common geer,
Stuff gowns, and coarser jacket,
May yet conceal as fair a skin,                                               40
Be as provocative to sin,
And make not half the racket.

Besides, who knows, thy love may be
Of noble blood, in low degree,
Tho’ now with scarce a rag on;                                45
Some fairy, envious of her worth,
Doom’d her to labour from her birth,
Sprung from renown’d Pendragon.

Come then to thy Cindrilla’s arms,
Bedizen’d in her Sunday charms,                                           50
No gaudy silks and sattins;
But new-starch’d cap, and tuck’d-up gown,
With red and white that’s all her own,
Stuff petticoat, and pattins.

Pardon, if in these lyric lays                                                     55
I trumpet forth Cindrilla’s praise,
Her beauty tho’ uncommon;
With fourscore years upon my head,
Thou hast but little cause to dread
A poor infirm old woman.                                                 60


Title Unable to identify addressee.  This poem is preceded by a letter to Mr. Urban recommending publication, dated “Bristol, Aug. 20” and signed “Z.”

Epigraph Ne sit ancilla tibi amor pudori “Do not let love for a maidservant be your shame;” Horace, Book II. Ode IV“To Xanthias Phoceus,” in which Horace consoles his friend for falling in love with his servant girl.

1 spider-brusher A servant.

3 dejected “Depressed in spirits, downcast, disheartened, low spirited” (OED).

4 valour “Bravery” (OED).

6 Bobadil A reference to a character in Ben Jonson’s play, Every Man in his Humour (1598); “a blustering braggart who pretends prowess” (OED).

16 Achilles “Briseis” [Author’s note]. A figure in Homer’s Illiad. She was captured by Achilles during the Trojan War and became his lover; Ajax “Tecmessa” [Author’s note]. Ajax killed Tecmessa’s father during the Trojan War and took her captive.  Their union produced a son, Eurysaces; Czar “Catherine, the wife of a Swedish serjeant” [Author’s note]. Czar Peter III (1728-1762) was emperor of Russia from January to July of 1762.  He was overthrown by his wife, who became Catherine the Great (1729-1796), reigned from 1762-1796 (Britannica).

20 Cindrilla Variant of Cinderella; the most popular version of the Cinderella story in the eighteenth century was the English translation of Charles Perrault’s Histoires ou contes du temps passe (1697).

37 pert “Impertinent, cheeky” (OED).

38 geer Clothing.

48 Pendragon Probably a reference to Uther Pendragon, legendary King of the Britons and supposed father of King Arthur; here a reference to the theme of illegitimate conception.

50 Bedizen’d “To dress out especially in vulgar or gaudy fashion” (OED).

SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 54, part II (September 1784), p. 694. [J. Paul Leonard Library]

Edited by Jhadeeja Shahida Vaz

“C—-s.” “In Ridicule of the Prevailing Rage for Air Balloons”


“In Ridicule of the Prevailing Rage for Air Balloons”

Men have long built castles in the air: how to reach them
Montgolfier has now first the honour to teach them.

How odd this whim to mount on air-stuft pillions!
‘Twill ruin all our coachmen and postillions,
Who, if men travel in these strange sky-rockets,
Will quickly feel the loss in — empty pockets.
And most of them, I fear, must quite despair,                                            5
Like new philosophers, to live — on air.
The scheme’s not novel, ‘faith, for by the bye
I long have thought our gentry meant to fly,
Tho’ hitherto content, instead of wings,
With four stout horses, and four easy springs;                                         10
But now the case is alter’d, for, depend on’t,
If flying once comes up — there’ll be no end on’t.
Our grandfathers were pleas’d, poor tender souls!
“To waft a sigh from Indus to the Poles;”
Whilst our enlighten’d age a way discovers,                                               15
Instead of sighs to waft — substantial lovers:
Montgolfier’s silk shall Cupid’s wings supply,
And swift as thought convey them thro’ the sky.
Nor will their travels be to earth confin’d,
They’ll quickly leave this tardy globe behind.                                              20
Posting towards Gretna formerly you’ve seen us;
The ton will soon be to elope — to Venus:
Hot-headed rivals now shall steer their cars,
To fight their desperate duels — snug — in Mars,
Whilst gentler daemons, in the rhiming fit,                                                  25
Shall fly to little Mercury for — wit.
“John, fill the large balloon,” my lady cries,
“I want to take an airing — in the skies.”
Nimbly she mounts her light machine, and in it
To Jupiter’s convey’d in half a minute,                                                          30
Views his broad belt, and steals a pattern from it —
Then stops to warm her fingers — at a comet.
The concert of the spheres she next attends,
Hears half an overture — and then descends.
Trade too, as well as love and dissipation,                                          35
Shall profit by this airy navigation:
Herschell may now with telescopes provide us,
Just fresh imported from — his Georgium Sidus.
Smart milleners shall crowd the stage-balloon,
To bring new fashions weekly — from the moon:                                      40
Gardeners in shoals from Battersea will run,
To raise their kindlier hot-beds — in the sun:
And all our city fruitshops in a trice
From Saturn daily be supplied with ice.
Albion once more her drooping head shall rear,                                 45
And roll her thunders through each distant sphere;
Whilst, led by future Rodneys, British tars
Shall pluck bright honor — from the twinkling stars.


Subtitle Montgolfier One of the Montgolfier brothers; Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier(1745-1799) were pioneer developers of the hot-air balloon and they conducted the first untethered flights (Britannica).

1 pillions “A type of saddle” (OED).

2 postillions “A person who rides the (leading) nearside (left-hand side) horse drawing a coach or carriage, especially when one pair only is used and there is no coachmen” (OED).

14 A slight variation of line 58 from Alexander Pope’s “Eloisa to Abelard.”

21 Gretna Gretna Green, a Scottish town very close to the border with England, and famously the goal for young English couples seeking a quick marriage without their parents’ permission, due to the difference in Scottish marriage laws (Britannica).

22 ton “Fashion; the vogue” (OED).

37 Herschell William Herschel (1738-1822), a German-British astronomer who, in 1781, discovered the planet Uranus (Britannica).

38 Georgium Sidus Latin for “George’s Star,” Herschel’s initial name for planet Uranus, named for then King of England, George III (Britannica).

39 milleners “A person who designs, makes, or sells women’s hats” (OED).

41 shoal “A place where the water is of little depth; a shallow; a sandbank or bar” (OED); Battersea A neighborhood in south London, much of which extends directly along the River Thames.

43 in a trice “Instantly, forthwith; without delay” (OED).

45 Albion “The nation of Britain or England, often with references to past times, or to a romanticized concept of the nation” (OED).

47 Rodneys George Bridges Rodney (1718-1792), a famous British naval officer (Britannica); tars Sailors (OED).

 SOURCE: The Gentleman’s Magazine (May 1784), p. 367. [J. Paul Leonard Library]

 Edited by Gregory McCulloh

Anonymous, “Galetea to Triton. On Jealousie”


“Galatea to Triton. On Jealousie
Written by a Lady.

Love is the Land of Hope and Fear,
Of Pleasure mix’d with Pain,
Where, o’er the Heart, soft Joy, and Care,
Alternate Empire gain.
Possest of all we can desire,                                                  5
Fear mingles with our Joy,
The Source of all our tender Fire
Does still our Bliss destroy.
For Triton’s Charms, that wound my Heart,
My jealous Mind alarm.                                                   10
I fear, alas! th’unerring Dart,
Some other Breast shou’d warm.
I dread the Force of other Eyes
His am’rous Soul shou’d move;
My Happiness my Fear supplies,                                           15
Convinc’d that he can love.
My Hopes and his dear Tongue agree,
To flatter my Desire;
But then, alas! warm Jealousie
Makes all my Hopes expire.                                             20
Forgive me, Triton, if my Heart
These anxious Pangs possess;
Less shou’d I feel th’ uneasie Smart,
Cou’d I but love you less.
Excess of Love augments my Pains,                                       25
Which when you’re by decline:
To end them quite still here remain,
So long I’m sure you’re mine.


Title  Galatea  A Nereid (sea nymph); daughter of the sea god Nereus in Greek mythology (Britannica); Triton  “Greek god of the sea, son of Poseidon” (OED).

11  Dart  Figurative for Cupid’s arrow, the dart of love.

22  Pangs  “A sudden sharp spasm of pain which grips the body or a part of it” (OED).

23  Smart  “Sharp, often intense, physical pain” (OED).

SOURCE:  The Muses Mercury: or The Monthly Miscellany (March) (London, 1707), pp. 65-66.  [Google  Books]

Edited by Mimi Hopper

Anonynmous, “On the Art of Writing: Sent to MIRA”


On the Art of Writing : Sent to MIRA”


Hail sacred art! by Gods above
Design’d the messenger of love,
In pity to th’ immortal mind,
In earthly prison close confin’d.
Without thee, what were Mira’s grace?                              5
Or beauteous Helen’s fatal face?
Like sparks that glitt’ring upward fly,
Scarce known to live before they dye.
Thalia too, celestial maid,
Implor’d by bards, implores thy aid.                                          10
If you refuse, how vain her song!
The numbers perish on her tongue.
Fly hence! on light’ning’s wings away,
And to my lovely Mira say,
That London’s wealth, and mirth, and pride,                             15
With all things apt to charm beside,
Enamel’d lawns, and waving trees,
From Mira take their power to please.
For when my Fair is out of sight,
These are but shadows of delight.                                               20
Away! thou love-relieving art!
To dearest Mira bear my heart,
Bid her, in Cupid’s name, return
That heart, for which I rave, I burn.
But shou’d she scorn the archer’s skill,                                       25
Great Pallas, guardian of her will,
Bid her dismiss her needless fears,
For lo! Sincerity appears.
Say, Hymen waits with ardent care,
To give the World a happy pair:                                                    30
And Cupid too stands armed by,
To wound the first that dares to fly.
Thus Love and Reason shall combine,
And like twin-stars alternate shine;
Whatever Reason shall approve,                                                   35
Shall seem th’ effects of yielding Love:
Whatever Love shall deign to name,
Applauding Reason shall proclaim.
Reason, like Sol to Tellus kind,
Ripens the products of the mind,                                                  40
Dispells the anxious cares of life,
Those mists of sorrow and of strife:
And when old Time shall envious prove,
In this is Beauty, Youth, and Love.
But Love, if Reason’s out of sight,                                           45
Is all opaque and void of light,
Like the dull Moon, which oft resigns
Those borrow’d beams by which she shines:
The pleasure then it brags of most,
Is but what brutes themselves can boast.                                    50
Once more, thou heav’n-born art, away!
My soul’s impatient of delay:
As quick as thought again return,
And bring that heart for which I burn.


6  Helen  Helen of Troy or Helen of Sparta, mortal daughter of Zeus and Leda, recognized for her perfect beauty, which was also considered as it led her to be abducted by Theseus as a young girl. Helen wed with Menelaus of Sparta but eventually fled to Troy from his kingdom with Paris, effectively starting the Trojan war. Helen was returned to Sparta with Menelaus once Troy was captured and is now memorialized in Greek mythology for the conflict and death that her beauty caused (Britannica).

9  Thalia  One of the nine Muses that acted as goddesses of the arts; Thalia was patron of comedy and pastoral poetry; frequently depicted with a comic mask and shepherd’s staff (Britannica).

23  Cupid  “In Roman Mythology, the god of love, son of Mercury and Venus, identified with the Greek Eros” (OED).

26  Pallas  Epithet for Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom and war.

29  Hymen  Greek god of marriage.

39  Sol  Roman god of the sun; Tellus  “Ancient Roman earth goddess” (Britannica).

SOURCE:  The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 8 (October 1738), p. 544.  [HathiTrust]

 Edited by Shyla Jackson

Anonymous, “Tears of Affection”


“Tears of Affection”


Wak’d are the woodland wild notes sweet,
The dappled morn’s approach to greet;
Yet, while they vibrate on my ear,
Down my sad bosom falls the tear:
I view the smiling landscape round,                                 5
I hear the torrent’s distant sound,
I listen to each song of joy,
I gaze upon the azure sky;
But sick’ning Fancy turns away
From ev’ry charm of perfum’d May.                                 10

Oh! let me seek solemn gloom,
That hovers mournful round the tomb,
Where rest a Parent’s lov’d remains!—
There will I pour in hopeless strains
The bitter plaints of agony,                                                 15
That Fate, unpitying, dooms for me.
Complaint may save my fever’d brain
From starting frenzy’s ghastly train.
That dreary vault, whose womb contains
A sainted Parent’s cold remains,                                        20
His holy shade may hover round,
And listen to each plaintive sound,
That speaks affection’s ceaseless woe;—
May view the streaming tears that flow.

That holy shade perhaps may pour                              25
Calm resignation o’er my breast,
And bid me wait the blissful hour
When ev’ry tortur’d sense shall rest;
When my glad soul to heav’n shall soar,
And drink of sorrow’s cup no more.                                   30


6 torrent A violent or tumultuous flow, onrush, or ‘stream’” (OED).

8 azure “The clear blue colour of the unclouded sky” (OED).

15 plaints “Audible expression of sorrow; such an expression in verse or song, a lament” (OED).

22 plaintive “Afflicted by sorrow; grieving, lamenting; suffering” (OED).

25-26 “On the supposition that our departed friends are permitted to become our Guardian Angels” [Author’s note].

31 Z.  This is marked as one of the poems that was “given to the author by two young friends, who never intended to publish in their own names, but were content to roll down the stream of time, or sink into oblivion with her they loved” (“Advertisement,” Poems on Several Occasions, vol. I, p. ii).

Source: [Mary] Darwall, Poems on Several Occasions, vol. II (Walsall, 1794), pp. 132-134.  [Google Books]

Edited by Ebony Conner

Anonymous, “Verses occasion’d by a Horse’s biting a Lady’s Breast”


“Verses occasion’d by a Horse’s biting a Lady’s Breast”


See how unlimited is Beauty’s Sway!
An Ass once spoke (as antient Records say)
Charm’d with an Angel offer’d to his View,
The Story’s strange, but we must swear ‘tis true—
—I deal in Wonders of a merrier Kind,                                                   5
Not done by Angels, but by Woman-kind.
Nothing unnatural shall here accrue,
The Story’s strange, but not more strange than true,
—A Horse (descended from a long-told Race
Of well-bred Hunters, whom no Vice disgrace)                                     10
For Beauty fam’d, in Speed out strip’d by none,
A Creature fit to mount a Goddess on;
This Horse a mighty Favourite became
To a most Noble, Puissant, Princely Dame,
Illustrious for her Titles, Beauty, Fame;                                                      15
Pleas’d oft she’d tell his well-descended Race,
Smooth his fine Neck, his Main in Ringlets trace,
Nor lies the Muse who sings she kiss’d his Face.
He by those dear repeated Favours fir’d,
By the warm Stroaks of her soft Hand inspir’d,                                      20
Conceiv’d (strange of a Horse to tell) a Flame
For his fond Lady—and who dare him blame,
Or who so kindly us’d, but must have had the same
—His Love unable longer to suppress,
He furiously the charming D——s press’d,                                              25
And mark’d his Kisses on her bleeding breast—
—She frighten’d at the Creature’s rude Embrace,
Scream’d out for Aid, and fled the dangerous Place—
Away the disappointed Horse was led,
He neigh’d aloud, and wanton turn’d his Head—                                  30
—The D——s sigh’d, and went alone to Bed—
Which Tale’s most nat’ral, which most hits your Taste,
Which does in Beauty, which in Sense surpass,
B————d the Angel, or the Horse the Ass?


2-3 An Ass once spoke . . . View  These lines allude to a portion of a biblical story in Numbers 22. Balaam, riding his donkey, is blocked three times by an angel as he tries to follow the princes of Moab. Balaam cannot see the angel, and beats his donkey when she balks. Finally, she is given the ability to speak and asks what she has done to deserve the three beatings. He threatens to kill her, but the angel reveals himself, and rebukes Balaam (Numbers 22: 21-34).

10 Hunters  Horses trained to be used for foxhunting.

14 Puissant  “Possessed of or wielding power; having great authority or influence” (OED).

17 Main  Variant spelling of “mane”: the hair flowing from a horse’s crest, or top of the neck.

25 D——s  Probably “Duchess” (see note to line 34 below).

34 B——–d  Possibly a reference to Diana Russell (nee Spencer) (1710-1735).  She was known for her beauty in this period, but did not become Duchess of Bedford until October 1732.  The poet may be taking the liberty of referring to her future title knowing that her husband was the sole heir to the Bedford dukedom (Massey, The First Lady Diana).

SOURCE:  Gentleman’s Magazine (vol. 2, March 1732), p. 672.  [Google Books]

Edited by Elizabeth Eckert

Anonymous, “Sickness. An Ode”





At midnight when the fever rag’d,
By physic’s art still unasswag’d,
And totur’d me with pain:
When most it scorch’d my acking head,
Like sulph’rous fire, or liquid lead,                                        5
And hiss’d through every vein:

With silent steps approaching nigh,
Pale death stood trembling in my eye,
And shook th’ up-lifted dart:
My mind did various thoughts debate                                 10
Of this, and of an after state,
Which terrify’d my heart.

I thought ‘twas hard, in youthful age,
To quit this fine delightful stage,
No more to view the day;                                                15
Nor e’er again the night to spend
In social converse with a friend,
Ingenious, learn’d, and gay.

No more in curious books to read
The wisdom of th’ illustrious dead;                                        20
All that is dear to leave,
Relations, friends, and MIRA too,
Without one kiss, one dear adieu,
To moulder in the grave.

Incircled with congenial clay,                                                  25
To worms and creeping things a prey,
To waste, dissolve, and rot:
To lie wrapp’d cold within a shroud,
Mingled amongst the vilest crowd,
Unnoted, and forgot.                                                        30

Oh horror by this train of thought
My mind was to distraction brought,
Impossible to tell:
The fever rag’d still more without,
Whilst dark despair, or dismal doubt,                                    35
Made all within my hell.

At length, with grave, yet cheerful air
Repentance came, serenely fair,
As summer’s evening sun;
At sight of whom extatic joy                                                     40
Did all that horrid scene destroy;
And every fear was gone.

If join’d in consort, with one voice,
Angels at such a change rejoice;
I heard their joy exprest.                                                   45
If there be music in the spheres,
That music struck my ravish’d ears,
And charm’d my soul to rest.


Title The Grubstreet Journal (January 1730-1738) was a critical and satirical newspaper published weekly in London (The Library of Congress).

2 unasswag’d An archaic spelling of unassuaged; “not soothed or relieved” (Oxford Dictionaries [no definition given in OED]).

24 moulder “To decay to dust; to rot; to crumble” (OED).

25 congenial “Suited to the nature of” (OED).

43 consort “To keep company with; to escort or attend” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (January 1733), p. 42.

 Edited by Valerie Pedroche