Tag Archives: Mary Barber

Mary Barber, “To a Gentleman, who had abus’d Waller”

[MARY BARBER]

“To a Gentleman, who had abus’d Waller”

I Grieve to think that WALLER’S blam’d,
WALLER , so long, so justly, fam’d.
Then own your Verses writ in Haste,
Or I shall say, you’ve lost your Taste.

Perhaps your loyal Heart disdains                                                   5
A Poet, who could take such Pains,
To tune his sweet, immortal Lays
To an usurping Tyrant’s Praise:
And, where you hate the Man, I see,
You never like his Poetry.                                                                    10
The Truth of this your Verse discovers;
So you abus’d the Conscious Lovers.

Tho’ in your Principles you glory,
The Muses are nor Whig nor Tory:
So from your Sentence they appeal,                                                  15
Nor will be judg’d by Party Zeal.
Whene’er a Poet’s to be try’d,
Let Pope hereafter be your Guide.
“Survey the Whole, nor seek slight Faults to find,
Where Nature moves, and Rapture warms the Mind.”                    20

NOTES:

Title Waller Edmund Waller (1606-1687), poet and politician. Waller’s “adoption of smooth regular versification prepared the way for the heroic couplet’s emergence by the end of the century as the dominant form of poetic expression” (Britannica).

1 Waller’s blam’d As a member of Parliament during the political turmoil of the 1640s, Waller famously switched sides, “first actively supporting the opposition to the monarchy” but then becoming “an active member of the Royalist cause” by 1643 (Britannica).

7-8 To tune…usurping Tyrant’s Praise In 1655, Waller celebrated his distant cousin, Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of the Commonwealth from 1653, with his “Panegyrick to my Lord Protector” (Britannica).

12 Conscious Lovers A popular sentimental comedy by Richard Steele (c. 1671-1729). It was first staged on 7 November 1722 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

14 Muses The nine goddesses of literature, science, and the arts in Greek mythology (OED); Whig nor Tory References the two political parties that dominated British politics in the late seventeenth century.

18 Pope Alexander Pope (1688-1744), poet, translator, and satirist.

19-20 “Essay on Criticism” [Author’s note].  Barber quotes lines 235-236 from Part II here (Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism: Part II [London, 1711]).

SOURCE: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 80-81. [Google Books]

Edited by Shivangi Ghissing

 

Mary Barber, “Written for my Son, and spoken by him in School, upon his Master’s first bringing in a Rod”

MARY BARBER

“Written for my Son, and spoken by him in School, upon his Master’s first bringing in a Rod”

Our Master, in a fatal Hour,
Brought in this Rod, to shew his Pow’r.
O dreadful Birch! O baleful Tree!
Thou Instrument of Tyranny!
Thou deadly Damp to youthful Joys!                                   5
The Sight of thee our Peace destroys.
Not DAMOCLES, with greater Dread,
Beheld the Weapon o’er his Head.

That Sage was surely more discerning,
Who taught to play us into Learning,                                  10
By ‘graving Letters on the Dice:
May Heav’n reward the kind Device,
And crown him with immortal Fame,
Who taught at once to read and game!

Take my Advice; pursue that Rule;                                15
You’ll make a Fortune by your School.
You’ll soon have all the elder Brothers,
And be the Darling of their Mothers.

O May I live to hail the Day,
When Boys shall go to School to play!                                   20
To Grammar Rules we’ll bid Defiance;
For Play will then become a Science.

NOTES:

3 Birch “A bunch of birch-twigs bound together to form an instrument for the flagellation of school-boys and of juvenile offenders; a birch-rod” (OED).

7 DAMOCLES (fl. 4th Century BCE), courtier of Dionysious I of Syracuse (c. 430 BC-337 BC).  “Damocles, a flatterer, having extolled the happiness of Dionysius tyrant of Syracuse, was placed by him at a banquet with a sword suspended over his head by a hair, to impress upon him the perilous nature of that happiness.  Used by simile of an imminent danger, which may at any moment descend upon one” (OED).

9 Sage “See Locke upon education” [Author’s Note].  An allusion to John Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education(1693), a popular treatise on the education of gentlemen in that period.

11 ‘graving Letters on the Dice A playful approach to education using dice with letters on each side.

15 pursue that Rule “Bowing to his Master” [Author’s Note].

SOURCE: Poems Upon Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 36-37.  [Google Books]

Edited by Ty Garvin

[Mary Barber], “The Oak and its Branches. A Fable.”

[MARY BARBER]

The Oak and its Branches. A Fable.”

Ocassion’d by seeing a dead Oak beautifully encompass’d with Ivy.

 

An Oak, with spreading Branches crown’d,
Beheld an Ivy on the Ground,
Expos’d to ev’ry trampling Beast,
That roam’d around the dreary Waste.
The Tree of Jove, in all his State,                                             5
With Pity view’d the Ivy’s Fate;
And kindly told her, She should find
Security around his Rind:
Nor was that only his Intent,
But to bestow some Nourishment.                                       10

The Branches saw, and griev’d to see
Some Juices taken from the Tree.
Parent, say they, in angry Tone,
Your Sap should nourish us alone:
Why should you nurse this Stranger-Plant,                         15
With what your Sons, in time, may want?
May want, to raise us high in Air,
And make us more distinguish’d there.

‘Tis well — the Parent-Tree reply’d;
Must I, to gratify your Pride,                                                   20
Act only with a narrow View
Of doing Good to none but you?
Know, Sons, tho’ JOVE hath made me great,
I am not safe from Storms of Fate.
Is it not prudent then, I pray,                                                   25
To guard against another Day?
Whilst I’m alive, You crown my Head;
This graces me alive, and dead.

NOTES:

 2 Ivy “A well-known climbing evergreen shrub (Hedera Helix), indigenous to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa” (OED).

 5 Tree of Jove The god Jupiter, also known as Jove, is the Romanized Zeus, and a sky god who uses the oak tree as a symbol of worship (Britannica).

 8 Rind Alluding to the bark of the oak tree.

 14 Sap “The vital juice or fluid which circulates in plants” (OED).

 SOURCE: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735) pp. 48-49. [Google Books]

 Edited by Nick LoBue

Mary Barber, “Jupiter and Fortune. A Fable”

 MARY BARBER

“Jupiter and Fortune.  A Fable”

 

Once JUPITER, from out the Skies,
Beheld a thousand Temples rise;
The Goddess FORTUNE all invok’d,
To JOVE an Altar seldom smoak’d:
The God resolv’d to make Inspection,                                             5
What had occasion’d this Defection;
And bid the Goddess tell the Arts,
By which she won deluded Hearts.

My Arts! (says she) Great JOVE, you know,
That I do ev’ry Thing below:                                                              10
I make my Vot’ries dine on Plate;
I give the gilded Coach of State;
Bestow the glitt’ring Gems, that deck
The fair LAVINIA’S lovely Neck;
I make NOVELLA Nature’s Boast,                                                     15
And raise VALERIA to a Toast;
‘Tis I, who give the Stupid, Taste,
(Or make the Poets lie, at least);
My fav’rite Sons, whene’er they please,
Can Palaces in Desarts raise,                                                             20
Cut out Canals, make Fountains play,
And make the dreary Waste look gay;
Ev’n Vice seems Virtue by my Smiles;
I gild the Villian’s gloomy Wiles,
Nay, almost raise him to a God,                                                        25
While crowded Levees wait his Nod.

ENOUGH– the Thunderer reply’d;
But say, whom have you satisfy’d?
These boasted Gifts are thine, I own;
But know, Content is mine alone.                                                     30

NOTES:

Title  Jupiter  “Known as ‘Jove’ is the god of sky and thunder in Ancient Roman Mythology and the chief of the gods. Father of Fortuna and great protector”(Britannica); Fortune Fortuna is the goddess of fortune and luck in ancient Roman mythology.

11  Vot’ries  A devoted or zealous worshipper of a particular god [or] goddess” (OED).

16  Toast  “The reigning belle of the season” (OED).

26  Levees  “A morning assembly held by a prince or a person of distinction” (OED).

SOURCE:  Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 63-64.  [Google Books]

 Edited by Raven Valdivia

Mary Barber, “To Dr. Richard Helsham. Upon my Recovery from a dangerous Fit of Sickness”

[MARY BARBER]

“To Dr. Richard Helsham. Upon my Recovery from a dangerous Fit of Sickness

For fleeting Life recall’d, for Health restor’d,
Be first the God of Life and Health ador’d;
Whose boundless Mercy claims this Tribute due:
And next to Heav’n, I owe my Thanks to you;
To you, who feel the Ease your Med’cines give,                                 5
And, in reviving Patients, doubly live;
You, who from Nature’s Dictates never stray;
But wisely wait, till she points out the Way:
Where-e’er she leads, unerring, you pursue
Her mazy System, op’ning to your View.                                             10

In you reviv’d we RATCLIFF’S Genius see,
Heighten’d by Learning and Humanity.
With Ease all Nature’s Secrets you explore,
And to the noblest Heights of Science soar.
Your Thoughts, unbounded, travel with the Sun;                               15
And see attendant Worlds around him run;
Which trace their distant Courses thro’ the Sky,
Nor fly his Throne too far, nor press too nigh.
The wise and wond’rous Laws you clearly know,
Which rule those Worlds above, and this below.                                 20
The World of Life, which we obscurely see,
In all its Wonders, is survey’d by thee:
And thou in ev’ry Part canst something find,
To praise thy Maker, and to bless thy Kind:
Quick to discern, judicious to apply,                                                        25
Your Judgment clear, and piercing, as your Eye:
Ev’n Med’cines, in your wise Prescriptions, please;
And are no more the Patient’s worst Disease.
Goodness, and Skill, and Learning less than thine,
Rais’d AESCULAPIUS to the Realms divine.                                              30

NOTES:

Title Dr. Richard Helsham (1683-1738), Irish physician and natural philosopher; like Barber, he was also a member of Jonathan Swift’s Dublin circle.

11 RATCLIFF John Radcliffe (1650-1714), physician and politician, served as royal physician to William and Mary.

18 nigh “Close at hand, nearby” (OED).

25 judicious “Proceeding from or showing sound judgement; done with or marked by discretion, wisdom, or good sense” (OED).

30 AESCULAPIUS Greek god of medicine.

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 30-31. [Google Books]

Edited by Ivan Li

Mary Barber, “Written for a Gentlewoman in Distress. To her Grace ADELIDA, Dutchess of Shrewsbury”

[MARY BARBER]

Written for a Gentlewoman in Distress. To her Grace ADELIDA, Dutchess of Shrewsbury”

Might I inquire the Reasons of my Fate,
Or with my Maker dare expostulate;
Did I, in prosp’rous Days, despise the Poor,
Or drive the friendless Stranger from my Door?
Was not my Soul pour’d out for the Distress’d?                          5
Did I not vindicate the Poor oppress’d?
Did not the Orphan’s Cry with me prevail?
Did I not weep the Woes I could not heal?
Why then, Thou gracious, Thou all-pow’rful God,
Why do I feel th’ Oppressor’s Iron Rod?                                         10
Why thus the Scorners cruel Taunts endure,
Who basely fret the Wounds, they will not cure?
O Thou, whose Mercy does to All extend,
Say, shall my Sorrows never, never, end?
Let not my Tears for ever, fruitless, flow;                                     15
Commiserate a Wretch, o’erwhelm’d with Woe;
No longer let Distress my Bosom tear:
O shield me from the Horrors of Despair!

Forgive me, Madam, that I thus impart
The Throbs, the Anguish, of a breaking Heart.                            20
Oft, when my weary’d Eyes can weep no more,
To sooth my Woes, I read your Letters o’er.
Goodness, and Wit, and Humour, there I find;
And view with Joy those Pictures of your Mind;
With Pleasure on the lov’d Resemblance gaze,                            25
Till peaceful Slumbers on my Eye-lids seize.
Then, then, Imagination glads my Sight
With transient Images of past Delight;
My aking Heart of ev’ry Care beguiles;
Then TALBOT lives, and ADELIDA smiles.                                       30

Delightful Forms! why will you fleet away,
And leave me to the Terrors of the Day?
In vain from Reason I expect Relief;
For sad Reflection doubles ev’ry Grief.
Some of my Friends in Death’s cold Arms I see;                            35
Others, tho, living, yet are dead to me?
Of Friends, and Children both, I am bereft,
And soon must lose the only Blessing left;
A Husband form’d for Tenderness and Truth,
The lov’d, the kind Companion of my Youth;                                  40
With him, thro’ various Storms of Fate I pass’d;
Relentless Fate!—And must we part at last?
O King of Terrors, I invoke thy Pow’r;
Oh! stand between me and that dreadful Hour;
From that sad Hour thy wretched Suppliant save;                         45
Oh! shield me from it!—Hide me in the Grave!

NOTES:

Title ADELIDA, Dutchess of Shrewsbury Adelhilda Talbot (née Palleotti) (1660-1726), married Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, in 1705.

2 expostulate “To argue or debate” (OED).

10 Iron Rod “A symbol of power or tyranny” (OED).

16 Wretch “A miserable, unhappy, or unfortunate person” (OED).

30 TALBOT Charles Talbot, Duke and twelfth Earl of Shrewsbury (1660-1718). English statesman and leading figure in the Glorious Revolution, in support of William and Mary.  Also played a key role in the “peaceful succession” of George I in 1714 (Britannica).

43 King of Terrors “Death personified” (OED).

45 Suppliant “A person who makes a humble or earnest plea to another, especially to a person in power or authority” (OED).

SOURCE: Mary Barber, Poems on Several Occasions (London,1735), pp. 51-53. [Google Books]

Edited by Madelyn Yukich

Mary Barber, “A True Tale”

MARY BARBER

“A True TALE”

A Mother, who vast Pleasure finds
In modelling her Childrens Minds;
With whom, in exquisite Delight,
She passes many a Winter Night;
Mingles in ev’ry Play, to find                                              5
What Byas Nature gave the Mind;
Resolving thence to take her Aim,
To guide them to the Realms of Fame;
And wisely make those Realms their Way
To Regions of eternal Day;                                                 10
Each boist’rous Passion to controul,
And early humanize the Soul;
In simple Tales, beside the Fire,
The noblest Notions would inspire:
Her Children, conscious of her Care,                                15
Transported, hung around her Chair.

OF Scripture-Heroes she would tell,
Whose Names they lisp’d, ere they could spell:
The Mother then, delighted, smiles;
And shews the Story on the Tiles.                                      20

AT other Times, her Themes would be
The Sages of Antiquity;
Who left immortal Names behind,
By proving Blessings to their Kind.
Again, she takes another Scope,                                         25
And tells of A​DDISON,​ and P​OPE.

STUDIOUS to let her Children know
The various Turns of Things below; —-
How Virtue here was oft oppres’d,
To shine more glorious with the Bless’d;                          30
Told T​ULLY​’s​ ​and the G​RACCHI’​s​ D​oom,
The Patriots, and the Pride of ​Rome.
Then bless’d the ​Drapier’​s happier Fate,
Who ​sav’d, a​nd lives to ​guard​ the State.

SOME Comedies gave great Delight,                          35
And entertain’d them many a Night:
Others could no Admittance find,
Forbid, as Poison to the Mind:
Those Authors Wit and Sense, said she,
But heighten their Impiety.                                                   40

THIS ​happy Mother met, one Day,
The Book of Fables, writ by GAY;
And told her Children, Here’s a Treasure,
A Fund of Wisdom, and of Pleasure!
Such Morals, and so finely writ;                                           45
Such Decency, good Sense, and Wit!
Well has the Poet found the Art,
To raise the Mind, and mend the Heart.

HER fav’rite Son the Volume seiz’d;
And, as he read, seem’d highly pleas’d;                               50
Made such Reflections ev’ry Page;
The Mother thought above his Age;
Delighted read, but scarce was able
To finish the concluding Fable.

WHAT ​ails my Child? the Mother cries:                          55
Whose Sorrows now have fill’d your Eyes?
O dear Mamma, can he want Friends,
Who writes for such exalted Ends?
Oh base, degen’rate human Kind!
Had I a Fortune to my Mind,                                                    60
Should G​AY ​complain? But now, alas!
Thro’ what a World am I to pass?
Where Friendship is an empty Name,
And Merit scarcely paid in Fame?

RESOLV’D ​to lull his Woes to Rest,                                   65
She tells him, He should hope the best:
This has been yet G​AY’​s Case, I own;
But now his Merit’s amply known.
Content that tender Heart of thine:
He’ll be the Care of C​AROLINE.                                                 70
Who thus instructs the royal Race,
Must have a Pension, or a Place.

MAMMA, ​if you were Q​UEEN, ​says he,
And such a Book were writ for me,
I find ‘tis so much to your Taste,                                               75
That G​AY​ would keep his Coach at least.

MY ​Son, what you suppose, is true:
I see its Excellence in you.
Poets who write to mend the Mind,
A royal Recompence should find.                                             80
But I am barr’d by Fortune’s Frowns,
From the best Privilege of Crowns;
The glorious, godlike Pow’r to bless,
And raise up Merit in Distress.

BUT, dear Mamma, I long to know,                                    85
Were you the Q​UEEN​, what you’d bestow.

WHAT I’d bestow, says she, my Dear?
At least, ​a thousand Pounds a Year.

NOTES:

​26​ADDISON Joseph Addison (​1672-1719​), popular periodical essayist, poet, and dramatist; ​POPE Alexander Pope (1688-1744), poet, satirist, and translator of Homer (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

31TULLY Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC)​, a Roman orator who was executed by his political enemies; the GRACCHI’s Doom Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, (169-164? BC-133 BC), “Roman tribune who sponsored agrarian reforms to restore the class of independent farmers and who was assassinated in a riot sparked by his senatorial opponents”, and his brother, Gaius Sempronius Gracchus ​(160-153 BC?-121BC), “Roman tribune who reenacted the agrarian reforms of his brother” and who committed suicide before his political enemies could execute him (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

33 ​​the Drapier’s happy fate A reference to Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who published a series of seven pamphlets known as Drapier’s Letters (1724-1725) that was “part of a successful campaign to prevent the imposition of a new, and debased, coinage on Ireland” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

42The Book of Fables writ by GAY John Gay (​1685-1735)​, English poet and dramatist, whose ​Fables​ was published in 1727 and dedicated to William, Duke of Cumberland, the six-year-old son of the newly-crowned King George II (1683-1760) and Queen Caroline.

54​ the concluding Fable “Fable L: The Hare and many Friends” was the last of the 50 poems that make up Gay’s Fables.

70 He’ll be the care of CAROLINE ​In dedicating Fables to Prince William, Gay was hoping to court favor with the Prince’s mother, Queen Caroline (1683-1737), known to be a patron of the arts. In the end, he was offered the post of Gentleman Usher to Princess Louisa, then two years old.  Feeling snubbed, Gay declined the position.

Source:  Poems on Several Occasions​ (London, 1735), pp. 7-12.   [Google Books]

Edited by Autumn Goldstein Harris

Mary Barber, “The Prodigy. A Letter to a Friend in the Country”

[MARY BARBER]

“The Prodigy. A Letter to a Friend in the Country”

 

THO’ Rhyme serves the Thoughts of great Poets to fetter,
It sets off the Sense of small Poets the better.
When I’ve written in Prose, I often have found,
That my Sense, in a Jumble of Words, was quite drown’d.
In Verse, as in Armies, that march o’er the Plain,                                                                  5
The least Man among them is seen without Pain.
This they owe to good Order, it must be allow’d;
Else Men that are little, are lost in a Croud.

So much for Simile: Now, to be brief,
The following Lines come to tell you my Grief.                                                                     10
’Tis well I can write; for I scarcely can speak,
I’m so plagu’d with my Teeth, which eternally ake.
When the Wind’s in the Point which opposes the South,
For Fear of the Cold, I can’t open my Mouth:
And you know, to the Sex it must be a Heart-breaking,                                                       15
To have any Distemper, that keeps them from speaking.

When first I was silent a Day and a Night,
The Women were all in a terrible Fright.
Supplications to JOVE, in an Instant, they make—
“Avert the Portent—a Woman not speak!                                                                              20
Since Poets are Prophets, and often have sung,
The last Thing that dies in a Woman’s her Tongue;
O JOVE, for what Crime is Sapphira thus curst?
’Tis plain by her Breathing, her Tongue has dy’d first.
Ye Powers celestial, tell Mortals, what Cause                                                                        25
Occasions Dame Nature to break her own Laws?
Did the Preacher live now, from his text he must run;
And own there was something new under the Sun.
O JOVE, for the future this Punishment spare;
And all other Evils we’ll willingly bear.”                                                                                    30

Then they throng to my House, and my Maid they beseech,
To say, if her Mistress had quite lost her Speech.
Nell readily own’d, what they heard was too true;
That To-day I was dumb, give the Devil his Due:
And frankly confess’d, were it always the Case,                                                                     35
No Servant could e’er have a happier Place.

When they found it was Fact, they began all to fear me;
And, dreading Infection, would scarcely come near me:
Till a Neighbour of mine, who was famous for Speeching,
Bid them be of good Cheer, the Disease was not catching;                                                  40
And offer’d to prove, from Authors good Store,
That the like Case with this never happen’d before;
And if Ages to come should resemble the past,
As ’twas the first Instance, it would be the last.
Yet against this Disorder we all ought to strive:                                                                     45
Were I in her Case, I’d been bury’d alive.
Were I one Moment silent, except in my Bed,
My good natur’d Husband would swear I was dead.

The next said, her Tongue was so much in her Pow’r,
She was sullenly silent almost—half an Hour:                                                                        50
That, to vex her good Man, she took this Way to teaze him;
But soon left it off, when she found it would please him:
And vow’d, for the future, she’d make the House ring;
For when she was dumb, he did nothing but sing.

Quite tir’d with their Talking, I held down my Head:                                                      55
So she who sat next me, cry’d out, I was dead.
They call’d for cold Water to throw in my Face:
Give her Air, give her Air—and cut open her Lace.
Says good Neighbour Nevil, You’re out of your Wits;
She oft, to my Knowledge, has these sullen Fits:                                                                   60
Let her Husband come in, and make one Step that’s wrong,
My Life for’t, the Woman will soon find her Tongue.
You’ll soon be convinc’d—O’ my Conscience, he’s here—
Why what’s all this Rout?—Are you sullen, my Dear?

This struck them all silent; which gave me some Ease,                                               65
And made them imagine they’d got my Disease.
So they hasted away in a terrible Fright;
And left me, in Silence, to pass the long Night.

Not the Women alone were fear’d at my Fate;
’Twas reckon’d of dreadful Portent to the State.                                                                   70
When the Governors heard it, they greatly were troubled;
And, whilst I was silent, the Guards were all doubled:
The Militia Drums beat a perpetual Alarm,
To rouze up the Sons of the City to arm.
A Story was rumour’d about from Lambey,                                                                            75
Of a powerful Fleet, that was seen off at Sea.
With Horror all list to the terrible Tale;
The Barristers tremble, the Judges grow pale;
To the Castle the frighted Nobility fly;
And the Council were summon’d, they could not tell why;                                                  80
The Clergy in Crouds to the Churches repair;
And Armies, embattled, were seen in the Air.

Why they were in this Fright, I have lately been told,
It seems, it was sung by a Druid of old,
That the HANOVER Race to Great-Britain should come;                                                        85
And sit on the Throne, till a Woman grew dumb.

As soon as this Prophecy reach’d the Pretender,
He cry’d out, My Claim to the Crown I surrender.

 

NOTES:

fetter  “A restraint or check on someone’s freedom to act” (OED).

12  plagu’d  Plagued; “tormented” (OED);  ake  Ache.

16  Distemper  Ailment.

19  JOVE  Another name for Jupiter, Zeus’s counterpart in Roman mythology (New World Encyclopedia).

20  Avert  “Prevent or ward off” (OED);  Portent  “A sign or warning that a momentous or calamitous event is likely to happen” (OED).

23  Sapphira  Biblical reference to the wife of Ananias, “(Acts 5: 1–11); both died from shock when confronted by Peter about a case of fraud” (Oxford Reference).

26  Dame  “An elderly or mature woman” (OED).

27  Preacher Jesus.

 28  there was something new under the Sun  An inversion of  the biblical passage, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

31  beseech  “Ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something” (OED).

34  give the Devil his Due  An idiom; “If someone or something generally considered bad or undeserving has any redeeming features these should be acknowledged” (OED).

36  Place  Position or place of work.

54  dumb  “Temporarily unable or unwilling to speak” (OED).

58  Lace  The cord or ribbon that laces up a woman’s corset.

64  Rout  “A disorderly or tumultuous crowd of people” (OED);  Sullen  “Bad-tempered and sulky” (OED).

75  Lambey  Lambay Island in the Irish Sea near Dublin.

77  list  Listen.

78  Barristers  Lawyers.

81  repair  “Go to (a place)” (OED).

84  Druid  “A priest, magician, or soothsayer in the ancient Celtic religion” (OED).

85  HANOVER Race  The British Royal house of Hanover (1714-1901) (Britannica).

87  the Pretender  “The Old Pretender,” James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales (1688-1766), son of King James II of England who reigned from 1685 to 1688 (Brittanica).

88  My Claim to the Crown I surrender  The Glorious Revolution (1688-89) saw James II deposed, replaced by William III and Mary II, and exiled to France. His son James, “The Old Pretender,” made several attempts to reclaim the British throne, but never succeeded (Brittanica).

Source:  Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 22–27. [Google Books]

 Edited by Laura Hannibal

Mary Barber, “An Unanswerable Apology for the Rich”

[MARY BARBER]

“An Unanswerable Apology for the Rich”

 

All-bounteous Heav’n, Castalio cries,
With bended Knees, and lifted Eyes,
When shall I have the Pow’r to bless,
And raise up Merit in Distress?

How do our Hearts deceive us here!                                           5
He gets ten thousand Pounds a Year.
With this the pious Youth is able
To build, and plant, and keep a Table.
But then the Poor he must not treat:
Who asks the Wretch, that wants to eat?                                           10
Alas! to ease their Woes he wishes;
But cannot live without Ten Dishes:
Tho’ Six would serve as well, ’tis true;
But one must live, as others do.
He now feels Wants unknown before,                                                15
Wants still increasing with his Store.
The good Castalio must provide
Brocade, and Jewels, for his Bride.
Her Toilet shines with Plate emboss’d;
What Sums her Lace and Linen cost!                                                   20
The Cloaths that must his Person grace,
Shine with Embroidery, and Lace.
The costly Pride of Persian Looms,
And Guido’s Paintings, grace his Rooms.
His Wealth Castalio will not waste;                                                       25
But must have ev’ry thing in Taste.
He’s an OEconomist confest;
But what he buys, must be the best:
For common Use a Set of Plate;
Old China, when he dines in State;                                                      30
A Coach and Six, to take the Air;
Besides a Chariot, and a Chair.
All these important Calls supply’d,
Calls of Necessity, not Pride,
His Income’s regularly spent;                                                                35
He scarcely saves to pay his Rent.
No Man alive would do more Good,
Or give more freely, if he cou’d.
He grieves, whene’er the Wretched sue;
But what can poor Castalio do?                                                             40

Would Heav’n but send ten thousand more,
He’d give –– just as he did before.

NOTES:

1 Castalio Identity untraced; Barber’s pseudonym suggests a male form of “Castilian,” characteristic of the spring Castalia, sacred in antiquity to Apollo and the Muses as a source of poetic inspiration (OED).

10 Wretch “An unfortunate or unhappy person” (OED).

18 Brocade “A rich fabric with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread” (OED).

23 Persian Looms Expensive textiles imported from areas that belonged to the Persian Empire, or modern day Iran.

24 Guido’s paintings Probably a reference to Guido Reni (1575-1642), a prolific Italian Baroque painter whose works were popular in eighteenth-century England. Charles I, for example, had more paintings by Reni than any other artist in his collection. (England and the Italian Renaissance).

27 OEconomist Archaic spelling of economist.

30 China “Household tableware or other objects made from China or a similar material” (OED).

31 A Coach and Six “A carriage drawn by six horses” (OED).

32 Chariot “A stately or triumphal carriage” (OED); Chair “An enclosed chair for conveying one person, carried between horizontal poles by two porters” (OED).

39 sue “Appeal formally to a person for something” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 17-19. [Google Books]

 Edited by Nikolas Refanidis

 

Mary Barber, “Written from Dublin to a Lady in the Country”

[MARY BARBER]

Written from Dublin to a Lady in the Country

 

A Wretch in smoaky Dublin pent,
Who rarely sees the Firmament,
You graciously invite, to view
The Sun’s enliv’ning Rays with you;
To change the Town for flow’ry Meads,                                             5
And sing beneath the sylvan Shades.

YOU’RE kind in vain —It will not be —
Retirement was deny’d to me;
Doom’d by inexorable Fate,
To pass thro’ crouded Scenes I hate.                                                   10
O with what Joy could I survey
The rising, glorious source of Day!
Attend the Shepherd’s fleecy Care
Transported with the vernal Air;
Behold the Meadow’s painted Pride,                                                   15
Or see the limped Waters glide;
Survey the distant, shaded Hills,
And, penfive, hear the murm’ring Rills,

THRO’ your Versailles with Pleasure rove,
Admire the Gardens, and the Grove;                                                    20
See Nature’s bounteous Hand adorn
The blushing Peach, and the blooming Thorn;
Beheld the Birds distend their Throats,
And hear their wild, melodious Notes,

DELIGHTED, thro’ your Pastures roam,                                          25
Or see the Kine come lowing home;
Whose od’rous Breaths a Joy impart,
That sooths the Sense, and glads the Heart;
With pleasure view the frothing Pails
And silent hear the creaking Rails;                                                         30
See whistling Hinds attend their Ploughs,
Who never hear of broken Vows;
Where no Ambition to be great,
E’er taught the Nymph, or Swain, Deceit.

THUS thro’ the Day, delighted run;                                                 35
Then raptur’d view the setting Sun;
The rich, diffusive God behold,
On distant Mountains pouring Gold,
Gilding the beauteous, rising Spire,
While Crystal Windows glow with Fire;                                                  40
Gaze, till he quit the Western Skies,
And long to see his Sister rise;
Prefer the silent, Silver moon
To the too radiant, noisy Noon.

OR Northward turn, with new Delight,                                            45
To mark what Triumphs wait the Night;
When Shepherds think the Heav’ns foreshow
Some dire Commotions here below;
When Light the human Form assumes,
And Champions meet with nodding Plumes,                                       50
With Silver Streamers, wide unfurl’d
And gleaming Spears amaze the World.

THENCE to the higher Heav’ns I soar,
And the great Architect adore ;
Behold what Worlds are hung in Air,                                                     55
And view ten thousand Empires there;
Then prostate to Jehovah fall,
Who into Being spake them all.

NOTES:

 1 pent “Another term for ‘pent-up’” (OED).

2 Firmament “The heavens or the sky” (OED).

6 Sylvan “Consisting of or associated with woods; wooded” (OED).

9 inexorable “Impossible to stop or prevent” (OED).

14 vernal “Of, in, or appropriate to spring” (OED).

19 Versailles A royal palace that began construction in 1661 and completed in 1715. It was the palace of the French monarch Louis XIV and it was a symbol of absolute monarchy.

 26 Kine “Cows collectively” (OED).

31 Hinds Farm laborers.

34 Swain “A country youth” (OED).

51 unfurl’d “Make or become spread out from a rolled or folded state, especially in order to be open to the wind.” (OED)

57 Jehovah “A form of the Hebrew name of God used in some translations of the Bible” (OED).

 Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1735), pp. 101-104.

 Edited by Natasha Forsberg