EPILOGUE To MARY, Queen of SCOTS.
Design'd to be spoken by Mrs. OLDFIELD.
1 WHAT cou'd luxurious woman wish for more,
2 To fix her joys, or to extend her pow'r?
3 Their every wish was in this Mary seen,
4 Gay, witty, youthful, beauteous, and a queen.
5 Vain useless blessings with ill conduct join'd!
6 Light as the air, and fleeting as the wind.
7 Whatever poets write, and lovers vow,
8 Beauty, what poor omnipotence hast thou!
9 Queen Bess had wisdom, council, power, and laws;
10 How few espous'd a wretched beauty's cause!
11 Learn thence, ye fair, more solid charms to prize,
12 Contemn the idle flatt'ters of your eyes.
13 The brightest object shines but while 'tis new;
14 That influence lessens by familiar view.
15 Monarchs and beauties rule with equal sway,
16 All strive to serve, and glory to obey;
17 Alike unpitied when depos'd they grow —
18 Men mock the idol of their former vow.
19 Two great examples have been shown to-day,
20 To what sure ruin passion does betray;
21 What long repentance to short joys is due;
22 When reason rules, what glory does ensue.
23 If you will love, love like Eliza then;
24 Love for amusement, like those traytors men.
25 Think that the pastime of a leisure hour
26 She favour'd oft — but never shar'd her pow'r.
27 The traveller by desart wolves pursu'd,
28 If by his art the savage foe's subdu'd,
29 The world will still the noble act applaud,
30 Tho' victory was gain'd by needful fraud.
31 Such is, my tender sex, our helpless case;
32 And such the barbarous heart, hid by the begging face.
33 By passion fir'd, and not with-held by shame,
34 They cruel hunters are; we, trembling game.
35 Trust me, dear ladies, (for I know 'em well)
36 They burn to triumph, and they sigh to tell:
37 Cruel to them that yield, cullies to them that sell.
38 Believe me, 'tis by far the wiser course,
39 Superior art should meet superior force:
40 Hear, but be faithful to your int'rest still:
41 Secure your hearts — then fool with whom you will.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): EPILOGUE To MARY, Queen of SCOTS. Design'd to be spoken by Mrs. OLDFIELD.
Author: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Themes: monarchy (heads of state); love; women; female character
Genres: heroic couplet; epilogue
References: DMI 22757
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
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