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SOLILOQUY Of a BEAUTY in the Country.

Written at Eton School.

1 'TWAS night; and FLAVIA to her room retir'd,
2 With ev'ning chat and sober reading tir'd;
3 There melancholy, pensive, and alone,
4 She meditates on the forsaken town:
5 On her rais'd arm reclin'd her drooping head,
6 She sigh'd, and thus in plaintive accents said:
7 "Ah, what avails it to be young and fair,
8 "To move with negligence, to dress with care?
9 "What worth have all the charms our pride can boast,
10 "If all in envious solitude are lost?
11 "Where none admire, 'tis useless to excel;
12 "Where none are Beaus, 'tis vain to be a Belle:
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13 "Beauty, like wit, to judges should be shewn;
14 "Both most are valu'd where they best are known.
15 "With ev'ry grace of nature, or of art,
16 "We cannot break one stubborn country heart:
17 "The brutes, insensible, our pow'r defy:
18 "To love exceeds a 'Squire's capacity.
19 "The town, the court, is Beauty's proper sphere;
20 "That is our heav'n, and we are angels There:
21 "In that gay circle thousand Cupids rove,
22 "The court of Britain is the court of Love.
23 "How has my conscious heart with triumph glow'd,
24 "How have my sparkling eyes their transport shew'd,
25 "At each distinguish'd birth-night ball, to see
26 "The homage due to empire, paid to me!
27 "When ev'ry eye was fix'd on me alone,
28 "And dreaded mine more than the monarch's frown:
29 "When rival statesmen for my favour strove,
30 "Less jealous in their pow'r, than in their love.
31 "Chang'd is the scene; and all my glories die,
32 "Like flow'rs transplanted to a colder sky;
33 "Lost is the dear delight of giving pain,
34 "The tyrant joy of hearing slaves complain.
35 "In stupid indolence my life is spent,
36 "Supinely calm, and dully innocent:
37 "Unblest I wear my useless time away;
38 "Sleep (wretched maid!) all night, and dream all day;
39 "Go at set hours to dinner and to prayer;
40 "For dulness ever must be regular.
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41 "Now with mamma at tedious whist I play;
42 "Now without scandal drink insipid tea;
43 "Or in the garden breathe the country air,
44 "Secure from meeting any Tempter there:
45 "From books to work, from work to books I rove,
46 "And am (alas!) at leisure to improve!
47 "Is this the life a Beauty ought to lead?
48 "Were eyes so radiant only made to read?
49 "These fingers, at whose touch ev'n age wou'd glow,
50 "Are these of use for nothing but to sew?
51 "Sure erring Nature never could design
52 "To form a housewife in a mould like mine!
53 "O Venus, queen and guardian of the fair,
54 "Attend propitious to thy vot'ry's pray'r:
55 "Let me revisit the dear town again:
56 "Let me be seen! cou'd I that wish obtain,
57 "All other wishes my own pow'r would gain.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): SOLILOQUY Of a BEAUTY in the Country. Written at Eton School.
    Themes: beauty; high society; the court
    Genres: heroic couplet; lament
    References: DMI 22309

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 16-18. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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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.