To a LADY very handsome, but too fond of DRESS.
1 PRYTHEE why so fantastick and vain!
2 What charms can the toilet supply?
3 Why so studious admirers to gain?
4 Need beauty lay traps for the eye?
5 Because that thy breast is so fair,
6 Must thy tucker be still setting right?
7 And canst thou not laughing forbear,
8 Because that thy teeth are so white?
9 Shall sovereign beauty descend
10 To act so ignoble a part?
11 Whole hours at the looking-glass spend,
12 A slave to the dictates of art?
13 And cannot thy heart be at rest
14 Unless thou excellest each fair
15 In trinkets and trumpery dress'd?
16 Is not that a superfluous care?
17 Vain, idle attempt! to pretend
18 The lilly with whiteness to deck!
19 Does the rich solitaire recommend
20 The delicate turn of thy neck?
21 The glossy bright hue of thy hair
22 Can powder or jewels adorn?
23 Can perfumes or vermilions compare
24 With the breath or the blush of the morn?
25 When, embarrass'd with baubles and toys,
26 Thou'rt set out so enormously fine,
27 Over-doing thy purpose destroys,
28 And to please thou hast too much design:
29 Little know'st thou, how beauty beguiles,
30 How alluring the innocent eye;
31 What sweetness in natural smiles,
32 And what charms in simplicity lye.
33 Thee Nature with beauty has clad,
34 With genuine ornaments dress'd;
35 Nor can Art an embellishment add
36 To set off what already is best:
37 Be it thine, self-accomplish'd to reign;
38 Bid the toilet be far set apart,
39 And dismiss with an honest disdain
40 That impertinent Abigail, Art.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): To a LADY very handsome, but too fond of DRESS.
Author: William Hall
Themes: fashion; women; female character
References: DMI 27841
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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.