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Soliloquy, on an empty Purse.

1 Alas! my Purse! how lean and low!
2 My silken Purse! what art thou now!
3 Once I beheld but stocks will fall
4 When both thy Ends had wherewithal.
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5 When I within thy slender fence
6 My fortune plac'd, and confidence;
7 A Poet's fortune! not immense:
8 Yet, mixt with keys, and coins among,
9 Chinkt to the melody of song.
10 Canst thou forget when, high in air,
11 I saw thee flutt'ring at a fair?
12 And took thee, destin'd to be sold,
13 My lawful Purse, to have and hold?
14 Yet us'd so oft to disembogue,
15 No prudence could thy fate prorogue.
16 Like wax thy silver melted down,
17 Touch but the brass, and lo! 'twas gone:
18 And gold would never with thee stay,
19 For gold had wings, and flew away.
20 Alas, my Purse! yet still be proud,
21 For see the Virtues round thee croud!
22 See, in the room of paltry wealth,
23 Clam Temp'rance rise, the nurse of Health;
24 And Self-denial, slim and spare,
25 And Fortitude, with look severe;
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26 And Abstinence, to leanness prone,
27 And Patience worn to skin and bone:
28 Prudence, and Foresight on thee wait,
29 And Poverty lies here in state!
30 Hopeless her spirits to recruit,
31 For ev'ry virtue is a mute.
32 Well then, my Purse, thy sabbaths keep;
33 Now Thou art empty, I shall sleep.
34 No silver sounds shall thee molest,
35 Nor golden dreams disturb my breast.
36 Safe shall I walk the streets along,
37 Amidst temptations thick and strong;
38 Catch'd by the eye, no more shall stop
39 At Wildey's toys, or Pinchbeck's shop;
40 Nor, cheap'ning Payne's ungodly books,
41 Be drawn aside by pastry cooks:
42 But fearless now we both may go
43 Where Ludgate's Mercers bow so low;
44 Beholding all with equal eye,
45 Nor mov'd at "Madam, what d'ye buy?"
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46 Away, far hence each worldly care!
47 Nor dun, nor pick-purse shalt Thou fear,
48 Nor flatt'rer base annoy My ear.
49 Snug shalt thou travel thro' the mob,
50 For who a Poet's purse will rob?
51 And softly sweet, in garret high,
52 Will I thy virtues magnify;
53 Out-soaring flatt'rers stinking breath,
54 And gently rhyming rats to death.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Soliloquy, on an empty Purse.
Author: Mary Jones
Themes: poverty
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Source edition

Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. By Mary Jones Oxford: Printed; and delivered by Mr. Dodsley in Pall-Mall, Mr. Clements in Oxford, and Mr. Frederick in Bath, MDCCL., 1750, pp. 100-103. vi,[1],xlv,[1],405p. (ESTC T115196)

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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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