Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERSES ADDRESSED TO IMITATOR OF FIRST SATIRE OF HORACE, by MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU



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VERSES ADDRESSED TO IMITATOR OF FIRST SATIRE OF HORACE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In two large columns, on thy motley page
Last Line: Wander like him, accursed through the land.
Alternate Author Name(s): Montagu, Mary Wortley; Pierrepont, Mary
Variant Title(s): A Reply To Alexander Pope
Subject(s): Hate; Man-woman Relationships; Pope, Alexander (1688-1744); Women's Rights; Male-female Relations; Feminism


In two large Columns, on thy motley Page,
Where Roman Wit is strip'd with English Rage;
Where Ribaldry to Satire makes pretence;
And modern Scandal rolls with ancient Sense;
Whilst on one side we how Horace thought;
And on the other, how he never wrote:
Who can believe, who view the bad and good,
That the dull Copi'st better understood
That Spirit, he pretends to imitate,
Than heretofore that Greek he did translate?
Thine is just such an image of his Pen,
As thou thy self art of the Sons of Men:
Where our own Species in Burlesque we trace,
A Sign-Post Likeness of the noble Race;
That is at once Resemblance and Disgrace.
Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear;
You, only coarsely rail, or darkly sneer:
His Style is elegant, his Diction pure,
Whilst none thy crabbed Numbers can endure;
Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obscure.
But how should'st thou by Beauty's Force be moved,
No more for loving made, than to be lov'd?
It was the Equity of righteous Heav'n,
That such a Soul to such a Form was giv'n;
And shews the Uniformity of Fate,
That one so odious, shou'd be born to hate.
When God created Thee, one would believe,
He said the same as to the snake of Eve;
To human Race Antipathy declare,
'Twixt them and Thee be everlasting War.
But oh! the Sequel of the Sentence dread,
And whilst you bruise their Heel, beware your Head.
Nor think thy Weakness shall be thy Defence;
The Female Scold's Protection in Offence.
Sure 'tis as fair to beat who cannot fight,
As 'tis to libel those who cannot write.
And if thou drawst thy Pen to aid the Law,
Others a Cudgel, or a Rod, may draw.
If none with Vengeance yet thy Crimes pursue,
Or give thy manifold Affronts their due;
If Limbs unbroken, Skin without a Stain,
Unwhipt, unblanketed, unkick'd, unslain;
That wretched little Carcass you retain:
The Reason is, not that the World wants Eyes;
But thou'rt so mean, they see, and they despise.
When fretful Porcupine, with rancorous Will,
From mounted Back shoots forth a harmless Quill,
Cool the Spectators stand; and all the while,
Upon the angry little Monster smile.
Thus 'tis with thee: -- whilst impotently safe,
You strike unwounding, we unhurt can laugh.
Who but must laugh, this Bully when he sees,
A puny Insect shiv'ring at a Breeze?
One over-match'd by ev'ry Blast of Wind,
Insulting and provoking all Mankind.
Is this the Thing to keep Mankind in awe,
To make those tremble who escape the Law?
Is this the Ridicule to live so long,
The deathless Satire, and immortal Song?
No: like thy self-blown Praise, thy Scandal flies;
And, as we're told of Wasps, it stings and dies.
If none do yet return th' Intended Blow;
You all your Safety to your Dullness owe:
But whilst that Armour thy poor Corps defends,
'Twill make thy Readers few, as are thy Friends;
Those, who thy Nature loath'd, yet lov'd thy Art,
Who lik'd thy Head, and yet abhor'd thy Heart;
Chose thee, to read, but never to converse,
And scorn'd in Prose, him whom they priz'd in Verse.
Even they shall now their partial Error see,
Shall shun thy Writings like thy Company;
And to thy Books shall ope their Eyes no more,
Than to thy Person thy wou'd do their Door.
Nor thou the Justice of the World disown,
That leaves Thee thus an Out-cast, and alone;
For tho' in Law, to murder be to kill,
In Equity the Murder's in the Will:
Then whilst with Coward Hand you stab a Name,
And try at least t' assassinate our Fame;
Like the first bold Assassin's be thy Lot,
Ne'er be thy Guilt forgiven, or forgot;
But as thou hate'st, be hated by Mankind,
And with the Emblem of thy crooked Mind,
Mark'd on thy Back, like Cain, by God's own Hand;
Wander like him, accursed through the Land.






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