Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MODERN MANNERS, by MARY (CUMBERLAND) ALCOCK



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MODERN MANNERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of modern manners let me sing
Last Line: I care not when we part.'
Subject(s): Etiquette; Manners; Courtesy


'Of modern Manners let me sing,'
The gay Flirtilla cries --
'Manners, my dear! there's no such thing' --
Her grandmamma replies.

'You say,' cries Miss, 'in days of yore
People were highly bred;
But, thank my stars, those days are o'er,
Those people are all dead.

'The world is now at ease and gay,
Improved in every art,
Fraught with diversions night and day
To charm and fire the heart.

'To live in these enlightened days
Is surely life indeed;
Long may they last, Flirtilla prays,
And joy to joy succeed!

'The mind, left free and uncontrolled,
Makes pleasure all its aim;
Youth will not now by age be told,
"My dear, you are to blame".

'Such Gothic parents, thanks to Heaven,
Are now but rarely found;
Those, whom the fates to me have given,
Live but in Pleasure's round.

'No tedious hours at home they pass
In dull domestic care;
To think, they say, would soon, alas!
Bring wrinkles and grey hair.

'Oft have I heard them jeer and joke
At wedlock's galling chain;
Then cry, "Thank Heaven, 'tis now no yoke;
We wed to part again".

'In former times, indeed, 'twas said
That hearts were joined above,
That women to their husbands paid
Obedience, truth and love.

'But title, pin-money and dower
Now join our hands for life;
No other ties than these have power
To couple man and wife.

'To these alone my thoughts aspire,
On these I fix my heart;
A wealthy husband I require --
I care not when we part.'





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