Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FASHION, by JOSEPH BEAUMONT



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THE FASHION, by            
First Line: I likewise might inamour'd be
Last Line: That, & no other fashion wee'l receive.
Subject(s): Facades; Fashion; Pride; Appearances; Self-esteem; Self-respect


I LIKEWISE might inamour'd be
Of it, ye Fashion, could I see
But what it is, & how
It comes to grow,
But (like ye Phantomes of a troubled Head)
Before tis finishd, tis quite vanished.

But if it bred & borne doth seeme
In a fond antik Taylors dreame,
It makes me wonder much
How any such
Unworthy spurious Brat should owned be
By those, who scorne so vile a Pedigree:

That Bodies of a comely Look
A METAMORPHOSIS can brook
From SHEERS & NEEDLE, and
Be at command
Of every gew gaw fancie, that they meet
'Mongst other Butter-flies about ye Street.

Search not for Substance, for ye Fashion
Is Nothing else but Variation.
And therefore Nothing. Yet
So strong is it
That ev'n this skin of Vanitie alone
Makes in a yeare an hundred Men of One.

Nor must you aske a Reason why
Some Garbs professe Deformitie:
It is enough if they
Can plead & say,
Wee are ye newest Cut: the ugliest dresse
Trimm'd wth ye Name of Fashion, beauteous is.

Thus Those whom Gods owne Hand had drest
All In a Fashion of ye best,
Are busied every day
Trying how they
By jaggs and cutts, & restlesse Mending can
Better His work, & make a comelyer Man.

And why, alas, must Pride & Wee
Thus Make our poor Mortalitie
More Mortall then at first
When it was curs'd?
Was't not enough that one great Change We had
But We must endlesse Transmutations add?

Could We ever think We were
But Fine enough, We would forbeare
At last, & rest in one
Rich Garb; but none
Can satisfie Prides Wanton affectation;
Tis one great Fashion, still to change ye Fashion.

Who for a week together is
But like Him selfe can hardly misse
The slander of a Clown:
We scorne to own
The Looks of Constancie, nor will We be
Gentile, but by perpetuall Vanitie.

Could our Forefathers cast their eye
But on their gallant Progeny,
Sure They would wonder how
Our Isle could show
So many forreine Nations, whose Array
Such antik far-fetch'd difference doth display.

Our Ancestors, from whose long Storie
We gild our Selves with burrowed glorie,
Should they but now come neere
Our Presence heere
The Porter would be chid for his foule Sin,
Letting such country rusty Hindes come in.

Wer't not as generous to agree,
That everie Fashions standard be
Erected fair & high
To each Mans Ey?
And this DECORUM is, which best can tell
Both Sordidnesse, & wanton Pride to quell.

Were not all fine enough, if Place
And Birth defin'd our Habits Grace?
For why should Men contend
Still to ascend
Above them selves in Clothes, & guilty be
Both of a vaine, & dear selfe-mockerie?

At least now Antik Wit & Pride
So many thousand Wayes have try'd;
Let it Concluded be
What Fashion We
Must count ye best: Which if We may have leave,
That, & no other Fashion Wee'l receive.





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