Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SCHOOL FOR SATIRE, by SOPHIA (RAYMOND) BURRELL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SCHOOL FOR SATIRE, by                
First Line: How oft we see the female sex / themselves with jealous fancies vex!
Last Line: Composure, harmony and grace.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clay, Mrs. William
Subject(s): Envy; Jealousy; Women

HOW oft we see the female sex
Themselves with jealous fancies vex!
With envy, which they cannot smother,
They tell the failings of each other;
Or if a dear, provoking creature
Has not one blemish in her nature,
A mole, an eyelash can supply
The means for female industry.
(A spider clinging to a thread
Can soon the web of mischief spread.)

Black-eyed Narissa cries, `'Tis true
That Celestina's eyes are blue!
But can we find expression there? --
Besides, the fool has flaxen hair.'

I see brown Amarilla sneer,
Because Polyxena is fair,
'Tis mighty easy, she avers,
To wear a skin as white as hers; --
But, for her part, she'd rather be
From artificial fairness free.

Cynthia, whose teeth Dumergue has made,
Follows the same censorious trade;
Cries, 'What d'ye mean by Flavia's youth?
You see that she has lost a tooth!'
Tall Lucy rails at little Dy,
Who only measures four feet high;
Fat Bell detests her cousin Prue,
Since she so thin and airy grew;
And snub-nosed Chloe hates a woman
Whose nose but borders on the Roman.

Doris the saucy, free and rude,
Rails at Myrtilla for a prude;
And Galatea says, with spite,
Dorinda's eyebrows are too light,
When it is known to half the town
That Galatea makes her own.

Ah why, ye fair! this cruel rage?
Do ye not all adorn the stage?
Decreed to charm in different ways,
Do ye not all create a blaze?
And, after all that has been said,
Ye can but sparkle, bloom, and fade.

Then be contented with your lot,
Nor covet charms your friends have got;
And learn that candour and good-nature
Act like a charm on every feature,
Restoring to Medusa's face
Composure, harmony and grace.

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