Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE LADIES OF ENGLAND, by HORACE SMITH



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TO THE LADIES OF ENGLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beauties! -- (for, dressed with so much taste
Last Line: A well-dressed english woman.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Beauty; England; Nature; Women; English


BEAUTIES! -- (for, dressed with so much taste,
All may with such a term be graced,) --
Attend the friendly stanza,
Which deprecates the threatened change
Of English modes for fashions strange,
And French extravaganza.

What! when her sons renown have won
In arts and arms, and proudly shone
A pattern to the nations,
Shall England's recreant daughters kneel
At Gallic shrines, and stop to steal
Fantastic innovations?

Domestic -- simple -- chaste -- sedate --
Your fashions now assimilate
Your virtues and your duties: --
With all the dignity of Rome,
The Grecian Graces find a home
In England's classic Beauties.

When we behold so fit a shrine,
We deem its inmate all divine,
And thoughts licentious bridle;
But if the case be tasteless, rude,
Grotesque, and glaring -- we conclude
It holds some worthless idol.

Let Gallia's nymphs of ardent mind,
To every wild extreme inclined,
In folly be consistent;
Their failings let their modes express,
From simpleness of soul and dress,
For ever equi-distant.

True to your staid and even port,
Let mad extremes of every sort
With steady scorn be treated;
Nor by art's modish follies mar
The sweetest, loveliest work by far
That nature has completed: --

For oh! if in the world's wide round
One peerless object may be found,
A something more than human;
The faultless paragon confessed
May in one line be all expressed --
A WELL-DRESSED ENGLISH WOMAN.





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