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Poem by Mary Robinson
Pavement slipp’ry, people sneezing, Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ; Titled gluttons dainties carving, Genius in a garret starving. Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ; Courtiers clinging and voracious ; Misers scarce the wretched heeding ; Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding. Wives who laugh at passive spouses ; Theatres, and meeting-houses ; Balls, where simp’ring misses languish ; Hospitals, and groans of anguish. Arts and sciences bewailing ; Commerce drooping, credit failing ; Placemen mocking subjects loyal ; Separations, weddings royal. Authors who can’t earn a dinner ; Many a subtle rogue a winner ; Fugitives for shelter seeking ; Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking. Taste and talents quite deserted ; All the laws of truth perverted ; Arrogance o’er merit soaring ; Merit silently deploring. Ladies gambling night and morning ; Fools the works of genius scorning ; Ancient dames for girls mistaken, Youthful damsels quite forsaken. Some in luxury delighting ; More in talking than in fighting ; Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ; Lordlings empty and insipid. Poets, painters, and musicians ; Lawyers, doctors, politicians : Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes, Seeking fame by diff’rent roads. Gallant souls with empty purses ; Gen’rals only fit for nurses ; School-boys, smit with martial spirit, Taking place of vet’ran merit. Honest men who can’t get places, Knaves who shew unblushing faces ; Ruin hasten’d, peace retarded ; Candour spurn’d, and art rewarded.
Mary Robinson's other poems:
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