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Poem by Mary Robinson


January, 1795


Pavement slippry, 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 simpring misses languish ;
Hospitals, and groans of anguish.

Arts and sciences bewailing ;
Commerce drooping, credit failing ;
Placemen mocking subjects loyal ;
Separations, weddings royal.

Authors who cant 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 oer 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 diffrent roads.

Gallant souls with empty purses ;
Genrals only fit for nurses ;
School-boys, smit with martial spirit,
Taking place of vetran merit.

Honest men who cant get places,
Knaves who shew unblushing faces ;
Ruin hastend, peace retarded ;
Candour spurnd, and art rewarded.



Mary Robinson


Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb
  2. Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest
  3. The Widows Home
  4. To Cesario
  5. Sonnet 44. Here Droops the Muse


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