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Poem by Mary Robinson


Lines on Hearing it Declared that No Women Were So Handsome as the English


BEAUTY, the attribute of Heaven! 
In various forms to mortals given, 
With magic skill enslaves mankind, 
As sportive fancy sways the mind. 
Search the wide world, go where you will, 
VARIETY pursues you still; 
Capricious Nature knows no bound, 
Her unexhausted gifts are found 
In evry clime, in evry face, 
Each has its own peculiar grace. 

To GALLIAs frolic scenes repair, 
There reigns the tyny DEBONAIRE; 
The mincing stepthe slender waist, 
The lip with bright vermilion gracd: 
The short pert nosethe pearly teeth, 
With the small dimpled chin beneath, 
The social converse, gay and free, 
The smart BON-MOT and REPARTEE. 

ITALIA boasts the melting fair, 
The pointed step, the haughty air, 
Th empassiond tone, the languid eye, 
The song of thrilling harmony; 
Insidious LOVE conceald in smiles 
That charmsand as it charms beguiles. 

View GRECIAN MAIDS, whose finishd forms 
The wondring sculptors fancy warms! 
There let thy ravishd eye behold 
The softest gems of Natures mould;
Each charm, that REYNOLDS learnt to trace, 
From SHERIDANs bewitching face. 

Imperious TURKEYs pride is seen
In Beautys rich luxuriant mien; 
The dark and sparkling orbs that glow 
Beneath a polishd front of snow: 
The auburn curl that zephyr blows 
About the cheek of brightest rose: 
The shortend zone, the swelling breast, 
With costly gems profusely drest; 
Reclind in softly-waving bowrs, 
On painted beds of fragrant flowrs;
Where odrous canopies dispense 
ARABIAs spices to the sense; 
Where listless indolence and ease, 
Proclaim the sovreign wish, to please. 
Tis thus, capricious FANCY shows 
How far her frolic empire goes ! 

On ASIAs sands, on ALPINE snow, 
We trace her steps whereer we go; 
The BRITISH Maid with timid grace; 
The tawny INDIAN s varnishd face; 
The jetty AFRICAN; the fair 
Nursd by EUROPAs softer air; 
With various charms delight the mind, 
For FANCY governs ALL MANKIND.



Mary Robinson


Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet to Evening
  2. Sonnet to My Beloved Daughter
  3. Sonnet 40. On the Low Margin
  4. Sonnet 42. Oh! Canst Thou Bear
  5. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb


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