‘January, 1795’ by Mary Robinson

‘January, 1795’

by Mary Robinson

I.

PAVEMENT slip’ry; People sneezing ;
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ;
Nobles, scarce the Wretched heeding ;
Gallant Soldiers—fighting !—bleedin

II.

Lofty Mansions, warm and spacious ;
Courtiers, cringing and voracious :
Titled Gluttons, dainties carving ;
Genius, in a garret, starving !

III.

Wives, who laugh at passive Spouses ;
Theatres, and Meeting-houses ;
Balls, where simpring Misses languish ;
Hospitals, and groans of anguish.

IV.

Arts and Sciences bewailing ;
Commerce drooping, Credit failing !
Placemen, mocking subjects loyal ;
Separations ; Weddings Royal !

V.

Authors, who can’t earn a dinner ;
Many a subtle rogue, a winner !
Fugitives, for shelter seeking ;
Misers hoarding, Tradesmen breaking !

VI.

Ladies gambling, night and morning ;
Fools, the works of Genius scorning !
Ancient Dames for Girls mistaken,
Youthful Damsels—quite forsaken !

VII.

Some in luxury delighting ;
More in talking than in fighting ;
Lovers old, and Beaux decrepid ;
Lordlings, empty and insipid.

VIII.

Poets, Painters, and Musicians ;
Lawyers, Doctors, Politicians ;
Pamphlets, Newspapers, and Odes,
Seeking Fame, by diff’rent roads.

IX.

Taste and Talents quite deserted ;
All the laws of Truth perverted ;
Arrogance o’er Merit soaring !
Merit, silently deploring !

X.

Gallant Souls with empty purses ;
Gen’rals, only fit for Nurses !
Schoolboys, smit with Martial spirit,
Taking place of vet’ran merit !

XI.

Honest men who can’t get place ;
Knaves, who shew unblushing faces ;
Ruin hasten’d, Peace retarded ;
Candour spurn’d, and Art rewarded !

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