Written At Bath To A Young Lady

Mary Barber 1685 – 1755

You us'd me ill, and I withdrew,
Intent on satirizing you.
The Muses to my Aid I call;
They came; and told me, one and all,
That I mistook their Province quite,
They never sully'd what was bright;
And said, If Satire was my Aim,
I ought to chuse another Theme.

I heard with Anger, and Surprize;
Begg'd they'd inspire, and not advise.
In vain I begg'd--they all withdrew;
When to my Aid a Phantom flew,
And vow'd she'd give my Satire Stings,
And whisper'd some resentful Things--
Said, You delighted, all your Days,
To torture her a thousand Ways:
Bid me revenge her Cause, and mine,
And blacken you in ev'ry Line.

This I resolv'd; but still in vain--
We both must unreveng'd remain:
For I, alas! remember now,
I long ago had made a Vow,
That, should the Nine their Aid refuse,
Envy should never be my Muse.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Mary Barber

Mary Barber, poet, was a member of Swift's circle. more…

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