Mary Robinson (1758-1800)
1PAVEMENT slipp'ry, people sneezing,
2Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ;
3Titled gluttons dainties carving,
4Genius in a garret starving.
5Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ;
6Courtiers clinging and voracious ;
7Misers scarce the wretched heeding ;
8Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding.
9Wives who laugh at passive spouses ;
10Theatres, and meeting-houses ;
11Balls, where simp'ring misses languish ;
12Hospitals, and groans of anguish.
13Arts and sciences bewailing ;
14Commerce drooping, credit failing ;
15Placemen mocking subjects loyal ;
16Separations, weddings royal.
17Authors who can't earn a dinner ;
18Many a subtle rogue a winner ;
19Fugitives for shelter seeking ;
20Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking.
21Taste and talents quite deserted ;
22All the laws of truth perverted ;
23Arrogance o'er merit soaring ;
24Merit silently deploring.
25Ladies gambling night and morning ;
26Fools the works of genius scorning ;
27Ancient dames for girls mistaken,
28Youthful damsels quite forsaken.
29Some in luxury delighting ;
30More in talking than in fighting ;
31Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ;
32Lordlings empty and insipid.
33Poets, painters, and musicians ;
34Lawyers, doctors, politicians :
35Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes,
36Seeking fame by diff'rent roads.
37Gallant souls with empty purses ;
38Gen'rals only fit for nurses ;
39School-boys, smit with martial spirit,
40Taking place of vet'ran merit.
41Honest men who can't get places,
42Knaves who shew unblushing faces ;
43Ruin hasten'd, peace retarded ;
44Candour spurn'd, and art rewarded.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Mary Robinson, Poetical Works (London: R. Phillips, 1806), III: 274-76. PR 5233 R27 1806 Robarts Library
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13
Other poems by Mary Robinson