Mary Robinson (1758-1800)
Female Fashions for 1799
1A FORM, as any taper, fine ;
2 A head like half-pint bason ;
3Where golden cords, and bands entwine,
4 As rich as fleece of JASON.
5A pair of shoulders strong and wide,
6 Like country clown enlisting ;
7Bare arms long dangling by the side,
8 And shoes of ragged listing !
9Cravats like towels, thick and broad,
10 Long tippets made of bear-skin,
11Muffs that a RUSSIAN might applaud,
12 And rouge to spoil a fair skin.
13Long petticoats to hide the feet,
14 Silk hose with clocks of scarlet ;
15A load of perfume, sick'ning sweet,
16 Bought of PARISIAN VARLET.
17A bush of hair, the brow to shade,
18 Sometimes the eyes to cover ;
19A necklace that might be display'd
20 By OTAHEITEAN lover !
21A bowl of straw to deck the head,
22 Like porringer unmeaning ;
23A bunch of POPPIES flaming red,
24 With motly ribands streaming.
25Bare ears on either side the head,
26 Like wood-wild savage SATYR ;
27Tinted with deep vermilion red,
28 To shame the blush of nature.
29Red elbows, gauzy gloves, that add
30 An icy cov'ring merely ;
31A wadded coat, the shape to pad,
32 Like Dutch-women -- or nearly.
33Such is CAPRICE ! but, lovely kind !
34 Oh ! let each mental feature
35Proclaim the labour of the mind,
36 And leave your charms to NATURE.
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: 299-300. 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