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Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710)

To the Ladies


              1WIFE and servant are the same,
              2But only differ in the name :
              3For when that fatal knot is ty'd,
              4Which nothing, nothing can divide :
              5When she the word obey has said,
              6And man by law supreme has made,
              7Then all that's kind is laid aside,
              8And nothing left but state and pride :
              9Fierce as an eastern prince he grows,
            10And all his innate rigour shows :
            11Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
            12Will the nuptial contract break.
            13Like mutes, she signs alone must make,
            14And never any freedom take :
            15But still be govern'd by a nod,
            16And fear her husband as a God :
            17Him still must serve, him still obey,
            18And nothing act, and nothing say,
            19But what her haughty lord thinks fit,
            20Who with the power, has all the wit.
            21Then shun, oh ! shun that wretched state,
            22And all the fawning flatt'rers hate :
            23Value yourselves, and men despise :
            24You must be proud, if you'll be wise.


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: Poems by Eminent Ladies (London: R. Baldwin, 1755): II, 181-82. B-10 6457 Fisher Rare Book Library.
First publication date: 1755
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/28

Form: couplets


Other poems by Lady Mary Chudleigh