To a Lady,


T HAT News to listening ears were told
At Athens — the report is old;
And it 's no despicable sport
For Athens , at the Fountain-Court .

But is it news , were I to say
That we are come to New-year's day? —
Facts upon oath a witness giving,
Depos'd and sign'd " that he was living . "

In France the New-year's day Etrenne
Was claim'd by ladies from the men;
But all of these, recorded yet,
Have more of gallantry than wit .

Yet something must " be sung or said , "
Gallant, poetic, and well-bred:
Though verse unborn the day shall rue,
Yet, like its theme, it may be new .

Truth is for prose; but Fame , that lies ,
Can its own pedestal surprize:
Love has a bandage for his friends ,
And makes the charm that he commends .

Be it your praise, that you are dull;
That not a single flower you cull
Of those in Wit's Arcadian field,
Which Fancy and the Muses yield.

That you 're as tame a household cat
As ever in the chimney sat;
Have no conception of a jest,
And read no French that can be guess'd;

That you 're a dab at your accounts,
And style for management renounce;
Like an old nurse your gossip write,
And have no talents — but for spite.

May these bright ornaments of yours
Be such as year on year insures!
And, whether on the land or sea,
Laugh at the Court, but smile on me!
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