Prayer to Diana

Since thou and the stars, my dear goddess, decree,
That, old maid as I am, an old maid I must be,
Oh! hear the petition I offer to thee,
For to bear it must be my endeavour;
From the grief of my friendships, all dropping around,
Till not one whom I loved in my youth can be found,
From the legacy-hunters that near us abound,
Diana, thy servant deliver!
From the scorn of the young, or the flouts of the gay,
From all the trite ridicule tattled away
By the pert ones who know nothing better to say,
(Or a spirit to laugh at them give her);
From repining at fancied neglected desert,
Or vain of a civil speech, bridling alert,
From finical niceness, or slatternly dirt,
Diana, thy servant deliver!

From over-solicitous guarding of pelf,
From humour unchecked, that most pestilent elf,
From every unsocial attention to self,
Or ridiculous whim whatsoever:
From the vapourish freaks or methodical airs,
Apt to sprout in a brain that's exempted from cares,
From impertinent meddling in others' affairs,
Diana, thy servant deliver!

From the erring attachments of desolate souls,
From the love of spadille and of matadore boles,
Or of lapdogs, and parrots, and monkeys, and owls,
Be they ne'er so uncommon and clever;
But chief from the love of all loveliness flown
Which makes the dim eye condescend to look down,
On some ape of a fop, or some owl of a clown,
Diana, thy servant deliver!

From spleen at beholding the young more caressed,
From pettish asperity, tartly expressed,
From scandal, detraction, and every such pest,
From all thy true servant deliver;
Nor let satisfaction depart from her lot,
Let her sing, if at ease, and be patient if not,
Be pleased when regarded, content when forgot,
Till fate her slight thread shall dissever!
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