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JOHN GAY

1685-1732

450                                                 To a Lady

WHEN I some antique Jar behold,
Or white, or blue, or speckd with gold,
Vessels so pure, and so refind
Appear the types of woman-kind:
Are they not valud for their beauty,
Too fair, too fine for household duty?
With flowers and gold and azure dyd,
Of evry house the grace and pride?
How white, how polishd is their skin,
And valud most when only seen!
She who before was highest prizd
Is for a crack or flaw despisd;
I grant theyre frail, yet theyre so rare,
The treasure cannot cost too dear!
But Man is made of coarser stuff,
And serves convenience well enough;
Hes a strong earthen vessel made,
For drudging, labour, toil and trade;
And when wives lose their other self,
With ease they bear the loss of Delf.

 

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