University of Virginia Library



Repeated by the Author, on being asked to read the preceding Ode a second Time.

Must I read it again, Sir?—So—here do I stand,
Like the priest that holds forth with a scull in his hand.
Repeat such a dreadful memento as this is,
To spleen the young fellows and frighten the misses?
When beauties assemble to laugh and be gay,
How cruel to preach upon beauty's decay?
How hard that the fairest of all the creation,
Shou'd suffer one wrinkle by anticipation!
What delicate nymph but must shrink when she hears
Her charms will all fade in the winter of years?
What languishing widow wou'd e'er wish to know
Her charms were all faded a long while ago?
Unless one could bring some receipt to supply
Fresh Cupids to bask in the beam of her eye;


Recall the lost rose, or the lilly replace,
That have shed their dead leaves o'er her ever-green face;
And this (thank the gods) I can promise to do,
By a sweet pretty nostrum quite pleasant and new,
Which learned Historians and Doctors I find,
Have lately reveal'd for the good of mankind,
A nostrum like which, no elixir yet known,
E'er brac'd a lax'd fibre, and strengthen'd its tone;
Nor e'er was so grand a restorative seen,
For bringing back sixty,—to lovely sixteen!
To you then, ye fair, if old Time should appear,
And whisper a few little hints in your ear,
That Cupid his triumphs begins to resign,
Your nerves are unstrung, and your spirits decline,
You have no other physical course to pursue,
Than to take—a young husband, your spring to renew;
You may take him—I think—at—about twenty-two!


For when both the spirits and nerves are in fault,
Platonic affection is not worth a groat:
The conjugal blessing alone is decreed
The truest specific for Widows indeed;
And I trust they will find it, as long as they live,
The best of amusements that Winter can give!

Mrs. M---l---y the Historian, had recently married the celebrated Dr. Graham, then at Bath.