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Anna Jane Vardill

A Whisper at a Conversazioné

Corinna to Pindar said, “What an affair!
 A Party with nothing but men met!
If thus you give routs without us,—I declare
 We’ll go and make laws in the senate.

I told you long since when your poems were fine,
 A sack-full of flowers was a folly:
Good taste should the lady-like amaranth twine,
 With critical, masculine holly.

For, trust me, the amaranth always well-drest,
 To Pallas more dear than the bays is;
Which gives you a hint that where Wisdom is guest,
 She always expects to find Ladies.

Our light is, you say, only borrow’d from yours,
 As clouds of the sun’s make a vain show;—
Sir, scarcely our eyesight the sunbeam endures,
 But every eye welcomes the rainbow.

The telescope’s power to your wit I allow,
 To ours the Kaleidoscope’s given,
And he who possesses them both, as you know,
 Sees the light and the colours of heaven.

Sir, woman ne’er scolded till man in his spleen
 From attic assemblies debarr’d her:
Xantippé herself an Aspasia had been,
 If Plato had sent her a card, Sir.

It cannot concern me, I vow, in the least,—
 Yet we may claim always twelve places;
For Phœbus himself when he gives us a feast,
 Invites both the Muses and Graces.”

“Dear Ma’am,” whisper’d Pindar—“the truth is confest,
 One muse the seven sages excells;
But when solemn Folly like Wisdom is drest,
 ’Tis always without caps and belles!


The European Magazine, Vol. 80, September 1821, p. 261