[Page 33]

The Vanity of the World, In a Poem to the Athenians.

1 WHat if serenely blest with Calms I swam
2 Pactolus! in thy golden Sanded stream?
3 Not all the wealth that lavish Chance cou'd give
4 My soul from Death cou'd one short Hour reprieve.
5 When from my Heart the wandring Life must move
6 No Cordial all my useless Gold cou'd prove.
7 What tho' I plung'd in Ioys so deep and wide,
8 'Twou'd tire my Thoughts to reach the distant side,
9 Fancy it self 'twou'd tire to plumb the Abyss;
10 If I for an uncertain Lease of this
11 Sold the fair hopes of an eternal bliss?
[Page 34]
12 What if invested with the Royal State
13 Of dazling Queens, ador'd by Kings I sat?
14 Yet when my trembling Soul's dislodg'd wou'd be
15 No Room of State within the Grave for me.
16 What if my Youth, in Wits and Beautys bloom
17 Shou'd promise many a flatt'ring Year to come:
18 Tho' Death shou'd pass the beauteous Flourisher,
19 Advancing Time wou'd all its Glory marr.
20 What if the Muses loudly sang my Fame,
21 The barren Mountains ecchoing with my Name?
22 An envious puff might blast the rising Pride.
23 And all its bright conspicuous Lustre hide.
24 If o're my Relicks Monuments they raise
25 And fill the World with Flattery, or with Praise,
26 What wou'd they all avail, if sink I must,
27 My Soul to endless shades, my Body to the dust?


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Vanity of the World, In a Poem to the Athenians.
Themes: vanity of life
Genres: heroic couplet; address

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Source edition

Rowe, Elizabeth Singer, 1674-1737. Poems on several occasions. Written by Philomela. London: Printed for John Dunton at the Raven in Jewen-street, 1696, pp. 33-34. [24],72,69,[11]p.; 8⁰ (ESTC R7317; OTA A57734)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Elizabeth Rowe (née Singer)