[Page 73]

Occasion'd by reading the Memoirs of Anne of Austria, written by Madam de Motteville
[ed.] Françoise de Motteville (1621?-1689), Mémoires pour servir à l’Histoire d’Anne d’Autriche, épouse de Louis XIII (1723). (AH)

Inscrib'd to the Right Honourable the Countess of Hertford.

1 Ye heedless Fair, who pass the live-long Day,
2 In Dress and Scandal, Gallantry and Play;
3 Who thro' new Scenes of Pleasure hourly run,
4 Whilst Life's important Business is undone;
5 Look here, when guilty Conquests make you vain,
6 And see, how sad Remorse shuts up the Scene.
7 If future Bliss, or Misery, must flow
8 From what the Heart delights in here below,
9 Think how these Habits, rooted in the Breast,
10 Will fit you for a Commerce with the Blest.
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11 Ye Politicians, who, in Courts to shine,
12 Study the Maxims of the
* Matchiavel.
13 Who, void of Virtue, anxious to be great,
14 Would rise, tho' on the Ruins of the State;
15 See how delusive are Ambition's Dreams,
16 See Providence defeating all your Schemes:
17 The Hand divine the well-laid Plot prevents,
18 And dashes all with unforeseen Events.
19 Yet the short-sighted Atheist dares advance,
20 These wondrous Changes are the Work of Chance.
21 Not so this pious, penetrating Dame,
22 Who to the sacred Fountain trac'd the Stream:
23 Like lovely Hertford, who her Hours employs,
24 To form her Mind for never-fading Joys.
25 Excelling Fair! whom All so justly prize;
26 Who, in a Court, find Leisure to be wise;
27 Humane and humble, pious and sincere;
28 Who walk, untainted, thro' infectious Air;
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29 Thou Honour to thy Sex! may I pursue
30 The Paths of Wisdom, early trod by you!
31 I, who am destin'd to a low Estate,
32 Free from the Vanities that vex the Great;
33 Blest with a Happiness to Courts unknown;
34 For I, thank Heav'n, may call my Hours my own:
35 O may I pass those Hours in such a Way,
36 As may prepare me for the last, great Day!
37 That I may, unappall'd, lift up my Head,
38 When the Arch-Angel calls Arise, ye Dead.
39 When all the haughty, pompous Sons of Dust,
40 Who here in fleeting Treasures plac'd their Trust;
41 Who here, to their Confusion largely quaff'd
42 Prosperity's intoxicating Draught;
43 Till drunk with Blessings, they despis'd their God,
44 Arraign'd his Wisdom, and defy'd his Rod;
45 Too late shall find, that Arm they durst oppose,
46 Can pour eternal Vengeance on his Foes.
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47 Reflect, my Soul, that Day is drawing near;
48 And timely think, what was thy Business here.
49 O Thou, whose Arm, reach'd down from Heav'n to save,
50 So lately snatch'd me from the op'ning Grave;
51 Who bow'd thine Ear, nor let me sue in vain,
52 Reliev'd my Sickness, and remov'd my Pain;
53 In hallow'd Strains, O, teach my Soul to soar,
54 To celebrate the Mercies I adore!
55 To Thee alone to dedicate my Lays,
56 Who heard my Vows, and added to my Days!
57 Watch o'er my Heart, fix ev'ry Duty there,
58 And make Eternity my only Care.


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Title (in Source Edition): Occasion'd by reading the Memoirs of Anne of Austria, written by Madam de Motteville. Inscrib'd to the Right Honourable the Countess of Hertford.
Author: Mary Barber
Themes: women; female character; virtue; vice
Genres: heroic couplet; essay
References: DMI 11378

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Source edition

Barber, Mary, ca. 1690-1757. Poems on Several Occasions [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1734, pp. 73-76. xlviii,283,[7]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T42622; DMI 519; Foxon p. 45) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 3644].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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 Mary Barber