A POEM, On the Supposition of an Advertisement appearing in a Morning Paper, of the Publication of a Volume of Poem, by a Servant Maid.

1 The tea-kettle bubbled, the tea things were set,
2 The candles were lighted, the ladies were met;
3 The how d'ye's were over, and entering bustle,
4 The company seated, and silks ceas'd to rustle:
5 The great Mrs. Consequence open'd her fan;
6 And thus the discourse in an instant began:
7 (All affected reserve, and formality scorning,)
8 I suppose you all saw in the paper this morning,
9 A Volume of Poems advertis'd 'tis said
10 They're produc'd by the pen of a poor Servant Maid.
11 A servant write verses! says Madam Du Bloom;
12 Pray what is the subject? a Mop, or a Broom?
13 He, he, he, says Miss Flounce; I suppose we shall see
14 An Ode on a Dishclout what else can it be?
[Page 48]
15 Says Miss Coquettilla, why ladies so tart?
16 Perhaps Tom the Footman has fired her heart;
17 And she'll tell us how charming he looks in new clothes,
18 And how nimble his hand moves in brushing the shoes;
19 Or how the last time that he went to May-Fair,
20 He bought her some sweethearts of ginger-bread ware.
21 For my part I think, says old lady Marr-joy,
22 A servant might find herself other employ:
23 Was she mine I'd employ her as long as 'twas light,
24 And send her to bed without candle at night.
25 Why so? says Miss Rhymer, displeas'd; I protest
26 'Tis pity a genius should be so deprest!
27 What ideas can such low-bred creatures conceive,
28 Says Mrs. Noworthy, and laught in her sleeve.
29 Says old Miss Prudella, if servants can tell
30 How to write to their mothers, to say they are well,
31 And read of a Sunday the Duty of Man;
32 Which is more I believe than one half of them can;
33 I think 'tis much properer they should rest there,
34 Than be reaching at things so much out of their sphere.
35 Says old Mrs. Candour, I've now got a maid
[Page 49]
36 That's the plague of my life a young gossipping jade;
37 There's no end of the people that after her come,
38 And whenever I'm out, she is never at home;
39 I'd rather ten times she would sit down and write,
40 Than gossip all over the town ev'ry night.
41 Some whimsical trollop most like, says Miss Prim,
42 Has been scribbling of nonsense, just out of a whim,
43 And conscious it neither is witty or pretty,
44 Conceals her true name, and ascribes it to Betty.
45 I once had a servant myself, says Miss Pines,
46 That wrote on a Wedding, some very good lines;
47 Says Mrs. Domestic, and when they were done,
48 I can't see for my part, what use they were on;
49 Had she wrote a receipt, to've instructed you how
50 To warm a cold breast of veal, like a ragou,
51 Or to make cowslip wine, that would pass for Champaign;
52 It might have been useful, again and again.
53 On the sofa was old lady Pedigree plac'd,
54 She own'd that for poetry she had no taste,
55 That the study of heraldry was more in fashion,
56 And boasted she knew all the crests in the nation.
57 Says Mrs. Routella, Tom, take out the urn,
58 And stir up the fire, you see it don't burn.
[Page 50]
59 The tea things remov'd, and the tea-table gone,
60 The card-tables brought, and the cards laid thereon,
61 The ladies ambitious for each others crown,
62 Like courtiers contending for honours sat down.


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 172K / ZIP - 17K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 3.1K / ZIP - 1.8K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Dunston B 961 (1)].)



All Images (PDF - 5.4M)

About this text

Title (in Source Edition): A POEM, On the Supposition of an Advertisement appearing in a Morning Paper, of the Publication of a Volume of Poem, by a Servant Maid.
Genres: occasional poem

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Hands, Elizabeth, 1746-1815. The death of Amnon. A poem. With an appendix: containing pastorals, and other poetical pieces. By Elizabeth Hands. [Coventry]: Printed for the author, by N. Rollason, Coventry, M,DCCLXXXIX., 1789, pp. []-50. [40],127,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T141063) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Dunston B 961 (1)].)

Editorial principles

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 Elizabeth Hands (née Herbert)