[Page 37]


1 Of all the foolish vain pretences,
2 That mortals use to cheat their senses,
3 This has the greatest sway
4 Not that, which conscience dictates right,
5 Tho' clearly mark'd as day from night,
6 But what the World will say.
7 To this, as to some idol god,
8 Who rules us with an iron rod,
9 We sacrifice each day;
10 Our time, our judgment, and our ease
11 Alike bow down this shrine to please
12 Thro' fear what it might say.
[Page 38]
13 Thus subject to it's base control,
14 We check each motion of the soul,
15 Which points to Reason's way,
16 Left, varying from the giddy throng,
17 We rudely shew them they are wrong,
18 What would they then not say?
19 While motives weak as these prevail,
20 We turn with every shifting sail
21 Of Fashion's pow'rful sway,
22 Down her impetuous tide we're hurl'd,
23 Lost to each comfort in the world,
24 Thro' fear what it might say.
25 Thus like some heedless bark we're tost,
26 Till foundering on that very coast
27 Where all our treasure lay,
28 Deserted and forlorn we lie,
29 Unpitied by each stander-by,
30 Nor cheer'd by what they say.
[Page 39]
31 Oh could the World that peace bestow,
32 Which, courting it, we all forego,
33 Our toils it well would pay;
34 But since the sad reverse we find,
35 'Tis nought but madness e'er to mind
36 What such a World can say.


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Title (in Source Edition): ON WHAT THE WORLD WILL SAY.
Genres: occasional poem

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Source edition

Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary, 1741?–1798. Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 37-39. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of Michigan Library.)

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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 Alcock (née Cumberland)