Stanzas to the Ladies


Have you never seen a net
Hanging at you kitchin-door,
Stuffed with dirty straw, beset
With old skewers o’er and o’er.

If ye have—I wonder breeds
Ye from thence should steal a fashion,
And should heap your lovely heads
Such a deal of filthy trash on.

True, your tresses wreathed with art
(Bards have said it ten times over)
Form a net to catch the heart
Of the most unfeeling lover.

But thus robbed of half your beauty,
Whom can you induce to sigh?
Or incline for love to sue t’ye
By his nose, or by his eye.

When he views (what scarce I’ll credit,
Of a Sex so sweet and clean,
But that from a wench I had it
Of all Abigails the Queen)

When he views your tresses thin,
Tortured by some French friseur,
Horse-hair, hemp and wool within,
Garnished with a diamond skewer.

When he scents the mingled steam
Which plaistered heads are rich in,
Lard and meal, and clouted cream,
Can he love a walking kitchen?