Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
To William Drummond of Hawthornden
By Mary Oxlie of Morpet (Early 17th cent.)
I NEVER rested on the Muses bed,
Nor dipt my quill in the Thessalian fountaine,
My rustick Muse was rudely fostered,
And flies too low to reach the double mountaine.
Then do not sparkes with your bright Suns compare,        5
Perfection in a Womans work is rare;
From an untroubled mind should verses flow;
My discontents make mine too muddy show;
And hoarse encumbrances of houshold care;
Where these remaine, the Muses ne’er repaire.        10
If thou dost extoll her haire,
Or her ivory forehead faire,
Or those Stars whose bright reflection
Thrals thy heart in sweet subjection:
Or when to display thou seeks        15
The snow-mixt roses in her cheekes,
Or those rubies soft and sweet,
Over those pretty rows that meet:
The Chian painter as asham’d
Hides his picture so far fam’d;        20
And the Queen he carv’d it by,
With a blush her face doth dye,
Since those lines do limne a creature
That so far surpast her feature.
When thou shew’st how fairest Flora        25
Prankt with pride the banks of Ora,
So thy verse her streames doth honour,
Strangers grow enamoured on her,
All the swans that swim in Po
Would their native brooks forgo,        30
And, as loathing Phoebus beams,
Long to bath in cooler streames.
Tree-turn’d Daphne would be seen
In her groves to flourish green,
And her boughs would gladly spare        35
To frame a garland for thy haire,
  That fairest Nymphs with finest fingers
  May thee crown the best of singers.
But when thy Muse dissolv’d in show’rs,
Wailes that peerlesse Prince of ours,        40
Cropt by too untimely Fate,
Her mourning doth exasperate
Senselesse things to see thee moane,
Stones do weep, and trees do groane,
Birds in aire, fishes in flood,        45
Beasts in field forsake their food;
The Nymphs forgoing all their bow’rs
Teare their chaplets deckt with flow’rs;
Sol himselfe with misty vapor
Hides from earth his glorious taper,        50
  And as mov’d to heare thee plaine
  Shews his griefe in show’rs of raine.

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