Poem of the day

To a Lady Sitting Before Her Glass
by Elijah Fenton (1683-1730)

So smooth and clear the Fountain was
      In which his Face Narcissus spy’d,
When gazing in that liquid Glass,
      He for himself despair’d and dy’d:
Nor, Chloris, can you safer see
Your own Perfections here than he.

The Lark before the Mirror plays,
      Which some deceitful Swain has set,
Pleas’d with her self she fondly stays
      To die deluded in the Net:
Love may such Frauds for you prepare,
Your self the Captive, and the Snare.

But, Chloris, whilst you there review
      Those Graces opening in their Bloom,
Think how Disease and Age pursue,
      Your riper Glories to consume:
Then sighing you would wish your Glass
Cou’d shew to Chloris what she was.

Let Pride no more give Nature Law,
      But free the Youth your Pow’r enslaves:
Her Form, like yours, bright Cynthia saw
      Reflected in the Crystal Waves,
Yet priz’d not all her Charms above
The Pleasure of Endymion’s love.

No longer let your Glass supply
      Too just an Emblem of your Breast;
Where oft’ to my deluded Eye
      Love’s image has appear’d imprest;
But play’d so lightly on your Mind,
It left no lasting Print behind.

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