LET deep dejection hide her pallid face,
And from thy breast each painful image rase;
Forbid thy lip to utter one complaint,
Mercy Otis Warren was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, where she lived until 1754, when she married James Warren and moved to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Her husband and her brother James Otis were both involved in local politics, and their home became a place for revolutionary meetings. Mercy played her part in suporting the revolution in 1772 with the publication of her play The Adulateur, the first in a long line of similar propagandistic pieces published anonymously. Warren continued to write and publish after the war, issuing a volume of poetry under her own name in 1790 Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneousand and in 1805 publishing her three-volume History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution which contain more than twelve hundred pages, and became very popular with the revolutionaries and New Englanders.)
Woman's Trifling Needs
AN inventory clear of all she needs Lamira offers here; Nor does she fear a rigid Cato's frown When she lays by the rich embroidered gown, And modestly compounds for just enough- Perhaps, some dozens of more flighty stuff; With lawns and lustrings, blond, and Mechlin laces, Fringes and jewels, fans and tweezer-cases; memory Gay cloaks, and hats of every shape and size, Scarfs, cardinals, and ribbons of all dyes; With ruffles stamped, and aprons of tambour, Tippets and handkerchiefs, at least three score; With finest muslins that fair India boasts, And the choice herbage from Chinesan coasts; (But while the fragrant hyson leaf regales, Who'll wear the homespun produce of the vales? For if 'twould save the nation from the curse Of standing troops; or-name a plague still worse- Few can this choice, delicious draught give up, Though all Medea's poisons fill the cup.) Add feathers, furs, rich satins, and ducapes, And bead-dresses in pyramidial shapes; Sideboards of plate and porcelain profuse, With fifty dittos that the ladies use; If my poor treach'rous has missed, Ingenious T_l shall complete the list. So weak Lamira, and her wants so few, Who can refuse?-they're but the sex's due. In youth, indeed, an antiquated page Taught us the threatenings of an Hebrew sage 'Gainst wimples, mantles, curls, and crisping-pins; But rank not these among our modern sins; For when our manners are well understood, What in the scale is stomacher or hood? 'Tis true, we love the courtly mien and air, The pride of dress and all the debonair; Yet Clara quits the more dressed negligee, And substitutes the careless Polanee; Until some fair one from Britannia's court, Some jaunty dress or newer taste import; This sweet temptation could not be withstood, Though for the purchase paid her father's blood. Can the stern patriot Clara's suit deny? 'Tis Beauty asks, and Reason must comply.