Charles Sackville

(Dorset, England / 24 January 1638 – 29 January 1706)

On The Countess Dowager Of Manchester - Poem by Charles Sackville

Courage, dear Moll, and drive away despair.
Mopsa, who in her youth was scarce thought fair,
In spite of age, experience, and decays,
Sets up for charming in her fading days;
Snuffs her dim eyes to give one parting blow,
Have at the heart of every ogling beau!
This goodly goose, all feather'd like a jay,
So gravely vain and so demurely gay,
Last night, to grace the Court, did overload
Her bald buff forehead with a high commode;
Her steps were manag'd with such tender art,
As if each board had been a lover's heart.
In all her air, in every glance, was seen
A mixture strange, 'twixt fifty and fifteen.
Crowds of admiring fops about her press;
Hampden himself delivers their address,
Which she, accepting with a nice disdain,
Owns them her subjects and begins to reign.
Fair Queen of Fopland is her royal stile --
Fopland! the greatest part of this great isle!

Nature did ne'er more equally divide
A female heart, 'twixt piety and pride.
Her watchful maids prevent the peep of day,
And all in order on her toilet lay:
Prayer books and patch box, sermon notes and paint,
At once t'improve the sinner and the saint.
Farewell, friend Moll: expect no more from me;
But if you would a full description see,
You'll find her somewhere in the litany,
With pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy.


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Read poems about / on: pride, farewell, courage, despair, nature, friend, heart, night



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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