TO A LADY
by: John Gay (1685-1732)
POEMS BY JOHN GAY
- HEN I some antique Jar behold,
- Or white, or blue, or speck'd with gold,
- Vessels so pure, and so refin'd
- Appear the types of woman-kind:
- Are they not valu'd for their beauty,
- Too fair, too fine for household duty?
- With flowers and gold and azure dy'd,
- Of ev'ry house the grace and pride?
- How white, how polish'd is their skin,
- And valu'd most when only seen!
- She who before was highest priz'd
- Is for a crack or flaw despis'd;
- I grant they're frail, yet they're so rare,
- The treasure cannot cost too dear!
- But Man is made of coarser stuff,
- And serves convenience well enough;
- He's a strong earthen vessel made,
- For drudging, labour, toil and trade;
- And when wives lose their other self,
- With ease they bear the loss of Delf.