WINTER SEASON

January, 1795 – Poem by Mary Darby Robinson

January, 1795

Pavement slipp’ry, people sneezing,
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ;
Titled gluttons dainties carving,
Genius in a garret starving.

Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ;
Courtiers clinging and voracious ;
Misers scarce the wretched heeding ;
Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding.

Wives who laugh at passive spouses ;
Theatres, and meeting-houses ;
Balls, where simp’ring misses languish ;
Hospitals, and groans of anguish.

Arts and sciences bewailing ;
Commerce drooping, credit failing ;
Placemen mocking subjects loyal ;
Separations, weddings royal.

Authors who can’t earn a dinner ;
Many a subtle rogue a winner ;
Fugitives for shelter seeking ;
Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking.

Taste and talents quite deserted ;
All the laws of truth perverted ;
Arrogance o’er merit soaring ;
Merit silently deploring.

Ladies gambling night and morning ;
Fools the works of genius scorning ;
Ancient dames for girls mistaken,
Youthful damsels quite forsaken.

Some in luxury delighting ;
More in talking than in fighting ;
Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ;
Lordlings empty and insipid.

Poets, painters, and musicians ;
Lawyers, doctors, politicians :
Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes,
Seeking fame by diff’rent roads.

Gallant souls with empty purses ;
Gen’rals only fit for nurses ;
School-boys, smit with martial spirit,
Taking place of vet’ran merit.

Honest men who can’t get places,
Knaves who shew unblushing faces ;
Ruin hasten’d, peace retarded ;
Candour spurn’d, and art rewarded.


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