After Seeing Florio

Miss Flaxman

Did you see the plumage wave
O’er Florio’s brow? What grace it gave!
Yes, upon that festive night
I remark’d that feather light,
And heard the words that Floria said
To each attentive list’ning maid;
But how much lighter were those words
Than feathers of the gayest birds!
Than, dust, or air, more light than either
Was the wearer of the feather!

Men’s words are air, and flatt’ry but a breath
That breath’s contagion, & that air is death!


A new reading of an Old Scandal