Ornaments of Dress

Miss Porden

In early times, each goddess bore,
Some type of her peculiar power,
Or would some mystic emblem hold
Which might her subject arts unfold.
’Twas thus the crescent’s silver light,
Revealed the modest Queen of Night,
“The goddess of the smiles and loves,”
Was known by her connubial doves;
By Juno’s splendid bird was seen,
The pride of Jove’s immortal queen,
The owl, for wisdom famed displayed
The prudence of the blue-eyed maid,
Her aegis, wreathed with snakes around,
Revealed her might, in war renowned,
While her embroidered veil imparts
The Queen of Industry and Arts.

 If still, tho’ ages past, the fair
Their tempers by their dress declare,
What fear, what agony of woe,
May not the male creation know,
Since Albion’s nymphs, whom all believe,
The fairest progeny of Eve,
Who long a higher prize have claimed,
For virtue as for beauty famed,
Gaunt lions on their bosoms rest,
And foster serpents in their breast.

 Mean they that their enticing smiles,
But veil Pandora’s cruel wiles,
Those dazzling charms that blind our eyes
A tempting, but a fatal prize,
Mean they the lion’s fury fell,
Can in their gentle bosoms dwell.
Nay, then, of their deceit aware,
The destined prey, would shun the snare
Their winning arts would fruitless prove,
Nor all their charms affection move.

 But if we further search around,
A better answer may be found,
The serpent once in Ancient Greece
Did immortality express,
And hence (as all is Grecian now,)
Our modern beauties mean to show,
That they immortal love impart,
Whene’er their glances wound our heart.
And as his fame the lion bore
For clemency as well as power
Tho’ deep the wounds they give may prove
Their kindness shall the smart remove.