On Amira’s calling the Muses Old Maids

Old Maids! indeed, Amira, you are wrong:

Those lovely Sisters are forever young;

Forever beauteous, too: tho’ time impairs

All mortal charms it still encreases theirs.

Unfading youth the Muses can inspire:

Unfading youth what Maid wou’d not desire?

Tho’ from the cheek the shortliv’d roses fly,

And every sparkling glance forsake the eye,

A fairer bloom their influence can bestow,

And charms matur’d by time their Votr’ys know.

Then be the beauties of the face resign’d,

And let the charming Muses deck the Mind.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/3/7, no. 17; also STE 3/3/1, p. 105; also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 2, p. 201.