In Urban’s Magazine to shine
Demands a brighter pen then mine!
’Tis true he sometimes condescends
(To keep his gentle readers friends)
To print a little trifling stuff:
Of such a little is enough.
Perhaps he may, if you desire it,
Spoil half a page – but who’ll admire it?
He’d please his friends, but ’tis a jest
To honour one and vex the rest.
Had my soft lines the pleasing art
To charm the ear or touch the heart,
Such lines I might consign with pleasure
Next month to Master Urban’s treasure;
But since this art I cannot gain,
Dear Polly, you perswade in vain.
Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/3/1, p. 56; this poem first published in Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840, vol. 2 (ed. Julia B. Griffin), p. 156.