On Being Desired to Send some Verses to the Gentleman’s Magazine

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.