Occasioned by the Conversation of Certain Gentlemen of Yeovil, 1773

Ye boasted Rationals! ye Lords of Nature!

Are these your vaunted claims to Sense and Reason?

Is this the Conversation of Immortals?

(Born for Eternity) describing Scenes

Of Midnight Riot, Drunkenness, and Noise,

Where Discord fell and dire Prophaness reigns,

Dwelling with pleasure on the shameful Tale?

Yet high enthron’d in Wisdom’s sacred seat

Ye scorn the silly prattle of a Woman!

If this be Gaiety, Politeness, Wit,

O Shield me from them! Grant the calm retreat

Where Reason reigns and meek ey’d Quiet dwells.

From all this vain impertinence remote,

There let me spend my little span of Life

And bless that Power who form’d my Mind to taste

Of Intellectual Joys, superior Pleasures

To all that Mirth’s mad Vot’rys ever knew.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, STE 5/5/iv; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, p. 89. MS reads ‘Y––––l’.