Farewell to Bath

By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1689–1762 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
To all you ladies now at Bath,
      And eke, ye beaux, to you,
With aching heart, and wat'ry eyes,
      I bid my last adieu.

   Farewell ye nymphs, who waters sip
      Hot reeking from the pumps,
While music lends her friendly aid,
      To cheer you from the dumps.

   Farewell ye wits, who prating stand,
      And criticise the fair;
Yourselves the joke of men of sense,
      Who hate a coxcomb's air.

   Farewell to Deard's, and all her toys,
      Which glitter in her shop,
Deluding traps to girls and boys,
      The warehouse of the fop.

   Lindsay's and Hayes's both farewell,
      Where in the spacious hall,
With bounding steps, and sprightly air,
      I've led up many a ball.

   Where Somerville of courteous mien,
      Was partner in the dance,
With swimming Haws, and Brownlow blithe,
      And Britton pink of France.

   Poor Nash, farewell! may fortune smile,
      Thy drooping soul revive,
My heart is full I can no more—
      John, bid the coachman drive.

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Poet Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1689–1762



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 Lady Mary Wortley  Montagu


Best known as a letter writer, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote verses all her life and frequently referred to herself as a "poet." From the young girl, as she later described herself, "trespassing" in Latin and Greek sources to the old woman haunted "by the Daemon of Poesie" (as quoted by Isobel Grundy in Essays and Poems, 1977), Montagu repeatedly turned to the forms of Augustan verse—satires, verse epistles, mock epics, . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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