By Lady Mary Chudleigh 1656–1710 Lady Mary Chudleigh
Why, Damon, why, why, why so pressing?
The Heart you beg’s not worth possessing:
Each Look, each Word, each Smile’s affected,
And inward Charms are quite neglected:
    Then scorn her, scorn her, foolish Swain,
    And sigh no more, no more in vain.

Beauty’s worthless, fading, flying;
Who would for Trifles think of dying?
Who for a Face, a Shape, wou’d languish,
And tell the Brooks, and Groves his Anguish,
    Till she, till she thinks fit to prize him,
    And all, and all beside despise him?

Fix, fix your Thoughts on what’s inviting,
On what will never bear the slighting:
Wit and Virtue claim your Duty,
They’re much more worth than Gold and Beauty:
    To them, to them, your Heart resign,
    And you’ll no more, no more repine.

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Poet Lady Mary Chudleigh 1656–1710


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Unrequited Love, Realistic & Complicated


Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710) was a devout Anglican who educated herself and, ahead of her time, challenged traditional gender roles. “To the Ladies” appeared in Poems on Several Occasions (1703); it echoes the feminist argument she set forth in The Female Advocate; or, A Plea for the Just Liberty of the Tender Sex and Particularly of Married Women.

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Poems by Lady Mary Chudleigh

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Unrequited Love, Realistic & Complicated


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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