A Receipt to Cure the Vapors

By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1689–1762 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
I
Why will Delia thus retire,
   And idly languish life away?
While the sighing crowd admire,
   ’Tis too soon for hartshorn tea:

                  II   
All those dismal looks and fretting
   Cannot Damon’s life restore;
Long ago the worms have eat him,
   You can never see him more.

                  III
Once again consult your toilette,
   In the glass your face review:
So much weeping soon will spoil it,
   And no spring your charms renew.

                  IV
I, like you, was born a woman,
   Well I know what vapors mean:
The disease, alas! is common;
   Single, we have all the spleen.

                  V
All the morals that they tell us,
   Never cured the sorrow yet:
Chuse, among the pretty fellows,
   One of honor, youth, and wit.

                  VI
Prithee hear him every morning
   At least an hour or two;
Once again at night returning—
   I believe the dose will do.

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Poet Lady Mary Wortley Montagu 1689–1762

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Love, Men & Women

 Lady Mary Wortley  Montagu

Biography

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Love, Men & Women

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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