FEMALE FASHIONS FOR 1799 - Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems


Poems » edwin arlington robinson » female fashions for 1799


A FORM, as any taper, fine ;
    A head like half-pint bason ;
Where golden cords, and bands entwine,
    As rich as fleece of JASON.

A pair of shoulders strong and wide,
    Like country clown enlisting ;
Bare arms long dangling by the side,
    And shoes of ragged listing !

Cravats like towels, thick and broad,
    Long tippets made of bear-skin,
Muffs that a RUSSIAN might applaud,
    And rouge to spoil a fair skin.

Long petticoats to hide the feet,
    Silk hose with clocks of scarlet ;
A load of perfume, sick'ning sweet,
    Bought of PARISIAN VARLET.

A bush of hair, the brow to shade,
    Sometimes the eyes to cover ;
A necklace that might be display'd
    By OTAHEITEAN lover !

A bowl of straw to deck the head,
    Like porringer unmeaning ;
A bunch of POPPIES flaming red,
    With motly ribands streaming.

Bare ears on either side the head,
    Like wood-wild savage SATYR ;
Tinted with deep vermilion red,
    To shame the blush of nature.

Red elbows, gauzy gloves, that add
    An icy cov'ring merely ;
A wadded coat, the shape to pad,
    Like Dutch-women -- or nearly.

Such is CAPRICE ! but, lovely kind !
    Oh ! let each mental feature
Proclaim the labour of the mind,
    And leave your charms to NATURE.