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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Time-Worn Belle

By John Trumbull (1750–1831)

[From “The Progress of Dulness.” 1772–74.—The Poetical Works of John Trumbull. 1820.]

POOR Harriet now hath had her day;

No more the beaux confess her sway;

New beauties push her from the stage;

She trembles at th’ approach of age,

And starts to view the alter’d face,

That wrinkles at her in her glass:

So Satan, in the monk’s tradition,

Fear’d when he met his apparition.

At length her name each coxcomb cancels

From standing lists of toasts and angels;

And slighted where she shone before,

A grace and goddess now no more,

Despised by all, and doom’d to meet

Her lovers at her rival’s feet,

She flies assemblies, shuns the ball,

And cries out, vanity, on all;

Affects to scorn the tinsel-shows

Of glittering belles and gaudy beaux;

Nor longer hopes to hide by dress

The tracks of age upon her face.

Now careless grown of airs polite,

Her noonday nightcap meets the sight;

Her hair uncomb’d collects together,

With ornaments of many a feather;

Her stays for easiness thrown by,

Her rumpled handkerchief awry,

A careless figure half undress’d

(The reader’s wits may guess the rest);

All points of dress and neatness carried,

As though she’d been a twelvemonth married;

She spends her breath, as years prevail,

At this sad wicked world to rail,

To slander all her sex impromptu,

And wonder what the times will come to.