Archive for November 8th, 2019

Friday, 8 November 2019

To My Most Honored Cosen, Mrs Somerset, On the Unjust Censure Past Upon My Poore Marcelia* by Frances Boothby

Sigh not, Parthenia, that I’me doom’d to dye,
Since a false scandal’s made the reason why.
Fortune I ever found my rigid foe,
And did not hope she now would milder grow.
A small weake barke by a rough tempest tost,
Can raise noe wonder when we heare ’tis lost;
When powerfull enemys resolve to kill,
They heed not justice, strength can do their will;
Ruled by self interest their foes confine,
And word their judgments to their owne designe.
This byas made that injuring blow be given,
That thy Arcasia had prophan’d gainst heaven.
But why this furious hurricane did rise
Where by detracting zeale I’m made a sacrifice,
I cannot reach; for sure a woman’s pen
Is not (like comets,) ominous to men:
Nor could my clouded braine, (wrapt up in night,)
Destroy in all my sex their sunshine light:
The basalisk’s poison lys not in my head,
To strike the wits of other women dead,
If my dull ignorance could blast them all,
Then should I justly as their victim fall.

*The poet’s play, Marcelia, or, The Treacherous Friend, was performed in 1669 in London. It was the first play by a woman produced in London.

From: Clifford, Arthur (ed.), Tixall Poetry; with Notes and Illustrations, 1813, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown: London and John Ballantyne and Co.: Edinburgh, pp. 228-229.

Date: 1670

By: Frances Boothby (fl. 1669-1670)