The Female Phaeton

A poem by Matthew Prior

Thus Kitty, beautiful and young,
And wild as colt untamed,
Bespoke the fair from whence she sprung,
With little rage inflamed.

Inflamed with rage at sad restraint
Which wise mamma ordain'd,
And sorely vex'd to play the saint
Whilst wit and beauty reign'd.

Shall I thumb holy books, confined
With Abigails, forsaken?
Kitty's for other things design'd,
Or I am much mistaken.

Must Lady Jenny frisk about,
And visit with her cousins?
At balls must she make all the rout,
And bring home hearts by dozens?

What has she better, pray, than I?
What hidden charms to boast,
That all mankind for her should die,
Whilst I am scarce a toast?

Dearest mamma, for once let me
Unchain'd my fortune try:
I'll have my earl as well as she,
Or know the reason why.

I'll soon with Jenny's pride quit score,
Make all her lovers fall:
They'll grieve I was not loosed before;
She I was loosed at all.

Fondness prevail'd, mamma gave way:
Kitty, at heart's desire,
Obtain'd the chariot for a day,
And set the world on fire.

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