Melinda's Complaint

Poem By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

By the side of a glimmering fire,
Melinda sat pensively down,
Impatient of rural esquire,
And vex'd to be absent from Town.
The cricket, from under the grate,
With a chirp to her sighs did reply,
And the kitten, as grave as a cat,
Sat mournfully purring hard by.
"Alas! silly maid that I was!"
Thus sadly complaining, she cried;
"When first I forsook that dear place,
'T were better by far I had died!
How gaily I pass'd the long day,
In a round of continu'd delight;
Park, visits, assemblies, and play,
And quadrille to enliven the night.
"How simple was I to believe
Delusive poetical dreams!
The flattering landskips they give
Of groves, meads, and murmuring streams.
Bleak mountains, and wild staring rocks,
Are the wretched result of my pains;
The swains greater brutes than their flocks,
And the nymphs as polite as the swains.
"What though I have skill to ensnare,
Where Smarts in bright circles abound;
What though at St. James's at prayers,
Beaux ogle devoutly around:
Fond virgin, thy power is lost,
On a race of rude Hottentot brutes;
What glory in being the toast
Of noisy dull 'squires in boots?
"And thou, my companion, so dear,
My all that is left of relief,
Whatever I suffer, forbear --
Forbear to dissuade me from grief:
'Tis in vain then, you'll say to repine
At ills which cannot be redress'd,
But in sorrows so pungent as mine,
To be patient, alas! is a test.
"If, further to soothe my distress,
Thy tender compassion is led,
Call Jenny to help me undress,
And decently put me to bed.
The last humble solace I wait,
Would Heaven indulge me the boon,
Some dream less unkind than my fate,
In a vision transport me to Town.
"Clarissa, meantime, weds a beau,
Who decks her in golden array;
The finest at every fine show,
And flaunts it at Park and at Play;
Whilst here we are left in the lurch,
Forgot and secluded from view;
Unless when some bumpkin at church
Stares wistfully over the pew."

Comments about Melinda's Complaint

There is no comment submitted by members.

Rating Card

2,7 out of 5
10 total ratings

Other poems of MONTAGU

An Answer To A Lady, Who Advised Lady Montagu To Retire

You little know the heart that you advise:
I view this various scene with equal eyes;
In crowded courts I find myself alone,
And pay my worship to a nobler throne.

Ballad, On A Late Occurrence

Ungodly papers ev'ry week
Poor simple souls persuade
That courtiers good for nothing are,
Or but for mischief made.


Cease, fond shepherd -- cease desiring
What you never must enjoy;
She derides your vain aspiring,
She to all your sex is coy.

Epistle From Arthur Grey, The Footman, To Mrs. Murray, After His Condemnation For Attempting To Commit Violence.

Read, lovely nymph, and tremble not to read,
I have no more to wish, nor you to dread;
I ask not life, for life to me were vain,
And death a refuge from severer pain.


Written January 1718 in the Chiosk at Pera, overlooking Constantinople

Give me Great God (said I) a Little Farm

A Hymn To The Moon

Written in July, in an arbour

Thou silver deity of secret night,