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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.

by Mary Darby Robinson
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