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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Female Phaeton

By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)

THUS Kitty, beautiful and young,

And wild as a colt untamed,

Bespoke the fair from whence she sprung,

With little rage inflamed:

Inflamed with rage at sad restraint,

Which wise mamma ordained;

And sorely vext to play the saint,

Whilst wit and beauty reigned:—

“Shall I thumb holy books, confined

With Abigails forsaken?

Kitty’s for other things designed,

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

Unchained 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 prevailed; mamma gave way:

Kitty, at heart’s desire,

Obtained the chariot for a day,

And set the world on fire.