Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Poetry

New-York Weekly Museum
XIV 47 (Sept 4, 1802); Sep 1. R.

For the New-York Weekly Museum.

Our lovely belles, whose tresses fair
Enchant each doting wayward swain,
Must surely act from motives rare,
To hide this source of pleasing pain.

Those charming ringlets, which were once
The pride and pleasure of the fair,
Must yield, alas! to every dunce,
Who sells his locks of fiery hair.

No longer now in native pride
They grace the beauteous ivory neck,
Each natural charm our fair ones hide,
And wigs uncouth their heads bedeck.

Those waving forests, which now move,
And fire each dashing city lass,
Sweet maids! may emblematic prove,
And speak the mental magic glass.

The flaming color you display,
Which blaze like Milton's death and sin,
May lead some candid friend to say,
It shews the fire which glows within.

The mass of hair which decks the head,
And waves with so much pomp and pride,
Some gentle critic may mislead,
To think your dress is all outside.

Some female friends may too suppose,
The head by nature is too light,
That hence, fair lasses! you propose
By hair to make the balance right.

The sage philosopher will be there,
Who proudly holds the judgment seat,
And class your heads with engines rare,
Which only work when mov'd by heat.

Can you, ye fair! who freedom love,
And hail the goddess Liberty,
Such traitors to your guardian prove,
And yield your heads to slavery?

Must heads alone be now confin'd,
And feel the galling heavy chain,
While all the rest is free as wind,
Which sports upon my native plain?

Then leave awhile the imprison'd head
To taste the sweets of liberty,
And, if employment you should need,
Pray try to dress with decency.

No longer tempt the gazer's eye
By full display of naked charms;
No longer for employment sigh,
But clothe your naked breast and arms.

September 1. R.


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