The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Lines written in "Letters of an Italian Nun and an English Gentleman, by J. J. Rousseau: Founded on Facts"

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LINES

WRITTEN IN "LETTERS OF AN ITALIAN NUN AND AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN, BY J. J. ROUSSEAU:[1] FOUNDED ON FACTS."

"Away, away,—your flattering arts
May now betray some simpler hearts;
And you will smile at their believing,
And they shall weep at your deceiving."

ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING,[2] ADDRESSED TO MISS ——.

Dear simple girl, those flattering arts,
(From which thou'dst guard frail female hearts,)[3]
Exist but in imagination,
Mere phantoms of thine own creation;[4]
For he who views that witching grace,
That perfect form, that lovely face,
With eyes admiring, oh! believe me,
He never wishes to deceive thee:
Once in thy polish'd mirror glance[5]
Thou'lt there descry that elegance
Which from our sex demands such praises,
But envy in the other raises.—
Then he who tells thee of thy beauty,[6]
Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth;
It is not flattery,—'tis truth.[7]

July, 1804.


  1. [A second edition of this work, of which the title is, Letters, etc., translated from the French of Jean Jacques Rousseau, was published in London, in 1784. It is, probably, a literary forgery.]
  2. Answer to the above.—[4to]
  3. From which you'd.—[4to]
  4. Mere phantoms of your own creation;

    For he who sees.—[4to]
  5. Once let you at your mirror glance
    You'll there descry that elegance.—[4to]
  6. Then he who tells you of your beauty.—[4to]
  7. It is not flattery, but truth.—[4to]