I language want to dress my fancies in,
The hair’s uncurled, the garment’s loose and thin.
Had they but silver lace to make them gay,
They’d be more courted than in poor array;
Or, had they art, would make a better show;
But they are plain; yet cleanly do they go.
The world in bravery doth take delight,
And glistering shows do more attract the sight:
And every one doth honor a rich hood,
As if the outside made the inside good.
And every one doth bow and give the place,
Not for the man’s sake but the silver lace.
Let me intreat in my poor book’s behalf,
That all will not adore the golden calf.
Consider, pray, gold hath no life therein,
And life, in nature, is the richest thing.
Be just, let Fancy have the upper place,
And then my verses may perchance find grace.
Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Lucas Cavendish
Note: A philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright, “Cavendish lived and wrote in the thick of the mechanistic revolution of the seventeenth century, though many of her views—about thinking matter, the nature of scientific explanation, and the intelligibility of the divine—seem almost contemporary. In her own age, she was regarded alternately as mad, pretentious, a curiosity, and a genius. She finally received some much-wanted recognition from her male peers in 1667, when she was offered an extremely rare invitation to participate in a meeting of the Royal Society..” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy