"The best room in my house you [the mind] have seized for your own, / And turned the whole tenement quite upside down, / While you hourly call in a disorderly crew / Of vagabond rogues, who have nothing to do / But to run in and out, hurry-scurry, and keep / Such a horrible uproar, I can't get to sleep."
— Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)
Says Body to Mind, ''Tis amazing to see,
We're so nearly related yet never agree,
But lead a most wrangling strange sort of life,
As great plagues to each other as husband and wife.
The fault's all your own, who, with flagrant oppression,
Encroach every day on my lawful possession.
The best room in my house you have seized for your own,
And turned the whole tenement quite upside down,
While you hourly call in a disorderly crew
Of vagabond rogues, who have nothing to do
But to run in and out, hurry-scurry, and keep
Such a horrible uproar, I can't get to sleep.
There's my kitchen sometimes is as empty as sound,
I call for my servants, not one's to be found:
They are all sent out on your ladyship's errand,
To fetch some more riotous guests in, I warrant!
And since things are growing, I see, worse and worse,
I'm determined to force you to alter your course.'
Poor Mind, who heard all with extreme moderation,
Thought it now time to speak, and make her allegation:
''Tis I that, methinks, have most cause to complain,
Who am cramped and confined like a slave in a chain.
I did but step out, on some weighty affairs,
To visit last night, my good friends in the stars,
When, before I was got half as high as the moon,
You despatched Pain and Languor to hurry me down;
Vi & Armis they seized me, in midst of my flight,
And shut me in caverns as dark as the night.'
''Twas no more,' replied Body, 'than what you deserved;
While you rambled abroad, I at home was half starved:
And, unless I had closely confined you in hold,
You had left me to perish with hunger and cold.'
'I've a friend,' answers Mind, 'who, though slow, is yet sure,
And will rid me at last of your insolent power:
Will knock down your walls, the whole fabric demolish,
And at once your strong holds and my slavery abolish:
And while in your dust your dull ruins decay,
I'll snap off my chains and fly freely away.'
See Poems on Several Occasions. (London: Printed for John Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paulâ€™s Church-Yard, 1762). <Link to ESTC>
Text from Roger Lonsdale's Eighteenth Century Women Poets (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989).