Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Here you will find the Poem Addressed to ------, 1736 of poet Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Addressed to ------, 1736

With toilsome steps I pass thro' life's dull road 
(No pack-horse half so tired of his load); 
And when this dirty journey will conclude, 
To what new realms is then my way pursued? 
Say, then does the unbodied spirit fly 
To happier climes and to a better sky? 
Or, sinking, mixes with its kindred clay, 
And sleeps a whole eternity away? 
Or shall this form be once again renew'd, 
With all its frailties, all its hopes, endu'd; 
Acting once more on this detested stage 
Passions of youth, infirmities of age? 
I see in Tully what the ancients thought, 
And read unprejudic'd what moderns taught; 
But no conviction from my reading springs -- 
Most dubious on the most important things. 
Yet one short moment would at once explain 
What all philosophy has sought in vain; 
Would clear all doubt, and terminate all pain. 
Why then not hasten that decisive hour; 
Still in my view, and ever in my pow'r? 
Why should I drag along this life I hate, 
Without one thought to mitigate the weight? 
Whence this mysterious bearing to exist, 
When ev'ry joy is lost, and ev'ry hope dismiss'd? 
In chains and darkness wherefore should I stay, 
And mourn in prison whilst I keep the key?