Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Here you will find the Poem To a Friend on His Travels of poet Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

To a Friend on His Travels

From this vile town, immers'd in smoke and care, 
To you who brighten in a purer air, 
Your faithful friend conveys her tenderest thought 
(Though now perhaps neglected and forgot). 
May blooming health your wonted mirth restore, 
And every pleasure crown your every hour; 
Caress'd, esteem'd, and lov'd, your merit known, 
And foreign lands admire you, like your own: 
Whilst I in silence various fortunes bear, 
Distracted with the rage of bosom-war: 
My restless fever tears my changeful brain, 
With mix'd ideas of delight and pain; 
Sometimes soft views my morning dreams employ 
In the faint dawn of visionary joy; 
Which rigid reason quickly drives away -- 
I seek the shade and fly from rising day: 
In pleasing madness meet some moment's ease, 
And fondly cherish my belov'd disease. 
If female weakness melt my woman's mind, 
At least no weakness in the choice I find, 
Not sooth'd to softness by a warbling flute, 
Nor the bought merit of a birthday suit; 
Not lost my heart by the surprising skill 
In opera tunes, in dancing, or quadrille. 
The only charm my inclination moves 
Is such a virtue, Heaven itself approves! 
A soul superior to each vulgar view, 
Great, steady, gentle, generous, and true. 
How I regret my trifling hours past, 
And look with sorrow oe'r the dreary waste! 
In false pursuits and vanity bestow'd, 
The perfect image of a dirty road; 
Through puddles oft, o'er craggy rocks I stray, 
A tiresome dull uncomfortable way: 
And after toiling long through thick and thin 
To reach some meanly mercenary inn, 
The bills are high, and very bad the fare, 
I curse the wretched entertainment there: 
And, jogging on, resolve to stop no more 
Where gaudy signs invite me to the door.