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By a Person of Quality
by
Mary Barber


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Remote from Strife, from urban Throngs, and Noise.
Here dwells my Soul amidst domestic Joys:
No ratling Coaches serious Thoughts annoy;
Nor busy prating Fools my Peace destroy:
Wrapt up in all the Sweets of rural Ease,
My great Creator's Works my Senses please.
The Mind, in peaceful Solitude, has Room
To range in Thought, and ramble far from home,
Others may court the Joys which Princes give,
Whilst I, in sacred Silence, truly live.

 

This poem is in the public domain.

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Mary Barber (1685 - 1755) was an Irish housewife and poet who had the good fortune to be discovered by Jonathan Swift. Swift’s endorsement and support brought Mary respect and opportunities she would never have otherwise known, given her lack of social standing. Her poems ranged from messages to her son to satirical comment on society, the latter usually delivered in a voice other than her own. Many of Mary’s poems are presented from a male perspective or a child’s perspective, a technique that allowed her to speak her mind on sensitive subjects without stepping over the very rigid lines of protocol established for a female of common birth during that time period. While Swift always referred to Mary in glowing terms, calling her a "poetic genius," most consider Mary a poet of modest talent.

 


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