The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

Womens Superstition
from The Mistress, Poems (1656; editor's copy)

OR I'm a very Dunce, or Womankind
Is a most unintelligible thing:
I can no Sense, nor no Contexture find,
   Nor their loose parts to Method bring,
   I know not what the Learn'd may see,
   But they're strange Hebrew things to Mee.
By Customs and Traditions they live,
And foolish Ceremonies of antick date,
We Lovers, new and better Doctrines give.
   Yet they continue obstinate;  10
   Preach we, Loves Prophets, what we will,
   Like Jews, they keep their old Law still.
Before their Mothers Gods, they fondly fall,
Vain Idol-Gods that have no Sense nor Mind:
Honour's their Ashtaroth, and Pride their Baal,
   The Thundring Baal of Woman-kind.
   With twenty other Devils more,
   Which They, as We do Them, adore.
But then, like Men both Covetous and Devout,
Their costly Superstition loth t'omit,  20
And yet more loth to issue Moneys out,
   At their own charge to furnish it.
   To these expensive Deities,
   The Hearts of Men they Sacrifice.

This text normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light."
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