Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1730. Miss Nancy’s Gown
 
By Zitella Cocke
 
 
IN days when George the Third was King
  And ruled the Old Dominion,
And Law and Fashion owned the sway
  Of Parliament’s opinion,
A good ship brought across the sea        5
  A treasure fair and fine,—
Miss Nancy’s gown from London town,
  The latest Court design!
 
The plaited waist from neck to belt
  Scarce measured half a span;        10
The sleeves, balloon-like, at the top
  Could hold her feather fan;
The narrow skirt with bias gore
  Revealed an ankle neat,
Whene’er she put her dainty foot        15
  From carriage step to street!
 
By skilful hands this wondrous gown
  Of costliest stuff was made,
Cocoons of France on Antwerp looms
  Wrought to embossed brocade,        20
Where roses red and violets
  In blooming beauty grew,
As if young May were there alway,
  And June and April too!
 
And from this bower of delight        25
  Miss Nancy reigned a Queen,
Nor one disloyal heart rebelled
  In all her wide demesne:
The noble House of Burgesses
  Forgot its fierce debate        30
O’er rights of Crown, when Nancy’s gown
  Appeared in Halls of State!
 
Through jocund reel, or measured tread
  Of stately minuet,
Like fairy vision shone the bloom        35
  Of rose and violet,
As, hand in hand with Washington,
  The hero of the day,
The smiling face and nymph-like grace
  Of Nancy led the way!        40
 
A century, since that gay time
  The merry dance was trod,
Has passed, and Nancy long has slept
  Beneath the churchyard sod;
Yet on the brocade velvet gown        45
  The rose and violet
Are blooming bright as on the night
  She danced the minuet!
 

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