Dorothea (Annesley) Dubois: Irish Woman Poet

Dorothea Du Bois (1728-1744) was born in Dublin, the daughter of Richard Annesley, later sixth earl of Anglesey, and Ann Simpson, a merchant’s daughter. In 1740 her father repudiated his wife and family, declaring his children illegitimate. She married a French musician called Dubois in 1752. She spent much of her adult life travelling between England and Ireland attempting to get her father to recognise her and laid out the whole story in her 1764 Poems by a Lady of Quality. In addition to poetry, she wrote novels and drama and books on grammar and letter writing.

Song

A scholar first my love implored,
And then an empty titled lord;
The pedant talked in lofty strains;
Alas! his lordship wanted brains:
I listened not to one or t’ other,
But straight referred them to my mother.

A poet next my love assailed,
A lawyer hoped to have prevailed;
The bard too much approved himself;
The lawyer thirsted after pelf:
I listened not to one or t’ other,
But still referred them to my mother.

An officer my heart would storm,
A miser sought me too, in form;
But Mars was over-free and bold;
The miser’s heart was in his gold:
I listened not to one or t’ other,
Referring still unto my mother.

And after them, some twenty more
Successless were, as those before;
When Damon, lovely Damon came,
Our hearts straight felt a mutual flame:
I vowed I’d have him, and no other,
Without referring to my mother.

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