Jane Austen (1775-1817) was one of the most famous English novelists, known for her romantic fiction about English gentry.
Less well known, but equally highly regarded, are her remarkable poems, which mark her as an exceptionally talented and respected poet.
Artwork Engraving by Richard Bentley, 1870
Many people know of the famous poem by Jane Austen, titled ‘Miss Lloyd has now went to Miss Green’. Jane wrote this poem to a dressmaker, Miss Green, on behalf of Martha Lloyd, whose mother had just died, requesting mourning garments.
But few people know of the poem written by Miss Green, the dressmaker, in response to Jane’s poem.
Miss Lloyd Has Now Went To Miss Green
Miss Lloyd has now sent to Miss Green,
As, on opening the box, may be seen,
Some years of a Black Ploughman’s Gauze,
To be made up directly, because
Miss Lloyd must in mourning appear
For the death of a Relative dear–
Miss Lloyd must expect to receive
This license to mourn and to grieve,
Complete, ere the end of the week–
It is better to write than to speak
Miss Green’s Reply:
I’ve often made clothes
For those who write prose,
But ‘tis the first time
I’ve had orders in rhyme –
Depend on’t, fair Maid,
You shall be obeyed;
Your garment of black
Shall sit close to your back,
And in every part
I’ll exert all my art;
It shall be the neatest,
And eke the completest
That ever was seen –
Or my name is not Green!
Excerpt taken from ‘Poems Of Jane Austen’
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