Verses, Written for the Toasting-glasses of the Kit-Cat Club, 1703, By Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax (1661–1715)
Duchess of St. Albans
THE LINE of Vere, so long renowned in arms,
Concludes with lustre in St. Albans’ charms;
Her conquering eyes have made their race complete;
They rose in Valour, and in Beauty set.
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Duchess of Beaufort
Offspring of a tuneful sire,
Blest with more than mortal fire;
Likeness of a mother’s face,
Blest with more than mortal grace;
You with double charms surprise,
With his wit, and with her eyes.
Lady Mary Churchill
Fairest and latest of the beauteous race,
Blest with your parents’ wit and her first blooming face;
Born with our liberties in William’s reign,
Your eyes alone that liberty restrain.
Duchess of Richmond
Of two fair Richmonds different ages boast,
Theirs was the first, and ours the brightest toast;
The adorers offerings prove who’s most divine,
They sacrificed in water, we in wine.
All Nature’s charms in Sunderland appear,
Bright as her eyes, and as her reason clear:
Yet still their force, to men not safely known,
Seems undiscovered to herself alone.
Admired in Germany, adored in France,
Your charms to brighter glory here advance;
The stubborn Britons own your beauty’s claim,
And with their native toasts enroll your name.
Taken from Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax (1661–1715), "Verses, Written for the Toasting-glasses of the Kit-Cat Club, 1703", ed. William Stanley Braithwaite, The Book of Restoration Verse. 1910.
Image: William Hogarth, The Kit Kat Club, Lotherton Hall, Leeds Museums and Galleries