No happy change her fortune knows;
Subject to man in every state,
How can she then be free from woes?
In youth, a father's stern command
And jealous eyes control her will;
A lordly brother watchful stands
To keep her closer captive still.
The tyrant husband next appears,
With awful and contracted brow;
No more a lover's form he wears:
Her slaves become her sovereign now.
If from this fatal bondage free,
And not by marriage-chains confined,
But, blessed with single life, can see
A parent fond, a brother kind;
Yet love usurps her tender breast,
And paints a phoenix to her eyes:
Some darling youth disturbs her rest,
And painful sighs in secret rise.
Oh cruel powers, since you've designed
That man, vain man, should bear the sway,
To a slave's fetters add a slavish mind,
That I may cheerfully your will obey.