A Celebration of Women Writers

"An Invective against Gold" by Mrs. Anne Killigrew (c.1660-1685).
From Killigrew, Anne. Poems 1686. Facs. edn., ed. R. E. Morton. Gainesville, Florida: Scholars, 1967. pp. 30-31.

[Page 30]

An Invective against Gold.

OF all the Poisons that the fruitful Earth
E'er yet brought forth, or Monsters she gave Birth,
Nought to Mankind has e'er so fatal been,
As thou, accursed Gold, their Care and Sin.

  Methinks I the Advent'rous Merchant see,
Ploughing the faithless Seas, in search of thee,
His dearest Wife and Children left behind,
(His real Wealth) while he, a Slave to th' Wind,
Sometimes becalm'd, the Shore with longing Eyes
Wishes to see, and what he wishes, Spies:
For a rude Tempest wakes him from his Dream,
And Strands his Bark by a more sad Extream.
Thus, hopless Wretch, is his whole Life-time spent,
And though thrice Wreck't, 's no Wiser than he went.

[Page 31]

  Again, I see, the Heavenly Fair despis'd,
A Hagg like Hell, with Gold, more highly priz'd;
Mens Faith betray'd, their Prince and Country Sold,
Their God deny'd, all for the Idol Gold.

  Unhappy Wretch, who first found out the Oar,
What kind of Vengeance rests for thee in store?
If Nebats Son, that Israel led astray,
Meet a severe Reward at the last Day?
Some strange unheard-of Judgement thou wilt find,
Who thus hast caus'd to Sin all Humane Kind.

[Page 32]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom