Read THE HON. MRS. MONK of The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) Vol. III, free online book, by Theophilus Cibber, on

This Lady was the daughter of the Right Hon. the Lord Molesworth, a nobleman of Ireland, and wife of George Monk, Esq; By the force of her natural genius, she learnt the Latin, Italian, and Spanish tongues, and by a constant reading of the best authors in those languages, became so great a proficient, especially in poetry, that she wrote many pieces that were deemed worthy of publication, and soon after her death, were printed and published with the following title, Marinda.  Poems, and Translations upon several occasions, printed in London, 1716.  The book is addressed to her Royal Highness Carolina Princess of Wales, in a long dedication, dated March 26, 1716, written by her father, who thus affectionately speaks of the poems and their author.

’Most of them (says he) are the product of the leisure hours of a young gentlewoman lately deceased; who in a remote country retirement, without omitting the daily care due to a large family, not only perfectly acquired the several languages here made use of; but the good morals and principles contained in those books, so as to put them in practice, as well during her life and languishing sickness, as the hour of her death; in short she died not only like a Christian, but a Roman lady, and so became at once the object of the grief, and comfort of her relations.  As much as I am obliged to be sparing in commending what belongs to me, I cannot forbear thinking some of these circumstances uncommon enough to be taken notice of:  I loved her more, because she deserved it, than because she was mine, and I cannot do greater honour to her memory, than by consecrating her labours, or rather diversion to your Royal Highness, as we found most of them in her escrutore, after her death, written with her own hand, little expecting, and as little desiring the public should have any opportunity, either of applauding or condemning them.’

Mr. Jacob tells us, that these Poems and Translations, shew the true spirit, and numbers of poetry, a delicacy of turn, and justness of thought and expression.  They consist of Ecclogues; the Masque of the Virtues against Love, from Guarini; some translations from the French and Italians; Familiar Epistles, Odes and Madrigals.

Her poetry has great warmth, and tenderness of sentiment.  The following Epitaph on a lady of pleasure, was written by her,

  O’er this marble drop a tear,
  Here lies fair Rosalinde,
  All mankind was pleas’d with her,
  And she with all mankind.

And likewise this Epigram upon another lady of the same character.

  Chloe, her gossips entertains,
  With stories of her child-bed pains,
  And fiercely against Hymen rails: 
  But Hymen’s not so much to blame;
  She knows, unless her memory fails,
  E’er she was wed, ’twas much the same.

The following verses, which breathe a true spirit of tenderness, were written by her, on her death-bed at Bath, when her husband was in London,

  Thou, who dost all my worldly thoughts employ,
  Thou pleasing source of all my earthly joy: 
  Thou tenderest husband, and thou best of friends,
  To thee, this first, this last adieu I send. 
  At length the conqueror death asserts his right,
  And will forever veil me from thy sight. 
  He wooes me to him, with a chearful grace;
  And not one terror clouds his meagre face. 
  He promises a lasting rest from pain;
  And shews that all life’s fleeting joys are vain. 
  Th’ eternal scenes of Heaven he sets in view,
  And tells me, that no other joys are true. 
  But love, fond love, would yet resist his power;
  Would fain a-while defer the parting hour: 
  He brings the mourning image to my eyes,
  And would obstruct my journey to the skies. 
  But say thou dearest, thou unwearied friend;
  Say should’st thou grieve to see my sorrows end? 
  Thou know’st a painful pilgrimage I have past,
  And should’st thou grieve, that rest is come at last;
  Rather rejoice to see me shake off life,
  And die as I have liv’d, thy faithful wife.