[Page 113]

ON THE DANGEROUS ILLNESS OF MY FRIEND MRS L.

13TH MAY, 1788.

1 WHAT is't to me though Earth's green lap be spread
2 With new-sprung flowers, the first-born of the year!
3 The smirking daisy and the cowslip tall
4 May walk the mead, or wander near the brook;
5 The liquid mirror may reflect the tree
6 Whose opening leaves now mottle all the stream;
7 Their fluttering tenants, crowding cliff and spray,
8 May the green curtain tight and closely draw,
9 To hide the habitation, wove with care,
10 And all the fostering secrecy of love.
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11 The gilded insect basking in the sun,
12 Fann'd by his light, and many a colour'd wing,
13 Now shows with how much care Nature adorns
14 Her smallest work. What are all these to me!
15 My thoughts from pleasure and from former joys
16 Start wild away; Amusement's silver cords
17 Bind on the fancy no one form of bliss;
18 I try to lose myself, but still pursu'd
19 By Fear, I only fly to agony of mind,
20 There lose the sight of all but one sad grief,
21 Which sits enthron'd within this aching heart.
22 The fairest lily of the field now droops,
23 Hangs low the head, where Beauty soft had wove
24 Those sweet entanglements that hold the eye,
25 And through her silken veil would fondly show
26 The various workings of the virtuous soul;
27 The heart look'd through, and spread along the face
28 The sentimental trait that mark'd the mind.
29 Compassion oft would bud into a tear,
30 And honest Scorn would flush the redd'ning cheek,
31 When harsh conclusions or ungenerous truths
32 Would drop like gall from the satiric tongue.
33 Worth she approv'd, however mean array'd;
34 And greatness could not charm but by the soul.
35 Her accents fell with such a melting sound
36 On every word that cloth'd her modest thought,
37 That sweet Expression told the careless heart
38 Whene'er she spoke she could not speak in vain!
39 Your eye from her's would learn a mode of speech
40 Which, when she pleas'd, could useless make the ear,
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41 And ere the sentence left its hallow'd cave,
42 Would tell what thought was venturing next abroad.
43 Nor had Disguise in all her face or soul
44 One place to hide her poor and artful head;
45 Truth and her train had tenanted each cell,
46 And honest Friendship at the portal stood
47 To point or tell you what was done within.
48 But, ah! she droops; and I am drooping too!
49 'Tis not for me to hold the aching head,
50 And cordials in my hands and eyes to bear,
51 To cheer her longer with a ray of hope,
52 And promise Ease, that wanders with To-morrow;
53 To watch the askings of the weary eye,
54 And ere the wish be form'd the wish foresee;
55 To me such happiness must ne'er belong!
56 Myself who tax the tenderness of friends,
57 And oft require their all-supporting aid,
58 Else, else this drooping, withering plant had long,
59 Had long ere this been mouldering in the dust.
60 O Father of the Universe! 'tis thou
61 Who giv'st us life, and health, and joy, and ease;
62 For these continu'd grateful let us be;
63 If taken from us, let us firm believe
64 Thy goodness equal in what thou withhold'st,
65 As in what thou benevolently giv'st;
66 Let us submit.   But oh! if 'tis thy will
67 To save my friend, and hold her yet in life,
68 O God of Heaven! how thankful shall I be.
69 If not, let me, all humble, strive to yield,
70 Assur'd that thou hast everlasting store
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71 Of endless bliss for every soul like her's;
72 For true religion purified her heart,
73 Ran through the current of her blameless life,
74 And made it one continued hymn to Thee!

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Title (in Source Edition): ON THE DANGEROUS ILLNESS OF MY FRIEND MRS L. 13TH MAY, 1788.
Themes:
Genres: blank verse; occasional poem

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Source edition

The Poetical Works of Miss Susanna Blamire “The muse of Cumberland.” Now for the first time collected by Henry Lonsdale, M.D. with a preface, memoir, and notes by Patrick Maxwell, ... Edinburgh: John Menzies, 61 Princes Street; R. Tyas, London; D. Robertson, Glasgow; and C. Thurnam, Carlisle. MDCCCXLII., 1842, pp. 113-116. 

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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