[Page 167]

AN EPISTLE

TO MISS ISABELLA GRAHAM OF GARTMORE.

1 AT earliest dawn brisk Archy rose,
2 And tightly garter'd on his hose;
3 He in his bosom plac'd a sprig,
4 And put on his best philibeg,
5 Mounted his sheltie then demands,
6 "Gif Lady Susan had commands,
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7 To Gartmore, Madam, I am going"
8 Respectfully the while kept bowing;
9 "A letter, if you'll please to give it,
10 The morn Miss Tibby shall receive it;"
11 I thank you, Archy; yes, I'll send
12 A letter to my dearest friend.
13 Just then Remembrance seem'd to say,
14 "Why, sure, you wrote but yesterday!
15 And, scribbling every day such nonsense,
16 In truth you have but little conscience;
17 Your scrolls are all so hard to read,
18 They're each an Athanasian creed,
19 Which not a mortal understands,
20 So quick the line forms in your hands;
21 And every thought, as you conceive it,
22 Though immature, you being give it;
23 Still, still to Wisdom's full-grown thought
24 Your small ideas seem a mote,
25 Therefore on paper no more note them."
26 But May and Tibby will out blot them!
27 Exclaim'd my heart in great emotion,
28 Stung to the quick at Wisdom's caution;
29 'Tis true my heart knows no restraint,
30 I laugh, or sing, or make complaint;
31 Just as the heart compounds the dye
32 The colour flushes to the eye,
33 And while to Friendship's ken display'd,
34 Be ever seen its light and shade.
35 'Tis Friendship holds the faithful glass
36 Which lets no faults unnotic'd pass,
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37 But places them in such a light
38 As soften'd meet the conscious sight;
39 Amendment soon smooths every feature,
40 And shows a less imperfect creature;
41 And Friendship's kind observance shows
42 Dark Error's tints or Virtue's glows.
43 Happy the few who find the Friend
44 Whose candour strives each fault to mend;
45 Who deals reproof with lenient care,
46 Touches each fault, yet strives to spare;
47 For e'en the honest feeling heart
48 With softest chastisement will smart,
49 By conscious defalcation stung,
50 And pain'd the most t' have acted wrong;
51 Then be it Friendship's constant part
52 To mend but not afflict the heart.
53 Thus, with myself in mental confab,
54 And having own'd my pen a sad blab,
55 Vex'd e'en that Caution should distrust
56 Those friends I love, those friends so just,
57 Those steadfast hearts I dare confide in,
58 And hope for ever to reside in,
59 I drove cold Prudence from my ear,
60 Her whisper'd doubts refus'd to hear,
61 Promis'd to list some other day,
62 My letter seal'd, and sent away.

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Title (in Source Edition): AN EPISTLE TO MISS ISABELLA GRAHAM OF GARTMORE.
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Genres: epistle

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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. 167-169. 

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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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