[Page 102]

Thirty Eight. Addressed to Mrs. H—y.

1 IN early youth's unclouded scene,
2 The brilliant morning of eighteen,
3 With health and springtly joy elate,
4 We gaz'd on Life's enchanting spring,
5 Nor thought how quickly Time would bring
6 The mournful period Thirty eight.
7 Then the starch maid, or matron sage,
8 Already of that sober age,
9 We view'd with mingled scorn and hate;
10 In whose sharp words, or sharper face,
11 With thoughtless mirth we lov'd to trace
12 The sad effects of Thirty eight.
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13 Til sadd'ning, sick'ning at the view,
14 We learn'd to dread what Time might do;
15 And then preferr'd a prayer to Fate,
16 To end our days ere that arriv'd;
17 When (pow'r and pleasure long surviv'd)
18 We met neglect and Thirty eight.
19 But Time, in spite of wishes, flies,
20 And Fate our simple prayer denies,
21 And bids us Death's own hour await:
22 The auburn locks are mix'd with grey,
23 The transient roses fade away,
24 But Reason comes at Thirty eight.
25 Her voice the anguish contradicts
26 That dying Vanity inflicts;
27 Her hand new pleasures can create,
28 For us she opens to the view
29 Prospects less bright but far more true,
30 And bids us smile at Thirty eight.
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31 No more shall Scandal's breath destroy
32 The social converse we enjoy
33 With bard or critic tête a tête;
34 O'er Youth's bright blooms her blights shall pour,
35 But spare th' improving friendly hour
36 That Science gives to Thirty eight.
37 Stripp'd of their gaudy hues by Truth,
38 We view the glitt'ring toys of Youth,
39 And blush to think how poor the bait,
40 For which to public scenes we ran,
41 And scorn'd of sober Sense the plan
42 Which gives content at Thirty eight.
43 Tho' Time's inexorable sway
44 Has torn the myrtle bands away,
45 For other wreaths 'tis not too late,
46 The am'ranth's purple glow survives,
47 And still Minerva's olive lives
48 On the calm brow of Thirty eight.
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49 With eye more steady we engage
50 To contemplate approaching age,
51 And life more justly estimate;
52 With firmer souls, and stronger pow'rs,
53 With Reason, Faith and Friendship ours,
54 We'll not regret the stealing hours
55 That lead from Thirty e'en to Forty eight.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Thirty Eight. Addressed to Mrs. H—y.
Genres: comic verse

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Source edition

Elegiac sonnets, and other poems. By Charlotte Smith. The first Worcester edition, from the sixth London edition, with additions. Printed at Worcester [Mass.]: by Isaiah Thomas, sold by him in Worcester, and by said Thomas and Andrews in Boston, 1795, pp. 102-105. xix,[2],22-126,[2]p.,[5] leaves of plates: ill.; 15 cm. (12mo) (OTA N22357)

Editorial principles

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.

Other works by Charlotte Smith (née Turner)