— semper amabilem.
1 OH! born to sooth distress, and lighten care;
2 Lively as soft, and innocent as fair;
3 Blest with that sweet simplicity of thought
4 So rarely found, and never to be taught;
5 Of winning speech, endearing, artless, kind,
6 The loveliest pattern of a female mind;
7 Like some fair spirit from the realms of rest
8 With all her native heaven within her breast;
9 So pure, so good, she scarce can guess at sin,[Page 50]
10 But thinks the world without like that within;
11 Such melting tenderness, so fond to bless,
12 Her charity almost becomes excess.
13 Wealth may be courted, wisdom be rever'd,
14 And beauty prais'd, and brutal strength be fear'd;
15 But goodness only can affection move;
16 And love must owe its origin to love.
Illam quicquid agit, quoquo vestigia flectit,
Componit furtim, subsequiturque decor.
1 OF gentle manners, and of taste refin'd,
2 With all the graces of a polish'd mind;
3 Clear sense and truth still shone in all she spoke,[Page 51]
4 And from her lips no idle sentence broke.
5 Each nicer elegance of art she knew;
6 Correctly fair, and regularly true:
7 Her ready fingers plied with equal skill
8 The pencil's task, the needle, or the quill.
9 So pois'd her feelings, so compos'd her soul,
10 So subject all to reason's calm controul,
11 One only passion, strong, and unconfin'd,
12 Disturb'd the balance of her even mind:
13 One passion rul'd despotic in her breast,
14 In every word, and look, and thought confest;
15 But that was love, and love delights to bless
16 The generous transports of a fond excess.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): CHARACTERS.
Genres: heroic couplet
Text view / Document view
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 Anna Laetitia Barbauld (née Aikin)
- An ADDRESS to the DEITY. ()
- CORSICA. ()
- DELIA, AN ELEGY. ()
- The GROANS of the TANKARD. ()
- HYMN I. ()
- HYMN II. ()
- HYMN III. For EASTER-SUNDAY. ()
- HYMN IV. ()
- HYMN to CONTENT. ()
- HYMN V. ()
- The INVITATION: To MISS B—. ()
- The MOUSE's PETITION, Found in the TRAP where he had been confin'd all Night. ()
- ODE to SPRING. ()
- On a LADY's WRITING. ()
- ON THE Backwardness of the SPRING 1771. ()
- ON THE DEATH OF MRS. JENNINGS. ()
- THE ORIGIN OF SONG-WRITING. ()
- OVID to his WIFE: Imitated from different Parts of his TRISTIA. ()
- [SONG] I. ()
- SONG II. ()
- SONG III. ()
- SONG IV. ()
- SONG V. ()
- SONG VI. ()
- A Summer Evening's Meditation. ()
- To a LADY, With some painted FLOWERS. ()
- To MISS R—, On her Attendance on her Mother at BUXTON. ()
- To MRS. P—, With some Drawings of BIRDS and INSECTS. ()
- To WISDOM. ()
- VERSES on MRS. ROWE. ()
- VERSES written in an Alcove. ()