TO ANNA MATILDA.
1 AND art thou then, alas! like me,
2 OFFSPRING of frail mortality?
3 Must ruthless Time's rude touch efface
4 Each lovely feature's varying grace?
5 And must tow'rds earth that form incline,
6 And e'en those eyes forbear to shine?
7 Yet, when with icy hand he throws,
8 Amongst thine auburn locks, his snows,
9 The freezing influence ne'er shall dart,
10 To chill thy warmly-beating heart;
11 And scorning Death's oblivious hour,
12 Thou shalt exult — beyond his pow'r.
13 Methinks, as Passion drives along,
14 As frantic grown, I feel thy Song;
15 Eager I'd traverse LYBIA's plain,
16 The tawny Lion's dread domain
17 To meet thee there: nor flagging Fear,
18 Should ever on my cheek appear:
19 For e'en the Forest's King obeys
20 Majestic WOMAN's potent gaze. [Page 22]
21 Or, left on some resourceless shore,
22 Where never-ceasing billows roar;
23 Which teeming clouds, and heavy hail,
24 And furious hurricanes assail,
25 Far to the Pole — while half the year,
26 On Ebon throne sits NIGHT severe;
27 And to her solitary court,
28 Sea-fowl, and monsters fierce resort —
29 E'en there, MATILDA! there with thee,
30 Impending horrors all should flee;
31 Thy lustre of poetic ray,
32 Should wake an artificial day.
33 Sure thou wast never doom'd to know
34 What pangs from care, and danger flow;
35 But fairest scenes thy thoughts employ,
36 And Art, and Science, bring thee joy.
37 The quick'ning sense, the throb divine,
38 Fancy, and Feeling, all are thine;
39 'Tis thine, by blushing Summer led,
40 A show'r of roses round thee shed,
41 To hie thee forth at Morn's advance,
42 In wild excess of rapt'rous trance;
43 And see the Sun's proud deluge stream,
44 In copious tides of golden beam;
45 While faint his Sister-Orb on high,
46 Fades to a vapour of the sky.
47 When gradual evening comes, to hide,
48 In sabling shades, CREATION's pride;
49 When heaving hills, and forests drear,
50 And less'ning towns, but scarce appear;
51 While the last ling'ring western glow,
52 Hangs on the lucid lake below;
53 Then trivial joys (I deem) forgot,
54 Thou lov'st to seek the humble cot,
55 To scatter Comfort's balm around,
56 And heal pale Poverty's deep wound;
57 Drive sickness from the languid bed,
58 Raise the lorn Widow's drooping head;
59 Render the new-made Mother blest,
60 And snatch the Infant to thy breast.
61 O ANNA, then, if true thou say,
62 Thy radiant beauties steal away,
63 Yet shall I never fail to find
64 Eternal beauties in thy mind.
65 To those I offer up my vows,
66 And Love, which Virtue's self allows;
67 Unknown, again thou art ador'd,
68 As once by him, thy "bosom's Lord."