To Mrs. Mary Barber, under the Name of Sapphira:
Occasion'd by the Encouragement She met with in England, to publish her Poems by Subscription.
1 Long has the Warrior's, and the Lover's Fire,
2 Employ'd the Poet, and ingross'd the Lyre;
3 And justly too the World might long approve
4 The Praise of Heroes and of virtuous Love;
5 Had Tyrants not usurp'd the Hero's Name,
6 Nor low Desires debas'd the Lover's Flame;
7 If on those Themes, all Triflers had not writ,
8 Guiltless of Sense, or Elegance, or Wit.
9 Far different Themes We in thy Verses view;
10 Themes, in themselves, alike sublime, and new:
11 Thy tuneful Labours all conspire to show
12 The highest Bliss the Mind can taste below;[Page lxii]
13 To ease those Wants, with which the Wretched pine;
14 And imitate Beneficence divine:
15 A Theme, alas! forgot by Bards too long;
16 And, but for Thee, almost unknown to Song.
17 Such wise Reflections in thy Lays are shown,
18 As Flaccus' Muse, in all her Pride, might own:
19 So Elegant, and so Refin'd, thy Praise,
20 As grearest Minds, at once, might mend and please:
21 No florid Toys, in pompous Numbers drest;
22 But justest Thoughts, in purest Stile, exprest:
23 Whene'er thy Muse designs the Heart to move,
24 The melting Reader must, with Tears, approve;
25 Or when, more gay, her spritely Satire bites,
26 'Tis not to wound, but to instruct, She writes.
27 Cou'd —, or — from the Tomb,
28 Which shades their Ashes till the final Doom,
29 The dire Effects of vicious Writings view,
30 How wou'd they mourn to think what might ensue![Page lxiii]
31 Blush at their Works, for no one End design'd,
32 But to embellish Vice, and taint the Mind!
33 No more their dear-bought Fame wou'd raise their Pride;
34 But Terrors wait on Talents misapply'd.
35 Not so Sapphira: her unsully'd Strain
36 Shall never give her Soul one conscious Pain;
37 To latest Times shall melt the harden'd Breast,
38 And raise her Joys, by making others blest.
39 These Works, which Modesty conceal'd in Night,
40 Your Candor, gen'rous Britons, brings to Light;
41 Born, by your Arms, for Liberty's Defence;
42 Born, by your Taste, the Arbiters of Sense:
43 Long may your Taste, and long your Empire stand,
44 To Honour, Wit, and Worth, from every Land.
45 Oh! cou'd my conscious Muse but fully trace
46 The silent Virtues which Sapphira grace;
47 How much her Heart, from low Desires refin'd;
48 How much her Works, the Transcript of her Mind;[Page lxiv]
49 Her tender Care, and Grief for the Distrest;
50 Her Joy unfeign'd, to see true Merit blest;
51 Her Soul so form'd for every social Care;
52 A Friend so gen'rous, ardent, and sincere;
53 How wou'd you triumph in yourselves to find
54 Your Favours shewn to so complete a Mind;
55 To find her Breast with every Grace inspir'd,
56 Whom first You only for her Lays admir'd.
57 Thus the great Father of the Hebrew State,
58 Who watch'd for weary'd Strangers at his Gate;
59 The Good He thought conferr'd on Men unknown,
60 He found to more exalted Beings shown.
Dublin, Jan. 5. 1732. Constantia Grierson.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): To Mrs. Mary Barber, under the Name of Sapphira: Occasion'd by the Encouragement She met with in England, to publish her Poems by Subscription.
Author: Constantia Grierson
Themes: patronage; poetry; literature; writing
Genres: heroic couplet; epistle
References: DMI 11324
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