Hannah More (1745-1833), author, philanthropist, and Yearsley's early patron.
ON A Visit to Mrs. MONTAGU.[ed.]
Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800), author, critic, philanthropist, and Hannah More's patron.
1 Unequal, lost to the aspiring claim,
2 I neither ask, nor own th'immortal name
3 Of Friend; ah, no! its ardors are too great,
4 My soul too narrow, and too low my state;
5 Stella! soar on, to nobler objects true,
6 Pour out your soul with your lov'd Montagu;[Page 66]
7 But, ah! shou'd either have a thought to spare,
8 Slight, trivial, neither worth a smile or tear,
9 Let it be mine; — when glowing raptures rise,
10 And each, aspiring, seeks her native skies;
11 When Fancy wakes the soul to extacy,
12 And the rapt mind is touch'd with Deity,
13 Quick let me from the hallow'd spot retire,
14 Where sacred Genius lights his awful fire.
15 Crush'd as I am, by Fortune's adverse power,
16 I hail the joys which wait thy happier hour;
17 To hear the music of her matchless tongue,
18 On which the nameless sweets of wit are hung;
19 What bliss the friendship of the wise to share,
20 Of soul superior, and of virtues rare! [Page 67]
21 Where Genius in familiar converse sits,
22 Crowns real worth, and blasts pretending Wits;
23 Where great ideas, fed by Fancy, glow,
24 And soul-expanding notes in rapture flow;
25 Where pointed thought in polish'd diction drest,
26 With every grace assaults the yielding breast;
27 O, powers of Genius! even the Miser's heart,
28 In the sweet transport, bears a transient part;
29 He thrills, unconscious whence his pleasures come,
30 Who ne'er had dreamt of rapture but at home;
31 But, ah! the slight impression quickly dies,
32 Or on the noxious surface floating lies;
33 The momentary virtue ne'er was brought
34 To frame one bounteous deed, one generous thought,
35 His harden'd spirit only knows to shun
36 The lore of wisdom, and the genial sun[Page 68]
37 Of warm humanity; ah! joyless breast,
38 Which never hail'd a self-rewarding guest!
39 Then fly, cold wretch, to thy congenial cell,
40 And quit the haunts where sweet sensations dwell.
41 How has your bounty cheer'd my humble state,
42 And chang'd the colour of my gloomy fate!
43 Still shall your image sooth my pensive soul,
44 When slow-pac'd moments, big with mischiefs, roll;
45 Still shall I, eager, wait your wish'd return,
46 From that bright Fair who decks a Shakespeare's urn
47 With deathless glories; every ardent prayer
48 Which gratitude can waft from souls sincere,
49 Each warm return to generous bounty due,
50 Shall warm my heart for you and Montagu. [Page 69]
51 Blest pair! O, had not souls like your's been given,
52 The stupid Atheist well might doubt a Heaven;
53 Convinc'd, he now deserts his gloomy stand,
54 Owns Mind the noblest proof of a creating hand.
55 Galen's conversion, by externals wrought,
56 Dropt far beneath sublimity of Thought;
57 But cou'd he those superior wonders find,
58 Which form and actuate your nobler mind,
59 How wou'd the Heathen, struck with vast surprise,
60 Atoms deny, while spirit fill'd his eyes.