[Page 51]

REFLECTIONS AFTER VIEWING A SCENE OF DISTRESS.

1 Teach me, all gracious Power, to be content!
2 To bless my lot because ordained by thee;
3 Ne'er mourn for that, thy wisdom hath not lent,
4 But deem it good because thy great decree.
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5 Then cease vain heart to mourn the want of power,
6 Just Heaven will view, accept the willing mind;
7 Will give reward in retribution's hour,
8 To all who felt the ills of human kind.
9 What tho' I can't bestow the wish'd supply,
10 Nor cheer cold poverty's obscure abode;
11 Ne'er read the language of a grateful eye,
12 Nor guide the helpless penitent to God.
13 I often wish the uninformed to teach,
14 To give to orphan infancy its bread,
15 To soothe the sorrow of declining age,
16 And give that pittance which I yet may need.
17 Be hushed complaint be never murmured more,
18 Arraign not that great plan to Heaven known;
19 Perhaps endowed with splendour, wealth and power,
20 The kinder feelings had not been my own.
21 With pleasure circled, proved secure from fear,
22 Perhaps I ne'er had breathed a pitying sigh;
23 Might never offered others woes a tear,
24 But lived a stranger to each softer tie.
25 Then 'tis in mercy wealth hath been denied,
26 For now a soul that feels for all is mine,
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27 I yet can soothe the ills of suffering worth,
28 And pray the bad their purpose to resign.
29 And I can cheer the modest with applause,
30 Kindly support the weak, the sorrowing mind,
31 Can plead, unblushing, virtue's injured cause,
32 Conceal the failings of my erring kind.
33 The voice attuned to softness may repress
34 The anguished sigh relieve the doubting heart,
35 A pitying look will often soften pain,
36 A mite to penury will joy impart.
37 A friendly smile can welcome modest fear,
38 A chearful word beguile the gloom of age;
39 Hence then despondency hence discontent,
40 I still have worth which partial friends engage.
41 Yes these are mine, and these the good approve,
42 Most gracious power! that all those gifts bestow;
43 In mercy, still withhold the means of ill,
44 And let me all unto thy mercy owe.
45 Then while on earth I'll thy great name adore,
46 And sink with sweet composure to the dust!
47 Bless thy past mercies "humbly hope for more,"
48 From thee my God, protectors, guide and trust.

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    Title (in Source Edition): REFLECTIONS AFTER VIEWING A SCENE OF DISTRESS.
    Themes:
    Genres: heroic quatrain; occasional poem

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    Kelly, Isabella, 1759-1857. Collection of Poems and Fables on Several Occasions. London: W. Richardson, 1794, pp. 51-53. 72p. (ESTC T122123) (Page images digitized from a copy at the British Library.)

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    Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

    Other works by Isabella Kelly (née Fordyce)