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Joy too and grief. Much joy that there should be
I lose my precious years now soon to fail, Handling his gold, which, howsoe'er it shine,
Proves dross when balanced in the Christian scale.
Be wiser thou-like our forefather Donne,
SONNET TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ. 1793.
DEAR architect of fine Chateaux in air,
O, for permission from the skies to share,
Much to my own, though little to thy good, With thee, (not subject to the jealous mood!) A partnership of literary ware!
But I am bankrupt now; and doom'd henceforth To drudge, in descant dry, on others' lays; Bards, I acknowledge, of unequal'd worth!
But what is commentators' happiest praise? That he has furnish'd lights for other eyes, Which they who need them use, and then despise.
SONNET TO DR. AUSTIN.
AUSTIN! accept a grateful verse from me,
Friend of my friend'! I love thee, though un
And boldly call thee, being his, my own.
SONNET TO GEORGE ROMNEY, ESQ.
ON HIS PICTURE OF ME IN CRAYONS, DRAWN AT EARTHAM, IN THE 61ST YEAR OF MY AGE, IN THE MONTHS OF AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER.
ROMNEY, expert infallibly to trace
On chart or canvass, not the form alone And semblance, but, however faintly shown, The mind's impression too on every face—
With strokes that time ought never to erase,
Since on maturer thought the cause is clear; For in my looks what sorrow couldst thou see When I was Hayley's guest, and sat to thee?
SONNET TO MRS. UNWIN.
MARY! I want a lyre with other strings, Such aid from Heaven as some have feign'd they drew,
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new And undebased by praise of meaner things, That, ere through age or woe I shed my wings, I may record thy worth with honour due, In verse as musical as thou art true, And that immortalizes whom it sings.
But thou hast little need. There is a book
AUTUMN OF 1793.
THE twentieth year is well nigh pass'd,
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
Thy needles, once a shining store,
For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
Thy indistinct expressions seem
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
For could I view nor them nor thee,
Partakers of thy sad decline,
Such feebleness of limbs thou provést,
And still to love, though press'd with ill,
But, ah! by constant heed I know,
And should my future lot be cast