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For the close woven arches of limes
On the banks of our river, I know,
Are sweeter to her many times
Than aught that the city can show.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well judging taste from above,
Then, whether embellish'd or rude,
"Tis nature alone that we love.
The' achievements of art may amuse,
May even our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and valleys diffuse
A lasting, a sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice,
May it still be her lot to possess
The scene of her sensible choice!
To' inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that she leads.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,
And with scenes that new rapture inspire,
As oft as it suits her to roam,
She will have just the life she prefers,
With little to hope or to fear,
And ours would be pleasant as hers,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
ON HER MARRIAGE TO GEORGE COURTNAY, ESQ. 1792.
BELIEVE it or not, as you choose,
The doctrine is certainly true,
That the future is known to the
And poets are oracles too.
I did but express a desire
To see Catharina at home,
At the side of my friend George's fire,
And lo-she is actually come.
Such prophecy some may despise,
But the wish of a poet and friend
Perhaps is approved in the skies,
And therefore attains to its end.
'Twas a wish that flew ardently forth
From a bosom effectually warm'd
With the talents, the graces, and worth
Of the person for whom it was form'd.
Maria' would leave us, I knew,
To the grief and regret of us all,
But less to our grief, could we view
Catharina the queen of the hall:
And therefore I wish'd as I did,
And therefore this union of hands: Not a whisper was heard to forbid, But all cry-Amen-to the bans.
Since therefore I seem to incur
No danger of wishing in vain, When making good wishes for her, I will e'en to my wishes again1 Lady Throckmorton.
With one I have made her a wife,
And now I will try with another, Which I cannot suppress for my lifeHow soon I can make her a mother.
Addressed to Lady Hesketh.
that so stately appears,
With ribbon-bound tassel on high,
Which seems by the crest that it rears
Ambitious of brushing the sky:
This cap to my cousin I owe;
She gave it, and gave me beside, Wreathed into an elegant bow,
The ribbon with which it is tied.
This wheel-footed studying chair,
Contrived both for toil and repose,
Wide-elbow'd, and wadded with hair,
In which I both scribble and doze,
Bright-studded to dazzle the eyes,
And rival in lustre of that
In which, or Astronomy lies,
Fair Cassiopeia sat:
These carpets, so soft to the foot,
Caledonia's traffic and pride!
Oh, spare them, ye knights of the boot,
Escaped from a cross-country ride!
This table and mirror within,
Secure from collision and dust, At which I oft shave cheek and chin, And periwig nicely adjust:
This movable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired and its use,
And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest I had to produce;
Where, flaming in scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view,
And hope in due time to behold
My Iliad and Odyssey too:
This china, that decks the alcove,
Which here people call a boufet,
But what the gods call it above
Has ne'er been reveal'd to us yet:
These curtains, that keep the room warm,
Or cool, as the season demands,
Those stoves, that for pattern and form,
Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands:
All these are not half that I owe
To one, from our earliest youth
To me ever ready to show
Benignity, friendship, and truth;
For Time, the destroyer declared,
And foe of our perishing kind,
If even her face he has spared,
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compass'd about with the goods
And chattels of leisure and ease,
I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these; And fancies I fear they will seem— Poets' goods are not often so fine; The poets will swear that I dream, When I sing of the splendour of mine.
ON RECEIVING FROM HER A NETWORK purse, madE BY HERSEelf.
My gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
When I was young, and thou no more
Than plaything for a nurse,
I danced and fondled on my knee,
A kitten both in size and glee,
I thank thee for my purse.
Gold pays the worth of all things here;
But not of love;-that gem's too dear
For richest rogues to win it;
I, therefore, as a proof of love,
Esteem thy present far above
The best things kept within it.
ON HER KIND PRESENT TO THE AUTHOR, A PATCHWORK COUNTERPANE OF HER OWN MAKING.
THE Bard, if e'er he feel at all,
Must sure be quicken'd by a call
Both on his heart and head,
pay with tuneful thanks the care
And kindness of a lady fair
Who deigns to deck his bed.