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Of happier times, appear,
Shall shine, and dry the tear.
ADDRESSED TO MISS STAPLETON,
(NOW MRS. COURTNEY.)
SHE came--she is gone we have met
And meet perhaps never again; The sun of that moment is set,
And seems to have risen in vain. Catharina has fled like a dream
(So vanishes pleasure, alas !) But has left a regret and esteem,
That will not so suddenly pass.
Catharina, Maria, and I,
By the nightingale warbling nigh.
And much she was charm'd with a tone Less sweet to Maria and me,
Who so lately had witness'd her own. My numbers that day she had sung,
And gave them a grace so divine, As only her musical tongue
Could infuse into numbers of mine. The longer I heard, I esteem'd
The work of my fancy the more, And e'en to myself never seem'd
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year, Catharina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier bere ; 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;
A lasting, a sacred delight.
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;
As oft as it suits her to roam;
With little to hope or to fear,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
A HERMIT, (or if chance you hold
Your hermit, young and jovial sirs !
Imagination to his view
of best exertion there,
True, answer'd an angelic guide, Attendant at the senior's side But whether all the time it cost, To urge the fruitless chase be lost, Must be decided by the worth Of that, which call'd his ardour forth. Trifles pursued, whate'er the event, Must cause him shame or discontent; A vicious object still is worse, Successful there he wins a curse ; But he, whom e'en in life's last stage Endeavours laudable engage, Is paid, at least in peace of mind, And sense of having well design'd; And if, ere he attain his end, His sun precipitate descend, A brighter prize than that he meant Shall recompense his mere intent. No virtuous wish can bear a date Either too early or too late.