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Recreations for Solitary Hours

Stanzas—To Mrs. Col. R******N

page 64

Stanzas—To Mrs. Col. R******N.

Again my Muse thy wonted task resume,
While I endeavour thus to wake the lyre;
How can my soul its cheerfulness assume?—
Then shine thou inward with celestial fire.
Oh! aid me with one dulcet strain, t' inspire
The pensive feelings of my breast, to tell
Upon my cheerless gloom,—so sad and dire.—
hen come, oh come! engage thou every spell
To cheer my grieving soul, as now I sing—farewell.

Not only mine, which makes me thus to grieve,
But theirs to whom her bounties did extend,
For she was every ready to relieve
Distress:—In her the friendless found a friend:
Still pity with her kindness free did blend
In all the warmth of sensibility;
How high becoming! thus to condescend,
As o'er the miseries of the poor to sigh,
And from her stores to grant their wants a kind supply.

page 65

The pride of greatness ne'er her mind possess'd,
As still her heart was generous and free,
A treasure rich! with which, how few are bless'd,
Though rich in worldly goods.—How prone was she
To seek the wretched out!—Where need might be
Of consolation, thither her heart would tend,
To soothe the afflicted with her sympathy!—
Or on the deathbed feelingly attend,
And prove herself a nurse, a mother, and a friend.

Here, all ye rich, is an example meet
For you to copy;—and your souls display:—
For meek disinterestedness complete,
O'er her benevolent actions bore the sway;—
Good will attended all she gave away,
And still she wished that more she could have done.
In gratitude, what should ye now repay
For kind attentions, each affliction's son,
But let your prayers ascend for her to Heaven's throne?

Such is the lady, highly I regard,
Oh! Muse with whom I sadly bid farewell;
Our parting time how near!—nought can retard
The fleeting moments, as they hasten all
To send her hence. Mourn ye 'mong whom I dwell,
page 66 Who have the bounties of her goodness shared;
Though such a loss approaching grieve you shall,
Let not oblivion e'er o'ercome regard,
But on your memories may her deeds and name be spared.

Hail! gracious Ma'am, permit me thus to thee,
In gratitude to strike one thankful strain,
A poor requital for thy kindness free,
On rising youth bestowed. It gives me pain
To think that thou no longer canst remain;—
No more the school thy visits will receive:—
A sad farewell!—perhaps ne'er meet again—
How virtue weeps!—her yearning soul doth grieve
To part with such a friend, whose stay could joy retrieve.

Farewell; but ah! it rends me to the core,
To think of wonted friendship at an end,
Is't possible remembrance is no more—?
Above all other joys, this shall transcend,
To think of when thou first didst condescend
My humble school to visit oft,—forsooth
Thou then, and since, an unexpected friend
Didst prove, to aid th' accomplishing of youth,
As lib'rally ye dealt to them the word of truth.

page 67

Farewell;—the thought yet gives another pang,
Extracting from my breast the bursting sigh;—
From cares, my joys in unawares up sprang;
Now summer smiles around, while sad am I,—
But Fate decrees it, and I must comply,
Though sore against the yearnings of my soul.—
Oh, Heaven! her and hers with blessings high
And pleasures crown, where'er they choose to dwell;
As now this hasty strain I cease, and sigh—Farewell!