« PreviousContinue »
Such as, to human fancy, must improve
The nameless raptures of the bless'd above :
Where is the wretch so hardy to deny,
But female kill with boasted man's may vie !
The sacred art of Poetry, we owe To that bless's source of chiefest Llifs below, The fond affection which can live, alone, Between two hearts that love has render'd one: Where Nature seems to speak, with meaning plain, • Thy joys, proud man, were without woman vain ! • Like thee, she feels each passion of the heart,
Her blify as great as thing, as great herrfmartiri;
And well she kuows, with words of magick sound, • To check the rifing hope, or heal the faithful wound.
Then why refuse them to an equal share
In arts which owe their being to the fair?
Say, canst thou 'mcanly think that science strives • To taint the female breast where most it thrives?
Yet; if a fpark within your own resides,***
Imagine reason ev'ry action guides;
Expect distinction from the lowly crowd,
- And scorn to fear Touk virtne disallow'd!
Unjust it is-regard the paft with shame;
" And let them henceforth share the road to fame."
Happy for England, 'were each female mind,
To science more, and less to pomp inclin’d';
If parents, by example, prudence taught,
And from their QUEEN the flame of virtue caught !
Skill'd in each art that ferves to polish life,
Behold, in her, a fcientifick wife!
Tho'most entitled to the glare of dress,
No private lady can regard it less :
Yet ftill she keeps the glorious golden mean,
And always wears what best becomes a queen ;
Rich, tho' not tawdry; elegant, tho' neat ;
And all her perfon, like her mind, compleat.
While, in each duty of domestick lise,
She yields not to the less-exalted wife ;
Attends, herself, the royal offspring's care,
the virtuous precept in their ear ;
Teaches the duty which to God they owe,
And tells how poor the thanks they can bestow.
Nor doth herself neglect each day to join
Their much-lov'd presence in the rites divine:
And oft her pious lips to Heav'n address
The fervent wilh, that Britain's woes were less ;
That War might feathe his deeply-crimson'd fword,
And Peace, throughout the world, be once again relior’d.
Whether we view her as a wife, possess’d
Of ev'ry charm to niake her consort bless’d;
(New source of envy in the breasts of those
His virtues, with his pow'r, have render'd foes :)
Or as a mother, christian, queen, or friend;
Alike we must admire,' alike commend !
But vain are words her merits to impart,
For CHARLOTTE's virtues reign-in ev'ry heart.
Great is the task my Genius has assign’d,
And much it needs a more enlighten’d mind;
To traverse Nature's garden all around,
Where ev'ry weed and ev'ry flow'r is found;
Distinguish well the properties of all,
And harni no grateful herb, however small :
Yet crop each painted pageant of a day,
That hardly blooms before it knows decay;
Nor leave a single flow'r, tho'gay or fair,
Which owns a scent less fragrant than the air;
Least it's foul breath contaminate the whole,
And make the food--the poison of the soul.
The task is great, indeed! But, when I fear,
My better Genius cries, Still perfevre!
Think, by your means, each fair-one
adorn • Her brow with roses, fearless of the thorn;
• May range thro’ Nature's rich parterres with ease, • And safely pluck whatever flow'r she please ; • Nor fear, howe'er incautiously she tread, • To place her foot upon the adder's head: • Assur'd each plant or flow'r that meets her eyes, • Is to the virtuous mind a welcome prize. • E’en CHARLOTTE's self some leisure hour may rove • In those delightful scenes she must approve, . With rapture view the kilful Gard'ner's care, • And deem THY WORK a blessing to the Fair! • Dare, then, proceed-nor think your labours hard ;
For what of toil can merit such reward!'.
IS said of widow, maid, and wife,
That honour is a woman's life
Unhappy sex! who only claim
A being in the breath of fame,
Which tainted, not the quick’ning gales
That sweep Sabéa's spicy vales,
Nor all the healing sweets restore,
That breathe along Arabia's shore.
The trav’ller, if he chance to fray,
May turn uncensur'd to his way ;
Polluted streams again are pure,
And deepest wounds admit a cure:
But woman no redemption knows ;
The wounds of honour never close !
Tho' diftant ev'ry hand to guide,
Nor killid on life's tempestuous tide,
If once her feeble bark recede,
Or deviate from the course decreed,
In vain she seeks the friendless shore,
Her swifter folly flies before ;
The circling ports against her close,
And shut the wand'rer from repose ;
Till, by conflicting waves oppress'd,
Her found'ring pinnace finks to reft.
Are there no offerings to atone
For but a single error ? -None,
Tho' Woman is avow'd, of old,
No daughter of celestial mould,
Her temp'ring not without allay,
And form'd but of the finer clay,
We challenge from the mortal dame
The strength angelick natures claim;
Nay, more; for sacred stories tell,
That e'en immortal angels fell.
Whatever fills the teeming sphere
Of humid earth, and ambient air,
With varying elements endu'd,
Was form'd to fall, and rise renew'd.
The stars no fix'd duration know;
Wide oceans ebb, again to flow ;
The moon repletes her waining face,
All-beauteous, from her late disgrace ;
And suns, that mourn approaching night,
Refulgent rise with new-born light.
In vain may death and time subdue, While Nature mints her race anew, And holds fome vital spark apart, Like virtue, hid in ev'ry heart; "Tis hence reviving warmth is seen To clothe a naked world in green. No longer barr'd by winter's cold, Again the gates of life unfold ; Again each insect tries his wing, And lifts fresh pinions on the spring;
Again, from ev'ry latent root,
The bladed item and tendril shoot,
Exhaling incense to the skies,
Again to perish, and to rise.
And must weak Woman, then, disown
The change to which a world is prone;
In one meridian brightness-thine,
And ne'er, like ev’ning suns, decline!
Resolv'd and firm alone? Is this
What we demand of Woman!_Yes.
But should the spark of vefal fire,
In some unguarded hour' expire ;
Or should the nightly thief invade
Hesperia’s chaste and sacred Made,
Of all the blooming spoil poffefs'd,
The dragon Honour charm’d to rest';
Shall Virtue's flame no more return;
No more with virgin splendor burn?
No more the ravag'd garden blow
With spring's succeeding bloffom ?-No.
Pity may mourn, but not restore;
And Woman falls, to rise no more!
Within this sublunary sphere,
A country lies-110 matter where;
The clime may readily be found
By all who tread poetick ground:
A stream, call’d Life, across it glides,
And equally the land divides ;
And here of Vice the province lies,
And there the hills of Virtue rife.
Upon a mountain's airy stand,
Whose summit look'd to either land,
An ancient pair their dwelling chose,
As well for prospect as repose ; .
For mutual faith they long were fam'd,
And Temp'rance and Religion nam'd.