[Page 246]


1 LINES, in addition to the treasure
2 Of poesy, culled for the pleasure
3 Of beau and belle and gentle dame,
4 When seated round the evening flame,
5 What time the social hour is waning,
6 And tardy coachman guests detaining,
7 A courteous friend hath bid me write
8 Upon her Album's pages white.
9 But age the easy grace hath lost
10 That would become such pages most,
11 While of a quondam rhymester's skill,
12 Scarce aught is extant but the will;
13 And sober, stinted age must use
14 The school-girl's worn and stale excuse,
15 When, long her correspondent's debtor,
16 The apology becomes the letter.
[Page 247]
17 Apologies for those who need 'em!
18 An Album is a thing of freedom,
19 Receiving all with right good will
20 That fortune sends from many a quill,
21 And then displays like scaly store
22 Which fisher's net brings to the shore:
23 The herring sheathed in silvery green,
24 The whiting in its pearly sheen,
25 The lithe and wavy eel that glides
26 Athwart the mackerel's tabbied sides;
27 John Dory with his dolphin head,
28 Where amber fins like horns are spread,
29 And flounder, sole, and thornback, all
30 In turn on some observer call
31 To mark each varied form and tint;
32 And from this simile a hint
33 Of some encouragement I take,
34 And humbly this my offering make,
35 Which if received with favour, truly
36 Will shew that I have reckoned duly
37 On what might homelier things commend,
38 On the good nature of a friend.


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Title (in Source Edition): LINES FOR A FRIEND'S ALBUM.
Genres: occasional poem

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Source edition

Baillie, Joanna, 1762-1851. Fugitive Verses. By Joanna Baillie, author of “Dramas on the Passions,“ etc. London: Edward Moxon, Dover Street. MDCCCXL., 1840, pp. 246-247.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [40.17].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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