[Page [133]


JUNE, 1790.

1 ERE Phoebus' beams exhal'd the pearly dew,
2 While hoary moisture all the fields o'erspread,
3 Where ozier cypress, and the drooping yew,
4 Had form'd a musing melancholy shade.
5 Belinda sat, bedew'd with briny tears,
6 The echoing grove her deep-fetch'd sighs retain;
7 Her plaintive note distress'd my list'ning ears,
8 While in low accents thus she did complain.
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9 "And is the pleasing scene, alas! no more!
10 Corrosive grief now on my vitals prey!
11 Distress'd, in sighs I spend the heavy hour,
12 Nor feel of comfort one auspicious ray!
13 Now gloomy visions hover round my bed,
14 More sadd'ning thoughts my waking hours employ!
15 Hope's balmy whispers are for ever fled,
16 And far remov'd is ev'ry gleam of joy!
17 My former days can never more return;
18 Each future prospect darkens on my view;
19 Life's rugged paths seem dreary and forlorn;
20 No kindly hand does there sweet flow'rets strew.
21 Alas! on life's tempestuous ocean tost,
22 Become a prey to each high swelling wave,
23 My ev'ry hope of happiness is lost
24 Laid in the silent, solitary grave!
25 No more, O death! thy pointed shafts I dread!
26 Thy keenest darts I hourly wish to share;
27 Since my lov'd HENRY'S number'd with the dead,
28 Nought in this world can now engage my care!
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29 Ah! what to me avails the radiant sky,
30 The verdant meadow, or the vocal grove?
31 No kind companion shares the melting joy,
32 And tunes his lute to melody and love.
33 He was but oh! no language can express
34 What my lov'd HENRY ever was to me:
35 My joy in health, my support in distress,
36 My lover, friend, and tender husband he.
37 For me a parent's love he did forego,
38 With all the pleasures of his native shore:
39 On me alone did ev'ry care bestow;
40 He saw me happy, and he wish'd no more.
41 Keen recollection animates my pain,
42 And all my pleasures past augment my woes;
43 Yet fond remembrance shall those joys retain,
44 While vital life within this bosom flows. "
45 Thus spoke Belinda, on the turf reclin'd;
46 No ray of hope her sadd'ning fancy cheer'd:
47 When from a thicket, as by heav'n design'd,
48 A nymph celestial in her sight appear'd.
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49 Her flowing robes wav'd in the ambient air;
50 A flow'ry wreath her modest temples grac'd;
51 Her presence kindly smooth'd the brow of care,
52 And all the horrors of the scene effac'd.
53 Array'd in heav'nly smiles she onward came;
54 Vain phantoms her superior pow'r confest:
55 She view'd the sad, dejected, mournful dame,
56 And thus in soothing accents her address'd.
57 "Do not Belinda at thy fate repine,
58 Nor by thy tears augment the pond'rous load;
59 The lovely youth must be no longer thine:
60 He's gone, such is the sov'reign will of GOD.
61 He's gone to flourish in a fairer soil,
62 A plant too noble for this noxious clime:
63 Where virtue must triumphant ever smile,
64 He'll share of joys extatic and sublime.
65 Vain are thy sorrows, vain the sighs of those,
66 Who did his favour or his friendship share:
67 He's gone beyond the reach of human woes,
68 Above the weight of ev'ry worldly care.
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69 Pure were the virtues center'd in his breast,
70 With unassuming rectitude they sway'd:
71 His tongue the dictates of his heart express'd,
72 While his mild manners more than words convey'd!
73 But human bliss is of a transient date,
74 Nor permanent thy woes, tho' now severe:
75 Soon shall you meet in a celestial state,
76 And then no more the pangs of parting fear.


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Title (in Source Edition): ON THE DEATH OF J—. H—. ESQ. JUNE, 1790.
Genres: heroic quatrain; eulogy; occasional poem

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Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [133-137.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

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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.

Other works by Janet Little (later Richmond)