[Page [188]]



1 SIR, I your letter did peruse;
2 So elegant the style you use,
3 Abash'd, confounded I did muse
4 Struck with amaze;
5 Great wit and learning you diffuse
6 In all your lays.
7 You've been upon Parnassus' top,
8 More high than Alexander Pope;
9 And wild Arabia's plains you grope
10 For Phenix rare,
11 That useful knowledge you may drop,
12 While dunces stare.
[Page 189]
13 Your Pegasus, still on the wing,
14 More sweet than Philomel you sing;
15 And swift from distant climes you bring
16 Notes hard to read:
17 Does Phenix, sir, from ashes spring?
18 'Tis strange indeed.
19 But more difficult 'tis to scan,
20 That dire, deceitful creature man;
21 Of all the work in Nature's plan,
22 Sure none can be
23 So intricate to understan',
24 As mystic he.
25 His breast is fill'd with mazy wiles;
26 His count'nance stor'd with fickle smiles:
27 His flatt'ring speech too oft beguiles
28 Pure innocence;
29 And when he writes, his lofty style's
30 Replete with sense.
31 Such eloquence does merit praise;
32 Deep erudition swells your lays:
[Page 190]
33 You seem the laureate of our days;
34 And all the nine,
35 Your mighty character to raise,
36 Do now combine.
37 'Tis pity, sir, that such as you
38 Should agriculture's paths pursue,
39 Or destin'd be to hold the plough
40 On the cold plain;
41 More fit that laurels deck'd the brow
42 Of such a swain.
43 Yet Homer's parts few did commend,
44 Till death his doleful days did end;
45 Then seven cities did contend
46 A right to claim;
47 Each vow'd from thence he did descend,
48 So great his fame.
49 Perhaps, sir, in some future age,
50 Struck with the beauties of your page,
51 Old Scotia's chieftains may engage
52 Your name to raise;
[Page 191]
53 More have they to excite their rage,
54 Than Homer's lays.
55 But I must drop the pond'rous theme,
56 Lest you my weak attempts should blame;
57 So sure your title is to fame,
58 Who runs may read;
59 Of such your merit to proclaim
60 You have no need.
61 Know then, that love within my breast,
62 Has never yet been known to rest;
63 Nor would I harbour such a guest,
64 To give me pain:
65 I wish you, sir, so much distress'd,
66 Soon well again.


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 110K / ZIP - 12K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 2.0K / ZIP - 1.3K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)



All Images (PDF - 1.4M)

About this text

Genres: epistle

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [188]-191.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

Editorial principles

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)