[Page [125]]

Written April the 18th, 1796.

1 THE beauteous queen of social love,
2 Descending from the realms above,
3 Through the wide space of ether flew,
4 With care this little world to view,
5 Till, tir'd with wandering, at the last,
6 Through every different climate past,
7 She sought not out a splendid dome,
8 But made this humble cot her home.
9 The sweetest lyre would strive in vain,
10 To sing the pleasures of her reign,
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11 Whose powerful influence does impart,
12 New softness to the feeling heart,
13 Bids it each narrow thought resign,
14 And fills it with a warmth benign.
15 From morning till the close of day,
16 Here all a grateful homage pay,
17 For here she plays her harmless wiles,
18 And scatters her endearing smiles;
19 Here no proud rivals intervene,
20 And all, though glowing, is serene.
21 Here, since she first her visit paid,
22 Still has the sweet enchantress staid,
23 And never met a single slight,
24 Or spread her snowy plumes for flight.
25 Contented 'neath the humble roof,
26 No timid heart is kept aloof;
27 A kind and condescending guest,
28 She lightens each despairing breast;
29 Where pain her poignant venom spreads,
30 The balm of tenderness she sheds,
31 Which breathes a calm repose around,
32 And heals at last the burning wound.
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33 When the heart throbs with bitter woe,
34 Her winning mien disarms the foe,
35 And the kind glances of her eye,
36 Force the desponding power to fly.
37 She gives a zest to every joy,
38 Forbids tranquillity to cloy,
39 Softens misfortune, chases fear,
40 And balm distills in every tear.
41 'Tis she alone can make us know,
42 A truly blissful hour below,
43 Can smooth the furrow'd brow of life,
44 And hush the thundering voice of strife.
45 O, may she still exert her power,
46 Still lead us to the rural bower,
47 Which vaunting Pride does ne'er disgrace,
48 Or critic Envy's spiteful face.
49 Here Raymond ever shall delight,
50 To sit and watch the closing night;
51 And open-hearted Gertrude here,
52 With her sweet infant shall appear.
53 Here oft her brother shall prepare,
54 A wreath for Mary's curling hair;
55 While soft-voic'd Anna, fond of play,
56 And all the train, alert and gay,
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57 In healthful games shall frolic round,
58 And revel on the mossy ground.
59 Here Edmund shall forget his care,
60 And often fill an elbow chair;
61 While Sophia, friendly and sincere,
62 Shall ever find a welcome here.
63 Yet would my hovering fancy trace,
64 The features of each happy face;
65 And sympathy informs my mind,
66 That they the same emotions find;
67 That in each scene of harmless glee,
68 Memory recalls the absent three:
69 And all, though distance strives to part,
70 Will hold communication in the heart.


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Title (in Source Edition): Written April the 18th, 1796.
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Betham, Mary Matilda, 1776-1852. Elegies and Other Small Poems, by Matilda Betham. Ipswich: Printed by W. Burrell, and sold by Longman, Paternoster-Row, and Jermyn and Forster, Ipswich, 1797, pp. [125]-128.  (ESTC T143264)

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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.