[Page 57]


Dona praesentis rape laetus horae, ac
Linque severa.
1 O WISDOM! if thy soft controul
2 Can sooth the sickness of the soul,
3 Can bid the warring passions cease,
4 And breathe the balm of tender peace,
5 WISDOM! I bless thy gentle sway,
6 And ever, ever will obey.
7 But if thou com'st with frown austere
8 To nurse the brood of care and fear;
9 To bid our sweetest passions die,
10 And leave us in their room a sigh;
[Page 58]
11 Or if thine aspect stern have power
12 To wither each poor transient flower,
13 That cheers the pilgrimage of woe,
14 And dry the springs whence hope should flow;
15 WISDOM, thine empire I disclaim,
16 Thou empty boast of pompous name!
17 In gloomy shade of cloisters dwell,
18 But never haunt my chearful cell.
19 Hail to pleasure's frolic train;
20 Hail to fancy's golden reign;
21 Festive mirth, and laughter wild,
22 Free and sportful as the child;
23 Hope with eager sparkling eyes,
24 And easy faith, and fond surprise:
25 Let these, in fairy colours drest,
26 Forever share my careless breast;
27 Then, tho' wise I may not be,
28 The wise themselves shall envy me.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To WISDOM.
Themes: reason; virtue
Genres: allegory

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Source edition

Barbauld, Mrs. (Anna Letitia), 1743-1825. Poems. London: printed for Joseph Johnson, 1773, pp. 57-58. vi,138p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T236; OTA K019955.000) (Page images digitized by New York Public Library.)

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