[Page 195]

To Mrs. Strangeways Horner
[ed.] "Mrs. Strangeways Horner, probably the heiress of Thomas Strangeways of Melbury Park. She lived at Mells Park near Frome, Somerset. The family became Strangeways-Fox." (Tucker [1992], 220) (AH)
, with a Letter from my Son; wherein he desires me to accept his first Prize of Learning, conferr'd on him by the University of Dublin.

1 O thou, with ev'ry Virtue grac'd,
2 Adorn'd with Wit, and Sense, and Taste;
3 Who, with a Goodness unconfin'd,
4 Delight'st in blessing human Kind,
5 Whose Woes so oft thy Peace destroy;
6 'Tis just, thou shouldst partake their Joy:
7 Then in my Transport deign to share;
8 Behold this Letter from my Heir:
9 There see the Picture of a Mind,
10 In Duty, as in Arts, refin'd;
[Page 196]
11 Who, in full Triumph, could submit
12 His Trophies at his Parent's Feet.
13 So he, in Roman Story fam'd,
14 Who from Corioli was nam'd,
15 With Joy engag'd in glorious Toils,
16 To glad his Mother with the Spoils:
17 Her Son, by Roman Arms, o'ercame;
18 By Roman Arts, mine soars to Fame.
19 Methinks, I see your Friendship rise,
20 And sparkle in your lovely Eyes.
21 Your Heir! (I hear you now repeat)
22 I long to know of your Estate.
23 Say Is it an Hibernian Bog,
24 Where Phoebus seldom shines for Fog?
25 HORTENSIA, there he sometimes shines;
26 But oft'ner hides his Head, and pines,
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27 On happier Climes to look, nor see
28 Such dismal Scenes of Poverty;
29 Nor see an Isle, by Nature bless'd,
30 By ill-judg'd Policy oppress'd;
31 Her Trade usurp'd by foreign Lands,
32 Whilst Albion fast ties up her Hands:
33 Nor see her Sons in Science skill'd,
34 And yet her Posts by Strangers fill'd.
35 But, since of my Estate you ask,
36 The Answer is no easy Task,
37 Criticks, not Lawyers, are to show,
38 Whether my Title's good, or no.
39 Ovid has long ago defin'd,
40 What Lands are to the Muse assign'd:
41 'Tis but a barren Soil, 'tis true,
42 Not such as Heav'n bestow'd on You;
43 (Yet, Miser-like, our Lands you seize,
44 And win, but will not wear, the Bays:)
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45 A steep, a slipp'ry, dang'rous Hill,
46 Which we, alas! are climbing still;
47 Still think there's better Land up higher,
48 Which all would gain, but few acquire.
49 If low or beaten Paths we trace,
50 We're deem'd an abject, grov'ling Race:
51 And oft, when we attempt to soar,
52 We miss our Aim, and fall the lower:
53 Tho' some by magic Numbers found
54 The Art to gain the highest Ground;
55 Yet most of those, alas! we know,
56 Had Cause to wish they'd stay'd below;
57 Rather than be exalted there,
58 To starve in pure poetic Air;
59 Whilst tasteless Wights, in Valleys fed,
60 Despise the Wits in Want of Bread.
61 Yet sometimes we in Story find
62 An Instance of a noble Mind,
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63 That made Apollo's Shrine its Care,
64 And bless'd the Tribe that worshipp'd there.
65 High in the deathless Lists of Fame,
66 Revere the godlike Sidney's Name:
67 There Dorset, and Southampton, view;
68 And there the Poets Montagu.
69 Eliza paid her Spencer's Toil
70 With Acres of Hibernian Soil:
71 And now illustrious Caroline
72 Resolves to raise the drooping Nine;
73 With Pleasure saw the lab'ring Hind
74 Studious to cultivate his Mind;
75 And deign'd to smile on
* Duck's Poems.
rural Lines,
76 Where so much native Beauty shines.
77 HORTENSIA, I revere your
Mrs. Clayton.
78 May Blessings on her Head descend,
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79 Who made a Peasant's Merit known,
80 And plac'd the Poor before the Throne:
81 Thus imitates the Pow'r Divine,
82 And proves her Soul ally'd to thine.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To Mrs. Strangeways Horner, with a Letter from my Son; wherein he desires me to accept his first Prize of Learning, conferr'd on him by the University of Dublin.
Author: Mary Barber
Themes: patronage; poetry; literature; writing; education; parents; children
Genres: address
References: DMI 11591

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Source edition

Barber, Mary, ca. 1690-1757. Poems on Several Occasions [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1735, pp. 195-200. lx, 290,[14]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T42623; DMI 519; Foxon p. 45)

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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 Mary Barber