[Page 91]

An EPISTLE.

1 My dear Maria, my long absent friend,
2 If you can spare one moment to attend,
3 The plaintive strains of your Belinda hear,
4 Who is your friend, and as yourself sincere.
5 Let love-sick nymphs their faithful shepherds prove,
6 Maria's friendship's more to me than love;
7 When you were here, I smil'd throughout the day,
8 No rustic shepherdess was half so gay;
9 But now, alas! I can no pleasure know,
10 The tedious hours of absence move so slow;
11 I secret mourn, not daring to complain,
12 Still seeking for relief, but seek in vain.
13 When I walk forth to take the morning air,
14 I quickly to some rising hill repair,
15 From whence I may survey your village spire,
16 Then sigh to you, and languish with desire.
17 At sultry noon retiring to the groves,
18 In search of you, my wand'ring fancy roves,
19 From shade to shade, pleas'd with the vain delight,
20 Imagination brings you to my sight;
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21 Fatigu'd I sink into my painted chair,
22 And your ideal form attends me there.
23 My garden claims one solitary hour,
24 When sober ev'ning closes ev'ry flow'r;
25 The drooping lily my resemblance bears,
26 Each pensive bloom a shining dew-drop wears;
27 Such shining drops my closing eyes bedew,
28 While I am absent from the sight of you.
29 When on my couch reclin'd my eyes I close,
30 The God of Sleep refuses me repose;
31 I 'rise half dress'd, and wander to and fro
32 Along my room, or to my window go:
33 Enraptur'd I behold the moon shine clear,
34 While falling waters murmur in my ear;
35 My thoughts to you then in a moment fly,
36 The moon shines misty, and my raptures die.
37 Thus ev'ry scene a gloomy prospect wears,
38 And ev'ry object prompts Belinda's tears:
39 'Tis you, Maria, and 'tis only you,
40 That can the wonted face of things renew;
41 Come to my groves; command the birds to sing,
42 And o'er the meadows bid fresh daisies spring.
43 No! rather come and chase my gloom away,
44 That I may sing like birds, and look like daisies gay.

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    Title (in Source Edition): An EPISTLE.
    Themes:
    Genres: heroic couplet; epistle

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    Hands, Elizabeth, 1746-1815. The death of Amnon. A poem. With an appendix: containing pastorals, and other poetical pieces. By Elizabeth Hands. [Coventry]: Printed for the author, by N. Rollason, Coventry, M,DCCLXXXIX., 1789, pp. 91-92. [40],127,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T141063) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian [Dunston B 961 (1)].)

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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 Elizabeth Hands (née Herbert)