[Page 17]


1 If e'er to Friendship's call you lent an ear,
2 Or sympathysing dropt the soothing tear,
3 Oh, Sensibility, receive my prayer!
4 Attend, and pardon that I seek to know,
5 If in a world so fraught with various woe,
6 Thy votaries find thee most their friend or foe.
7 Thy joys and griefs alike let me survey,
8 Then fairly ask thee if thy joys repay
9 Those pangs, which soon or late the heart will rend,
10 Where thou art nourish'd as the gentlest friend,
11 When rude misfortune, with resistless sway,
12 Tears from that heart what most it loves away;
13 Whilst feelingly alive to every pain,
14 Thro' thee it tastes each sorrow o'er again;
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15 Thus, crush'd beneath Affliction's heaviest blow,
16 It bears a double weight of human woe:
17 Ah cruel, thus to steal into the heart,
18 And cherish'd there to act a traitor's part.
19 Come then, Indifference, thou easy guest,
20 Assume the empire o'er my tortur'd breast,
21 And by thy trifling, pleasing, giddy sway,
22 Chace every heart-corroding pang away;
23 Teach me another's griefs unmov'd to hear,
24 And guard my eye against the falling tear;
25 Drive recollection from her inmost seat,
26 Nor let my heart with agitation beat;
27 Be thou my champion thro' life's varying round,
28 And shield my bosom from the slightest wound.
29 Yet pause awhile! and let me take a view,
30 Lest with the pains I lose life's pleasures too.
31 Say, doth not duty, love, and friendship give,
32 The greatest pleasures we can here receive;
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33 And can a heart untouch'd by others woe,
34 The joys of friendship, love, and duty know?
35 If such the purchase to be freed from pain,
36 Oh, Sensibility, to thee again
37 I turn do thou my every thought control,
38 'Tis thine to animate or soothe the soul;
39 'Tis thine alone those feelings to bestow,
40 From which the source of every good doth flow;
41 Since these thy joys, thy griefs I'll patient bear,
42 And humbly take of each th' allotted share;
43 To Friendship's shrine the ready tribute bring,
44 And fly to Sorrow on Compassion's wing,
45 Enjoy the good, against the worst provide,
46 By taking Resignation for my guide,
47 In her safe conduct patiently submit
48 To every pain, which Providence thinks fit.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ON SENSIBILITY.
Genres: heroic couplet; allegory

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Source edition

Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary, 1741?–1798. Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 17-19. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of Michigan Library.)

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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 Alcock (née Cumberland)