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Of MARTHAS, and of ABIGAILS, few lines
Have bragged in verse. Of coarsest household stuff
Should homely JOAN be fashioned. But can
You BARBARA resist, or MARIAN?
And is not CLARE for love excuse enough?
Yet, by my faith, in numbers, I profess,
These all, than Saxon EDITH, please me less.
A PASSING glance was all I caught of thee,
In my own Enfield haunts at random roving,
Old friends of ours were with thee, faces loving;
Time short; and salutations cursory,
Though deep, and hearty. The familiar Name
Of you, yet unfamiliar, raised in me
Thoughts--what the daughter of that Man should be,
Who called our Wordsworth friend. My thoughts
A growing Maiden, who, from day to day
Advancing still in stature, and in grace,
Would all her lonely Father's griefs efface,
And his paternal cares with usury pay.
I still retain the phantom, as I can;
And call the gentle image—Quillinan.
IN THE ALBUM OF CATHERINE ORKNEY.
CANADIA! boast no more the toils
Of hunters for the furry spoils;
Your whitest ermines are but foils
To brighter Catherine Orkney.
That such a flower should ever burst
From climes with rigorous winter curst !
We bless you, that so kindly nurst
This flower, this Catherine Orkney.
We envy not your proud display
Of lake—wood-vast Niagara;
Your greatest pride we've borne away.
How spared you Catherine Orkney?
That Wolfe on Heights of Abraham fell
To your reproach no more we tell;
Canadia, you repaid us well
With rearing Catherine Orkney.
O Britain, guard with tenderest care
The charge allotted to your share;
You've scarce a native maid so fair,
So good, as Catherine Orkney.
IN THE ALBUM OF LUCY BARTON.
LITTLE Book, surnamed of white,
Clean as yet, and fair to sight,
Keep thy attribution right.
Never disproportioned scrawl;
Ugly blot, that's worse than all ;
On thy maiden clearness fall!
In each letter, here designed,
Let the reader emblem'd find
Neatness of the owner's mind.
Gilded margins count a sin,
Let thy leaves attraction win
By the golden rules within ;
Sayings fetched from sages old;
Laws which Holy Writ unfold,
Worthy to be graved in gold.
Lighter fancies not excluding;
Blameless wit, with nothing rude in,
Sometimes mildly interluding
Amid strains of graver measure;
Virtue's self hath oft her pleasure
In sweet Muses' groves of leisure.
Riddles dark, perplexing sense ;
Darker meanings of offence;
What but shades—be banished hence.
Whitest thoughts in whitest dress,
Candid meanings, best express
Mind of quiet Quakeress.
IN THE ALBUM OF MRS. JANE TOWERS.
LADY UNKNOWN, who cravest from me Unknown
The trifle of a verse these leaves to grace,
How shall I find fit matter ? with what face
Address a face that ne'er to me was shown?
Thy looks, tones, gesture, manners, and what not
Conjecturing, I wander in the dark.
I know thee only Sister to Charles Clarke !
But at that name my cold muse waxes hot,
And swears that thou art such a one as he,
Warm, laughter-loving, with a touch of madness,
Wild, glee-provoking, pouring oil of gladness
From frank heart without guile. And, if thou be
The pure reverse of this, and I mistake-
Demure one, I will like thee for his sake.
Such goodness in your face doth shine,
With modest look, without design,
That I despair poor pen of mine
Can e'er express it.
To give it words I feebly try;
My spirits fail me to supply
Befitting language for't, and I
Can only bless it!
But stop, rash verse! and don't abuse
A bashful Maiden's ear with news
Of her own virtues. She'll refuse
Praise sung so loudly.
Of that same goodness you admire,
The best part is, she don't aspire
To praise—nor of herself desire
To think too proudly.