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But lives there one, whose unassuming mind,
Tho' grac'd by nature, and by art refin'd,
Pleas'd with domestic excellence, can spare
Some hours from studious ease to social care,
And with her pen that time alone employs
Which otheșs waste in visits, cards, and noise;
From affectation free, tho' deeply read,
“ With wit well natur’d, and with books well
With such (and such there are) each happy day
Must fly, improving, and improv'd, away ;
Inconstancy might fix and settle there,
And Wisdom's voice approve the chosen fair.
Nor need we now from our own Britain rove,
In search of genius, to the Lesbian grove,
Tho' Sappho there her tuneful lyre has strung,
And amorous griefs in sweetest accents sung,
Since here in Charles's days, amidst a train
Of shameless bards, licentious and profane,
The chaste Orinda rose with purer light,
Like modest Cynthia, beaming thro' the night :
Fair friendship's lustre, undisguis'd by art,
Glows in her lines, and animates her heart;
Friendship, that jewel, which, though all confess
It's peerless value, yet how few possess !
For her the never-dying myrtle weaves
A verdant chaplet of her odorous leaves;
If Cowley's or Roscommon's song can give
Immortal fame, her praise shall ever live.
Who can unmov'd hear Winchelsea reveal
Thy horrors, Spleen ! which all, who paint, must feel ?
My praises would but wrong her sterling wit,
Since Pope himself applauds what she has writ.
But say, what Matron now walks musing forth
From the bleak mountains of her native North ?
While round her brows two sisters of the Nine
Poetic wreaths with philosophic twine !
Hail, Cockburne, hail! even now from Reason's
Thy Locke, delighted, culls the choicest flowers,
To deck his great successful champion's head,
And Clarke expects. thee in the laurel shade.
Tho’long to dark, oblivious want a prey,
Thy aged worth pass’d unperceiv’d away,
Yet Scotland now shall ever boast thy fame;
While England mourns thy undistinguish'd name,
And views with wonder, in a female mind,
Philosopher, divine, and poet, join’d !
The modest muse a veil with pity throws O'er vice's friends, and virtue's female foes; Abash'd she views the bold unblushing mien Of modern Manley, Centlivre, and Behn;
And grieves to see one, nobly born, disgrace
Her modest sex, and her illustrious race.
Tho' harmony thro' all their numbers flow'd,
And genuine wit its every grace bestow'd,
Nor genuine wit, nor harmony, excuse
The dangerous sallies of a wanton muse:
Nor can such tuneful, but immoral, lays
Expect the tribute of impartial praise :
As soon might Philips, Pilkington, and Vane,
Deserv'd applause for spotless virtue gain.
But hark! what Nymph, in Frome's embroider'd
vale, With strains seraphic swells the vernal gale ? With what sweet sounds the bordering forest rings! For sportive Echo catches, as she sings, Each falling accent, studious to prolong The warbled notes of Rowe's ecstatic song : Old Avon, pleas'd, his reedy forehead rears, And polish'd Orrery, delighted, hears. See with what transport she resigns her breath, Snatch'd by a sudden, but a wish’d-for death! Releas'd from earth, with smiles she soars on high, Amidst her kindred spirits of the sky, Where faith and love those endless joys bestow, That warm'd her lay's, and fill'd her hopes below.
Nor can her noble Friend escape unseen,
Or from the Muse her modest virtues screen ;
Here, sweetly blended, to our wondering eyes,
The peeress, poetess, and Christian rise :
And tho' the Nine her tuneful strains inspire,
We less her genius, than her heart, admire,
Pleas'd, 'midst the great, one truly good to see,
And proud to tell that Somerset is she.
By generous views one Peeress more demands
A grateful tribute from all female hands;
One, who to shield them from the worst of foes,
In their just cause dar’d Pope himself oppose.
Their own dark forms deceit and envy wear,
By Irwin touch'd with truth's celestial spear,
By her disarm’d, ye witlings! now give o’er
Your empty sneers, and shock the sex no more.
Thus bold Camilla, when the Trojan chief Attack'd her country, flew to its relief; Beneath her lance the bravest warı iors bled, And fear dismay'd the host, which great Aeneas led.
But ah / why heaves my breast this pensive sigh? Why starts this tear unbidden from my eye ? What breast from sighs, what eye from tears re
frains, When, sweetly-mournful, hapless Wright complains ? And who but grieves to see her generous mind, For nobler views and worthier guests design’d,
Admit the hateful form of black despair,
Wan with the glooom of superstitious care ?
In pity-moving lays, with earnest cries,
She call'd on heaven to close her weary eyes,
And, long on earth by heart-felt woes opprest,
Was born by friendly death to welcome rest.
In nervous strains, lo! Madan's polish'd taste
Has poetry's successive progress trac’d,
From ancient Greece, where first she fix'd her
To Italy, and Britain's happier plain.
Praise well-bestow'd adorns her glowing lines,
And manly strength with female softness joins.
So female charms and manly virtues grace,
By her example formd, her blooming race,
And, fram'd alike to please our ears and eyes,
Their new Conelias and new Gracchi rise.
O that you now, with genius at command,
Would snatch the pencil from artless hand,
And give your sex's portraits, bold and true,
In colors worthy of themselves and you !
Now in ecstatic visions let me rove, By Cynthia's beams, through Brackley's glimmering
grove; Where still each night, by startled shepherds seen, Young Leapor’s form fies shadowy o'er the green.