To the Same [Mrs. Bishop], on the Anniversary of her Wedding Day, which was also her Birth Day, with a Ring by Samuel Bishop

“Thee, Mary, with this ring I wed” —
So, fourteen years ago, I said. —
Behold another ring! — “for what?”
“To wed thee o’er again?” Why not?
With that first ring I married Youth,
Grace, Beauty, Innocence, and Truth;
Taste long admir’d, Sense long rever’d,
And all my MOLLY then appear’d.
If she, by merit since disclos’d,
Prove twice the Woman I suppos’d,
I plead that double Merit now,
To justify a double Vow.
Here, then, to-day, (with Faith as sure,
With Ardor as intense, as pure,
As when, amidst the Rite divine,
I took thy Troth, and plighted mine,)
To thee, sweet Girl, my second Ring
A Token and a Pledge I bring:
With this I wed, till death us part,
Thy riper Virtues to my heart;
Those Virtues which, before untry’d,
The Wife has added to the Bride:
Those Virtues, whose progressive claim,
Endearing Wedlock’s very name,
My soul enjoys, my song approves,
For conscience’ sake as well as Love’s.
And why? — They shew me every hour
Honour’s high thought, Affection’s power,
Discretion’s deed, sound Judgment’s sentence, —
— And teach me all things — but Repentance. —

From:  Bishop, Samuel and Clare, Thomas (ed.), The Poetical Works of the Rev. Samuel Bishop, A.M. Late Head-Master of Merchant-Taylors’ School, Rector of St. Martin Outwich, London, and of Ditton in the County of Kent; and Chaplain to the Bishop of Bangor. To which are prefixed , Memoirs of the Life of the Author, by the Rev. Thomas Clare, A.M., Volume II, 1796, A. Strahan: London, pp. 19-20.

Date: 1796

By: Samuel Bishop (1731-1795)


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