Posts tagged ‘1781’

Sunday, 6 August 2017

A Character of W. H. W. Esquire by Mary Deverell

You have wit and politeness we all must confess,
Your air a-la-mode, with a pleasing address;
A generous temper, untainted with fear,
You are easy, you are lively, you are partly sincere;
And you seem, while you flirt, to mean what you say,
Though you laugh, and forget us as soon as away:
You lack not ambition, supported by spirit,
Nor yet to be told you’ve a something like merit:
Whether coxcomb, or not, I can’t really guess,
Sometimes I think no,—and sometimes I think yes.
To judge of your morals, I can’t declare,
Your sentiments flow in a manner so rare.
But then for your modesty—this,I must say,
You can glance a shy look in an impudent way.
You are humble,—you are bold,—you are wild, and yet grave,
Your wit may divert, while your sense may enslave;
You’re, in fine, an original problem to me,
That I never can solve, I plainly foresee.

From: Deverell, Mary, Miscellanies in prose and verse, mostly written in the epistolary style: chiefly upon moral subjects, and particularly calculated for the improvement of younger minds, Volume 2, 1781, J. Rivington: London,p. 267.

Date: 1781

By: Mary Deverell (1731-1805)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Ode to Sleep by John Logan

In vain I court till dawning light,
The coy divinity of night;
Restless, from side to side I turn,
Arise, ye musings of the morn!

Oh, sleep! though banish’d from those eyes
In vision’s fair to Delia rise;
And o’er a dearer form diffuse
Thy healing balm, thy lenient dews.

Bless’d be her night as infant’s rest,
Lull’d on the fond maternal breast,
Who, sweetly-playful smiles in sleep,
Nor knows that he is born to weep.

Remove the terrors of the night,
The phantom forms of wild affright,
The shrieks from precipice or flood,
And starting scene that swims with blood.

Lead her aloft to blooming bowers,
And beds of amaranthine flowers,
And golden skies, and glittering streams,
That paint the paradise of dreams.

Venus! present a lover near,
And gently whisper in her ear
His woes, who, lonely and forlorn,
Counts the slow clock from night till morn.

Ah! let no portion of my pain,
Save just a tender trace, remain;
Asleep consenting to be kind,
And wake with Daphnis in her mind.


Date: 1781

By: John Logan (1748-1788)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Verses Inviting Stella to Tea on the Public Fast-Day [During the American War], February, MDCCLXXXI by Anna Seward

Dear Stella, midst the pious sorrow
Our Monarch bids us feel tomorrow,
The ah’s! and oh’s! supremely trist,
The abstinence from beef and whist,
Wisely ordained to please the Lord,
And force him whet our edgeless sword,
Till, skipping o’er th’ Atlantic rill,
We cut provincial throats at will;
Midst all the penitence we feel
For merry sins―midst all the zeal
For vengeance on the saucy foe,
Who lays our boasted legions low,
I wish, when sullen evening comes,
To gild for me its falling glooms,
You would, without cold pause, agree
Beneath these walls to sip your tea.
From the chaste, fragrant Indian weed
Our sins no pampering juices feed;
And though the Hours, with contrite faces,
May banish the ungodly aces,
And take of food a sparing bit,
They’ll gluttonise on Stella’s wit.

  ‘Tea,’ cries a Patriot, ‘on that day!
‘Twere good you flung the drug away!
Remembering ‘twas the cruel source
Of sad distrust, and long divorce,
‘Twixt nations which, combined, had hurled
Their conquering javelin round the world.

  ‘O Indian shrub! Thy fragrant flowers
To England’s weal had deadly powers,
When Tyranny, with impious hand,
To venom turned its essence bland;
To venom subtle, fierce and fell,
As drenched the dart of Isdabel.

  ‘Have we forgot that cursed libation,
That cost the lives of half the nation?
When Boston, with indignant thought,
Saw poison in the perfumed draught,
And caused her troubled Bay to be
But one vast bowl of bitter tea;
While Até, chiefly-bidden guest,
Came sternly to the fatal feast,
And mingled with th’ envenomed flood
Brothers’, parents’ children’s blood:
Dire as the banquet Atreus served,
When his own sons Thyestes carved,
And Phoebus, shrinking from the sight,
Drew o’er his orb the pall of night.

  ‘Tomorrow then, at least, refrain,
Nor quaff thy gasping country’s bane!
For, O! reflect, poetic daughter,
‘Twas vanquished Britain’s laurel-water!’

From: Lonsdale, Roger (Ed), Eighteenth Century Women Poets, 1990,OxfordUniversityPress:Oxford, pp. 314-315.(

Date: 1781

By: Anna Seward (1742-1809)