Posts tagged ‘1791’

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A Wife’s Absence Lamented by John Aikin

Anno conjugli* 13.

Whene’er in verse or flowery prose
The youthful lover vents his woes,
And the long labour’d column fills
With all his catalogue of ills,
Absence we find, above the rest,
In all his saddest rhet’ric drest;
And still he chides “the heavy hours”
That keep him from the charmer’s bowers;
Still tells his sorrow to the groves,
“When absent from the maid he loves.”
But, if the fancy-smitten swain
Can thus in doleful notes complain
Of what, perhaps, but gives him ease,
Lessening a tyrant’s power to tease,
How should the tender husband mourn
When from his faithful partner torn;
When absence from a much-lov’d wife
Of every pleasure robs his life!
Then, idle whining tribe! give way,
While I my real loss display;
And tell each comfort and each bliss
That long I’ve had, and now I miss

I want—the mistress of my board,
The guardian of my little hoard;
The ruler of my small domain;
Th’ instructress of my infant train;
My best adviser, surest guide,
Of faith approv’d, of wisdom tried;
The soother of each pain and grief;
From toil and care the sweet relief;
The friend, of sense and taste refin’d,
In all my fav’rite studies join’d;
The cheerful partner of my day,
With whom the hours roll swift away;
The lovely sharer of my night,
Sweet source of ever new delight,
Within whose fond encircling arms
I taste of more than virgin charms.
All these my Delia was to me,
And these, when she returns, will be.
What lover then has cause to sigh
For absence half so much as I?
Yet cease, my heart! complain no more,
But count the joys thou hast in store.

*Years married.

From: Aikin, John, Poems, 1791, J. Johnson: London, pp. 16-19.

Date: 1791

By: John Aikin (1747-1822)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Ode to Youth by Hannah Brand

Sweet Morn of Life! All hail! Ye hours of ease!
When blooms the cheek with roseate varying dies,
When modest grace exerts each power to please,
And streaming lustre radiates in the eyes.
Thy past hours, innocent; thy present, gay;
Thy future, halcyon Hope depicts without allay.

Day-spring of Life! Oh stay thy fleeting hours!
Thou fairy-reign of ev’ry pleasant thought!
Fancy, to cheer thy path, strews all her flowers,
And in her loom thy plan of years is wrought.
By thee for goodness is each heart carest;
The world, untried, is judg’d by that within thy breast.

Sweet state of Youth! O harmony of Soul!
Now chearful dawns the day; noon brightly beams;
And evening comes serene, nor cares controul;
And night approaches with soft infant dreams.
Circling the morn beholds th’ accustom’d round,
Life’s smiling charities awake, and joys abound.

Season of hope, and peace, and virtues! stay!
And, for my bliss — with inexperience rest!
For what can prudent foresight’s beam display?—
Why — the barbed arrow pointed at my breast!—
Teach to suspect the heart I guileless trust!
And, ere I am betrayed, to think a friend unjust.

Thou candid Age! with ardent Friendship fraught,
That fearless confidence to none denies:
Better sometimes deceiv’d — and artless, taught
By thine own griefs, the wisdom of the wise.
When sad Experience with sorrowing breath,
Sheds, weeping sheds, the pristine roses in Hope’s wreath.

Season belov’d! Ah, doom’d to pass away!
With all thy freshness, all thy flatt’ring joys,
With blooming Beauty’s envied, powerful sway,
With laughing hours the future ne’er annoys.
Ah! be thou spent as Vertue bids thee spend!
Then — though I wish thy stay, no sighs thy reign shall end.


Date: 1791

By: Hannah Brand (1754-1821)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Call by Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

Go, lovely boy! to yonder tow’r
The fame of Janus, ruthless King!
And shut, O! shut the brazen door,
And here the keys in triumph bring.

Full many a tender heart hath bled,
Its joys in Belgia’s soil entomb’d:
Which thou to Hymen’s smiling bed,
And length of sweetest hours had doom’d.

Oh, glory! you to ruin owe
The fairest plume the hero wears:
Raise the bright helmet from his brow;
You’ll mock beneath the manly tears.

Who does not burn to place the crown
Of conquest on his Albion’s head?
Who weeps not at her plaintive moan,
To giver her hapless orphans bread?

Forgive, ye brave, the generous fault,
If thus my virtue falls; alone
My Delia stole my earliest thought,
And fram’d its feelings by her own.

Her mind so pure, her face so fair;
Her breast the seat of softest love;
It seemed her words an angel’s were,
Her gentle percepts from above.

My mind thus form’d, to misery gave
The tender tribute of a tear:
O! Belgia, open thy vast grave,
For I could pour and ocean there.

When first you show’d me at your feet
Pale liberty, religion tied,
I flew to shut the glorious gate
Of freedom on a tyrant’s pride.

Tho great the cause, so wore with woes,
I can not but lament the deed:
My youth to melancholy bows,
An Clotho trifles with my thread.

But stop, my Clio, wanton muse,
Indulge not this unmanly strain:
Beat, beat the drums, my ardor rouse,
And call the soldier back again.

Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife,
Throughout the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.

Go then, thou little lovely boy,
I can not, must not, hear thee now;
And all thy soothing arts employ
To sooth my Delia of her wo.

If the gay flow’r, in all its youth,
Thy scythe of glory here must meet;
Go, bear my laurel, pledge of truth,
And lay it at my Delia’s feet.

Her tears shall keep it ever green,
To crown the image in her breast;
Till death doth close the hapless scene,
And calls its angel home to rest.


Date: 1791

By: Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730-1809)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sonnet to Ingratitude by Mary Darby Robinson

He that’s ungrateful, has no guilt but one;
All other crimes may pass for virtues in him.

I could have borne affliction’s sharpest thorn;
The sting of malice–poverty’s deep wound;
The sneers of vulgar pride, the idiot’s scorn;
Neglected Love, false Friendship’s treach’rous sound;

I could, with patient smile, extract the dart
Base calumny had planted in my heart;
The fangs of envy; agonizing pain;
ALL, ALL, nor should my steady soul complain:

E’en had relentless FATE, with cruel pow’r,
Darken’d the sunshine of each youthful day;
While from my path she snatch’d each transient flow’r.
Not one soft sigh my sorrow should betray;
But where INGRATITUDE’S fell poisons pour,
HOPE shrinks subdued–and LIFE’S BEST JOYS DECAY.

From: Robinson, Mrs M, Poems, 1791, J Bell: London, p. 176.

Date: 1791

By: Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Song by Nathaniel Cotton

Tell me, my Caelia, why so coy,
Of men so much afraid;
Caelia, ’tis better far to die
A mother than a maid.

The rose, when past its damask hue,
Is always out of favour;
And when the plum hath lost its blue.
It loses too its flavour.

To vernal flow’rs the rolling years
Returning beauty bring ;
But faded once, thou’lt bloom no more,
Nor know a second spring.

From: Cotton, Nathaniel, Various Pieces in Verse and Prose by the Late Nathaniel Cotton, M.D., Many of Which Were Never Before Published, 1791, J Dodsley: London,p. 88.

Date: 1791

By: Nathaniel Cotton (1707-1788)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sonnet, To the Lilly by Ann Radcliffe

Soft silken flow’r! that in the dewy vale
   Unfolds thy modest beauties to the morn,
And breath’st thy fragrance on her wand’ring gale,
   O’er earth’s green hills and shadowy vallies born;

When day has closed his dazzling eye,
   And dying gales sink soft away;
When Eve steals down the western sky,
   And mountains, woods, and vales decay;

Thy tender cups, that graceful swell,
   Droop sad beneath her chilly dews;
Thy odours seek their silken cell,
   And twilight veils thy languid hues.

But soon, fair flow’r! the morn shall rise,
   And rear again thy pensive head;
Again unveil thy snowy dyes,
   Again thy velvet foliage spread.

Sweet child of Spring! like thee in sorrow’s shade,
   Full oft I mourn in tears, and droop forlorn:
And O! like thine, may light my gloom pervade,
   And Sorrow fly before Joy’s living morn!


Date: 1791

By: Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)