1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Darwall

John Langhorne, "To Miss W. occasioned by reading some Pieces of her Poetry" Darwall, Original Poems on Several Occasions, by Miss Whateley (1764) 11-12.



The Maids of MEMORY, by no Laws confin'd,
Alone delighted with the liberal Mind,
As Nature wills, their sacred Gifts impart,
And nobly scorn the Vassalage of Art.
Hence oft has Beauty's Head been bound with Bays,
And British Sapphos charm'd with Lesbian Lays,
Hence Attic Flowers in Carter's Pages shine,
And, Whateley, hence the Harmony of thine!

Go, tuneful Maid, with Nature take thy Way;
Still may'st Thou o'er her smiling Vallies stray!
May Fancy lead Thee to Elysian Bowers,
And bid her Fairies spread thy Path with Flowers!
To Thee may Love his rosy Garlands bring,
And Hope present Thee with eternal Spring—
Hesperian Visions to thine Eyes unfold
Long blooming Years, and Minutes wing'd with Gold!

Far be that Anguish from thy gentle Heart,
Which Genius mourns, when Envy aims her Dart!
The Sneer of Censure, and the Scorn of Pride,
Or may'st Thou never know, or, known, deride.
Smooth like thy Verse, and easy flow thy Days,
Chear'd with the Sunshine of Pierian Praise;
Till Nature claim that Being which she gave,
And Glory gild thy Passage to the Grave.