1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Samuel Bishop

Anonymous, "To Mrs. —, on her Wedding-Day" The St. James's Chronicle (29 July 1802).



SIR,
A Gentleman this day wrote the inclosed, extempore, on being asked why he did not congratulate his Wife on her Wedding-Day, as the late Mr. Bishop used to do, with presents and verses. I obtained a copy, and think you will like to have it. Your's,
O.S.
Croydon, July 25, 1802.

BISHOP, his wife, with classick care,
In annual lines address'd;
He call'd her fairest of the fair,
And best among the best.

To Trinkets, and the properties
Their shape and use impart,
Compar'd her beauty and her eyes,
Her virtues, and her heart.

With far more cause, yet much less wit,
To chaunt a wedding-lay,
You'll ask, perhaps, how happens it,
No present I display?

'Faith, Trinkets, human skill may form,
Can't boast with all their lures,
Charms so complete, a breast so warm,
A lip so sweet as — yours.

Your virtues far above compare,
And with such lustre glow,
As feeling only can declare,
And language cannot shew.

The joys I've felt, the thoughts imbib'd,
While thee my arms infold;
Can't, like thy beauty, be describ'd,
Nor, like my love, be told.

Poor are those charms, and poor that sway,
Beneath my Nancy's scoff;
Which ask remembrance in a lay,
Or toys to set them off.