1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Russell Mitford

C. G. Desmoustiers, "Lines addressed to Miss Mitford, Author of Rienzi, on the death of her Mother" Morning Journal (12 February 1830).



There is no soothing for that deep distress
Which time entails upon the name of child,
The loss of her, whose early tenderness
In age mature we cherish. It is wild
To say, "Be comforted." Through life we pay
The debt for that great blessing, once bestowed,
A mother's love — the loss of every day.
To touch the living lyre to every mode,
And bid obedient passions rise and swell,
Mary, is yours. Can genius bring relief?
The power to exquisitely know and tell
Gives keener anguish to a real grief.
Yet there is comfort — not in sound of fame,
But in the "still small voice" that tells of care
And filial piety, and love the same
Through years of sinking age, and patient pray'r,
And suffering meekly borne, and hope on high,
And innocence, which made the sudden call
An act of mercy. Thus the good may die;
Thus ripe for heaven the fruit of virtue fall.