Mary Russell Mitford

Walter Savage Landor, "To Mary Russell Mitford" 1854 ca.; L'Estrange, Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford (1882) 438.

The hay is carried, and the hours
Snatch, as they pass, the linden flowers;
And children leap to pluck a spray
Bent earthward, and then run away.
Park-keeper! catch me those grave thieves
About whose frocks the fragrant leaves,
Sticking and fluttering here and there,
No false nor flattering witness bear.

I never view such scenes as these,
In grassy meadows girt with trees,
But comes a thought of her who now
Sits with serenely patient brow
Amid deep sufferings; none hath told
More pleasant tales to young and old.
Fondest was she of Father Thames,
But rambled to Hellenic streams;

Nor even there could any tell
The country's purer charms so well
As Mary Mitford....
Verse! go forth
And breathe o'er gentle breasts her worth,
Needless the task; but, would she see
One hearty wish from you and me,
A moment's pain it may assuage,
A rose-leaf on the couch of Age.