1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

Mr. Upton, "Occasioned by the perusal of the Poems of Ann Yearsley, the Milkwoman of Clifton" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (27 July 1787).



O Thou, whose pow'r surpass the bounds of praise,
Omniscient being, heav'n's eternal King;
Who can'st, from void impotent nothing, raise
The meanest worm — thy mightiest deeds to sing.

Unlearn'd, untaught, in Education's page,
The humble rustick pin'd awhile unknown;
Till thou, Infinite, didst her cause engage,
And form'd ideas — to magnify thy own,

Fashion'd each thought with supernat'ral sense,
And "Fancy" bade "with heav'nly ardor glow:"
Then deign to accept th' grateful recompence,
The Hymn of Praise — 'tis all she can bestow.

Illumin'd YEARSLEY, whose prolifick mind
Teems with Imagination's noblest flights;
Around thy head be bloomless laurels twin'd,
Serene thy days, and joyous be thy nights.

Long may sweet Inspiration fire thy breast,
And future lays illustrious virtue tend;
Lays that in lofty flowing numbers dress'd,
Have prov'd thee Nature's universal friend.

What tho' no pedigree thy name enrol,
Bristol shall long its rural minstrel hail;
While Fame records her to each distant pole,
The admir'd poetress of CLIFTON DALE.