1793 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lady Catherine Rebecca Manners

Hannah Cowley, "On reading the Verses of Lady Manners to Solitude" The Oracle (7 October 1793).



All that polish'd Thought adores,
FLAMING MUSES ever bring;
Grant to Her your choicest Stores—
HER who can so sweetly sing!

Pour before her vision'd eye
Scenes which ye along can give;
Bid all Earth-born troubles fly—
Bid your FASCINATIONS live!

Spread around her softest shades
Where the Mountain lours from high;
When the glossy day-stream fades,
Place your lustres in the Sky.

Tip for her each starry gleam
With a splendor not its own;
Bidding your effulgence beam
O'er the Night's dim opal Throne.

Rouse for her the slumb'ring notes
Which the forest lately heard;
Touch the waken'd warblers throats,
Tune a-new each sprightly bird.

Not the moping nightingale
Wake to join its pensive moan—
For its softest tend'rest tale,
MANNERS gives in sweeter tone.

Lead her where the distant Sea
Clinging to its rocky Shores,
Slow, unwilling, seems to flee,
And in Sorrow ceaseless roars.

Where the tott'ring Abbey hangs,
Bid the fair one musing rove—
Pining, that Time's cruel fangs
Tear the beauties of FAITH and LOVE.

Where the Castle's Turrets swell
Across the black and barren Moor,
To the weeping Beauty tell
"Days of chivalry are o'er!"

But there SOLITUDE is found—
She, the tuneful Poet Woos;
Seated lowly on the ground,
Wet with ever-rising dews.

She ponders on the mould'ring Walls,
Marks where crumbled Arches lie;
Trembles as the grey Mass falls—
As the gothick wonders fly.

SOLITUDE! call forth thy smiles,
On thy cheek let roses glow;
She, whose glance all care beguiles,
Bids thy charm immortal glow.

MANNERS strikes to thee her lyre,
Decks a-new thy thoughtful mien;
Sings thee with poetic fire—
Bloom then, grateful to her strain!
Southampton,
Friday, Oct. 4.