1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Armstrong

Anonymous, "To a young Lady before her Marriage, with a Copy of Armstrong's Art of preserving Health" Scots Magazine 67 (October 1805) 784.



To thee, sweet maid, this classic page
Its purest lesson speaks in vain,
And Satire's voice at folly's rage,
But wastes in air the pointed strain.

If virtue human ill ne'er know,
If worth at pain shall ne'er repine,
If innocence ne'er taste of woe,
Then sure the bliss of health is thine.

But in the cup to mortals given,
Mix'd deep some bitter dregs are found;
This is the high behest of heaven;
With woe our purest joys abound.

And yet if aught the wish avail,
The wish, dear maid, of more than friend;
The storms of life shall ne'er assail,
The boon of health shall thee attend.

Content and joy go hand in hand,
With smiling looks thy steps to guide:
Where home's sweet comforts thou'lt command,
Whatever cares shall else betide.
Haddington, Sept. 1805.