1759 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Woty

Harriott Airy [Mary Darwall], "To Mr. Copywell" Gentleman's Magazine 29 (March 1759) 282.



Mr. URBAN,
The following lines were written the beginning of April, upon reading some of Mr. Copywell's productions; if you have room, the insertion will oblige your most humble servant,
HARRIOTT AIRY.

To the propitious fates might I, unblam'd,
Prefer my pray'r; by avarice untainted,
For rich Peru I would not deign to ask,
Let the resplendent gold, and flaming ruby,
Glow on the fingers of the modish belle;
Let earth, and seas, and skies, conspire to deck her,
In all the gaudy glare of female pride!
All I would ask; but oh! the thought's presumptuous,
Is to partake with thee, oh Copywell!
The good or ill with which thy cup is fraught.
With humble duty to attend thy pleasure,
And from the sallies of thy sportive muse,
Learn to correct the foibles of my nature;
For thee, the pudding of delicious hue,
With duteous care I'd mix; the gen'rous vine
Should yield its clusters, and the reed its sweets,
(To purest white by curious art refin'd;)
Nor should the aromatic tree's productions
Be wanting to compleat the lov'd repast.
Whilst Sipplewell, far off, with wooden spoon,
Voraciously, his Yorkshire feast devours.
And when at eve, o'er sparkling quintessence
Of British grain, thou blandly puff'st the pipe;
Give me to taste, with unassuming freedom,
"The feast of reason, and the flow of soul."
To see thee scale the flow'ry heights of Pindus,
Whilst bays immortal twining round thy brows,
Sacred to virtue, scorns the envious flash
Of gloomy critics, and the stingless sneer
Of maudlin wits and (wou'd-be) satirists.
Thy moral lays would harmonize my soul,
And every anxious stormy thought controul,
Placid content, fair peace, and smiling love,
And hope, blest natives of the realms above,
Would sooth my cares. By thy example taught,
Each human toy would sink beneath my thought.