1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

Fidelia, "Addressed to Mrs. Yearsley, on reading her Essay on Friendship" New Lady's Magazine 2 (November 1787) 603-04.



If e'er the pen of graceful Truth pourtray'd,
In ever-blooming pride, the native charms
Of sacred friendship; if, heaven impell'd,
A mortal e'er could reach sublimest height
On fancy's wing to soar, above the pitch
Of ordinary praise, exploring all the treasures which await
Fair friendship's name — Oh! Yearsley, it was thine!
Thine was the task excelling, thine the power;
To thee 'twas dedicate, and to thee given
Ability to charm, delight, surprize!
Celestial spirits surely hover'd round thee,
When from thy pen sublime, in glowing tint,
As from a Titian's hand, arose their sister friendship.
Friendship! the fairest of the heav'nly train,
Pleas'd they applauded, crown'd with choicest praise,
Thy glorious self-originating work;
Thy brows engirt with never-faded laurel,
And twin'd the wreaths immortal.
Enraptur'd fancy smil'd to see thee thus—
All, all accord, and hail thee of the nine!