1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah Cowley

Beville, "To Anna Matilda" The World (29 September 1788).



Strike once again, the trembling Lyre!
Once more resume thy wonted fire!
Let not dull apathy controul
The mind, where Science takes her seat—
The virtuous fires that warm the soul—
Which lead to all that's good and great—
Which point to that eternal way,
The Seat of ENDLESS BLISS, and EVERLASTING DAY!

Rove by the silent gliding stream—
Chear'd by the pale Moon's quiv'ring beam—
By soft-ey'd MEDITATION'S side,
The pleasing Maid to Heav'n ally'd!
Let these call forth your polish'd mind,
Again instruct and charm mankind;
Again exert those wond'rous pow'rs,
Which sooth the restless mind, and charm the ling'ring hours!

As round the Oak the Ivy twines,
And up its strong supporter climbs,
Too weak itself to stand the torrents might,
Or howling winds, which shade the tempest-beaten night—
So should the mind where GENIUS reigns,
Which Heaven-born PIETY sustains,
Its scientific aid impart,
T' assist the weak and wounded heart;—
Teach lower genius how to steer—
And check each thoughtless mad career—
Shew what rewards from VIRTUE flow,
VIRTUE! which stems the storms, and tempests here below!

Then, ANNA, sound thy various Lyre!
Sounds, such as thine, each breast inspire;
Yes, th' INSPIRING CHARM to thee is giv'n.
Rapid his wing — Time flies away!
O sweep the strings! make no delay,
For soon comes AGE—
With snowy locks, and thoughts that SCARCE CAN MOUNT TO HEAV'N!