1780 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Recall to Affection.

Poetical Works of Miss Susanna Blamire "The Muse of Cumberland." Now for the first Time collected by Henry Lonsdale, M.A. With a Preface, Memoir, and Notes by Patrick Maxwell.

Susanna Blamire


In the second of a pair of Milton imitations Susanna Blamire retracts her decision to banish affection: "This eye had ne'er beheld one charm, | Or felt the glow of nature warm; | Nor had she seen one dropping shower | Bring back to life the fainting flower; | Or the tall woods their arches spread | In Gothic cloister over head" p. 51.



Oh! stay Affection; pray thee stay!
What have I said — or meant to say?
'Twas love, e'en love the trespass caus'd
That warmth of speech, which scarce was clos'd
Ere the hard sentence tore my frame,
And dy'd my cheek with honest shame.
Regret came shivering through my veins,
And bound my tongue in iron chains;
My soul in prison seem'd to be,
And ever must if torn from thee;
One look of thine, when sweetly kind,
Can overturn a world of mind!
The stern resolves that pride has made,
At thy soft touch in vapour fade;
Thy smile, that rules the inmost soul,
Can every harsh resolve control.

Return, my lov'd companion dear,
The solace of each former year!
Else life, through many a sickening day,
Must slowly, slowly creep away;
E'en when thou bound'st this aching brow,
And sweetly cheer'd, I know not how,
Yet the dull hour, with weary knell,
Seem'd to toll on the passing bell.

If not for thee, this throbbing breast
Had ne'er enjoy'd the balm of rest;
Rest! — did I say? no bliss had known,
The blush of Nature by had flown,
Or o'er the senses vainly stray'd,
Hadst thou not wander'd in the shade;
Hadst thou not seen the clouds of morn,
On purple pinions lightly borne,
Uprear the canopy of day,
And o'er his chariot float away;
Hadst thou not mark'd the evening shade,
In all her changeful colours fade;—
The golden glow, the sapphire hue,
The rosy red, the melting blue,
The soft sea-green with yellow tinge,
The curling clouds with skirts of fringe;—
This eye had ne'er beheld one charm,
Or felt the glow of nature warm;
Nor had she seen one dropping shower
Bring back to life the fainting flower;
Or the tall woods their arches spread
In Gothic cloister over head;
While the pale moon, with lamp-like beam,
In tremors lent her silvery stream;
"Yon drops of flame that stud the sky"
Had seem'd plain stars to my poor eye,
Until these orbs, with glory bound,
By thee were call'd fair worlds around!

No; source of pleasure! 'twas thy soul
That brought me to conceive the whole.
The wish to please new thoughts inspir'd,
And I grew learn'd where thou admir'd;
To be companion meet I strove,
With all the self-taught lore of love,
Lov'd Nature as she ought to be;
For loving her, was loving thee!
But should'st thou leave this vacant heart,
And should we, should we ever part,
E'en Nature's self would grow less dear,
And I still shed the fretful tear.

[pp. 49-51]