Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PORTRAIT, by ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD



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A PORTRAIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lorenzo's portrait! -- hard to hit
Last Line: Now, if he has them, let him shew it.
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Anna Letitia
Subject(s): Portraits


Lorenzo's portrait! -- hard to hit!
Pray who is then this sketch to fit?
That's more indeed, Sir, than I can say,
Perhaps I drew it from my fancy.
At random if you will apply,
You make the character not I.
He dearly lov'd an elbow chair,
And building castles in the air.
Would wrap himself in thought profound,
And muse with eyes upon the ground:
Would seem upon his brows to bear
The weight of half a nation's care.
Bright visions blest his waking dreams,
Utopian worlds and patriot schemes;
Yet easy smiles his friends could tell
Became his features full as well.
He after dinner lov'd to linger,
And twirl'd a cork-screw round his finger;
Would oft discuss, to help digestion,
The pro and con to ev'ry question.
Yet when a critic, not severe,
And, tho' a disputant, sincere.
Sometimes he'd raise a mighty clutter
And quarrel with his bread and butter.
Maintain that gruel and Soup meagre
Made the invention sharp and eager.
Attack plumb-pudding like a Tartar,
And give roast-beef itself no quarter.
Wise authors have essay'd to prove
That indolence is nurse to love:
But he, in spite of this alliance,
To love most stoutly bids defiance,
For which one day, his stubborn heart
(So Cupid vow'd) shall surely smart.
We here might mention, by the bye,
A spice or two of vanity,
Were we not credibly assur'd
And by himself 'twas long since cur'd!
He early felt the sacred fires
Fair virtue's form divine inspires:
Confest the bliss her laws impart,
And fondly lov'd her at his heart.
And yet that heart sometimes -- a little --
Throbb'd at an equipage or title:
Would flutter if a lord drew nigh,
And bow to stars, beneath the sky;
And just then could not -- quite so soon --
Relinquish all beneath the moon.
He shunn'd the mad ensnaring bowl,
But Friendship open'd all his soul.
We pass his candour and good nature --
They'd only serve to spoil our satire.
But while he reads this saucy poet,
Now, if he has them, let him shew it.





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