Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON MRS PRIESTLEY'S LEAVING WARRINGTON, by ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD



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ON MRS PRIESTLEY'S LEAVING WARRINGTON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O will amanda to these lines attend
Last Line: Of the loved accent, and the well known face.
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Anna Letitia


O will Amanda to these lines attend
Warm from the heart, the wishes of a friend,
And not repress the fond, presumptuous claim,
Which dares to call her by that sacred name?
For what can now that sacred name impart,
But the sad title to a bleeding heart.
Say will not (used to a superior strain)
Thy nicer ear this feeble verse disdain?
Where languid fancy droops like some fair flower
That bends its head beneath the oppressive shower,
What pleasing sounds from sorrow's voice can flow?
Yet let a trembling muse indulge her woe,
That in low notes and broken accents tries
To sooth her griefs and hush her rising sighs,
That seeks in verse if any charm can dwell
To soften that unpleasing word farewell --
As some tall lilly rears its graceful head
And breathes its sweetness in the silent shade,
So bloomed Amanda in the green retreats
Of Erthig's woods, and Wrexham's peaceful seats --
Blest was that day when Hymen's happy pow'r
Transplanted to our plains so fair a flower
And bid each eye that could discern approve,
And every bosom that could feel to love --
Such early virtue in so bright a form!
So cool a judgment, and a heart so warm.
A soul refined, exalted far beyond
The common level of a blameless mind,
With various fancy's lively powers endued,
With steady patience, and calm fortitude --
Generous without one thought of mean allay,
Clear as the light, and open as the day --
By every muse, by every grace inspired,
By taste enlightened, and by genius fired --
Such, Warrington, was once thy proudest boast,
Thy sorrow now -- to thee for ever lost.
How oft the well-worn path to her abode
At early dawn with eager steps I've trod,
And with unwilling feet retired at eve,
Loath its approach unheeded to believe.
Oft have I there the social circle joined
Whose brightening influence raised my pensive mind,
For none within that circle's magic bound,
But sprightly spirits move their chearful round.
No cold reserve, suspicion, sullen care,
Or dark unfriendly passions enter there,
But pleasing fires of lively fancy play,
And wisdom mingles her serener ray.
Not in that form those stern forbidding airs
Which seated on the Cynic's brow she wears
To damp the spirits, each gay hope controul,
And check the unguarded sallies of the soul,
But drest in easy smiles with happy art
She builds the surer empire in the heart.
The mansion now I enter with a sigh;
Naught but uncouth disorder meets the eye,
Ungrateful hurry in each room appears
And all an air of desolation wears,
Whilst roused to quit this hospitable hearth,
The social genius of gay liberal mirth
Still hovering round its favourite seat of rest
Mourns like a dove disturbed from its loved nest.
Though now Amanda bids these plains adieu
Our silent prayers shall her path pursue,
And each warm wish her parting steps attend
That glows within the bosom of a friend.
May brighter prospects to thy view arise
And fairer landscapes meet thy wand'ring eyes;
In fairer skies may healthful breezes play
And from thy couch pale sickness chase away.
May that dead weight that clogged the wheels before
Hang heavy on the springs of life no more.
No more the iron hand of torturing pain
Thy senses to a bed of sickness chain.
May each new friend in cordial welcome join
And clasp thee to a heart as warm as mine.
May chearfulness each rising morn attend
And peace with every evening shade descend.
With lib'ral hand may every opening spring
To strew thy path through life fresh roses bring,
Give thy free prospects more unbounded scope,
Brighten some joy or kindle some new hope,
And every closing year some source supply
Of pleasing thought and grateful memory.
Increase the sacred pleasures of the past,
The conscious soul's unfading rich repast.
May pure religion round thy honoured head
Its fragrant dew, and cordial odours spread.
And Hymen's constant lamp still burn the same
While the soft oil of gladness feeds the flame.
With friendship's social charms thy hours employ
Each pleasing care, and soft domestic joy --
While lisping tongues thy precepts shall repeat,
And little hearts with growing fondness beat --
And when in spite of love and friendship's power
Those oft repeated sighs shall be no more,
When the winged soul beyond the cloud-wrapt sky
On happier seats has fixed her longing eye --
Resign the parting breath in softest peace
As the last whisper of a dying breeze.
One sigh dissolve the being of a day
And waft thy soul to bliss without allay.
And thou sweet blossom from a stem so fair,
Dear object of Amanda's tenderest care,
So soon transplanted from thy native bed
The dews of blessings fall upon thy head.
New forms and changing scenes shall soon remove
Each soft impression of thy early love,
Nor shall thy mind retain the smallest trace
Of the loved accent, and the well known face.





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