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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: I rise about eight, if the morning is warm
Last Line: Your friend most sincere, and true humble servant.
Subject(s): Child Care; Women Writers; Baby Sitters; Governesses

I RISE about eight, if the morning is warm,
So you'll think early rising will do me no harm;
My morning array is thrown on in a trice,
In which did you see me, you'd say I'm not nice:
An hour in good reading delightfully flies,
For as I grow older, I ought to grow wise.
The infantry next are called out of bed,
Are dressed, get their breakfast, their prayers duly said,
And then, now you'll smile, with a matron-like look,
I bid each young pupil sit down to her book,
While I change my ribband or cap to be ready,
When summoned below by my lord and my lady.
Now in order I march with my dear charming train,
Of whom there's great danger I soon shall grow vain,
Since I ne'er heard of beauty or goddess had more
Than three Graces attending, but I have got four!
The coffee, tea, chocolate spread o'er the table,
We eat, sip and talk as long as we're able;
For those who plain bread and butter can't eat,
There's orange, and jelly, and honey so sweet.
When this scene is over, to battle we go,
And give the poor shuttlecock many a blow,
Till, tired of the sport, to the garden repair,
There ramble about and breathe the fresh air.
Around us no gay rural landscapes arise,
All the prospect is sea, rocks, mountains and skies;
Then back we return, at which time, I confess,
One eighth of an hour I employ on my dress.
What's next to be done? Why, to dinner we sit,
Where Lady Strathmore entertains with her wit;
Lord Garlies with humour and frankness is seen,
And my lady appears like beauty's fair queen.
When the glass is gone round, with success to the Fleet,
The young ladies and Caroline make their retreat,
To study their reading and handle their pen,
Till the tea-table summons invites us again.
The rest of the evening is passed in chit-chat,
In admiring the Mag., a song, and all that;
Or if gaily disposed, we dance a Scotch reel,
In which how you'd stare at each nimble heel.
To end this account, there's no more to be said,
But 'the goose to the fire, and the children to bed'.
And then, if alone, perhaps I find leisure,
By writing to you, to give myself pleasure.
When the night is far spent, I creep to my next,
Which puts me in mind that you should have rest
From this dull rhyming stuff, which I beg you'll excuse;
As likewise my having but one piece of news,
That wild Ch -- ly is grown so prudent and tame,
You hardly would know me except by my name,
And that still I continue, with affection so fervent,
Your friend most sincere, and true humble servant.

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