Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO MY LYRE, by CHARLOTTE SMITH

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TO MY LYRE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Such as thou art, my faithful lyre
Last Line: And tell my name to distant ages.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Charlotte Turner

Such as thou art, my faithful Lyre,
For all the great and wise admire,
Believe me, I would not exchange thee,
Since e'en adversity could never
Thee from my anguish'd bosom sever,
Or time or sorrow e'er estrange thee.

Far from my native fields removed,
From all I valued, all I loved;
By early sorrows soon beset,
Annoy'd and wearied past endurance,
With drawbacks, bottomry, insurance,
With samples drawn, and tare and tret;

With Scrip, and Omnium, and Consols,
With City Feasts and Lord Mayors' Balls,
Scenes that to me no joy afforded;
For all the anxious Sons of Care,
From Bishopsgate to Temple Bar,
To my young eyes seem'd gross and sordid.

Proud city dames, with loud shrill clacks,
"The wealth of nations on their backs,")
Their clumsy daughters and their nieces,
Good sort of people! and well meaners,
But they could not be my congeners,
For I was of a different species.

Long were thy gentle accents drown'd,
Till from the Bow-bells' detested sound
I bore thee far, my darling treasure;
And unrepining left for thee
Both calepash and callipee,
And sought green fields, pure air, and leisure.

Who that has heard thy silver tones --
Who that the Muse's influence owns,
Can at my fond attachment wonder,
That still my heart should own thy power?
Thou -- who hast soothed each adverse hour,
So thou and I will never sunder.

In cheerless solitude, bereft
Of youth and health, thou still art left,
When hope and fortune have deceived me;
Thou, far unlike the summer friend,
Did still my falt'ring steps attend,
And with thy plaintive voice relieved me.

And as the time ere long must come
When I lie silent in the tomb,
Thou wilt preserve these mournful pages;
For gentle minds will love my verse,
And Pity shall my strains rehearse,
And tell my name to distant ages.

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