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SONNET TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ.
Dear architect of fine Chateaux in air,
Worthier to stand for ever if they could,
Than any built of stone, or yet of wood,
Much to my own, though little to thy good,
With thee, (not subject to the jealous mood!) A partnership of literary ware! But I am bankrupt now; and doom'd henceforth
To drudge, in descant dry, on others' lays; Bards, I acknowledge, of unequallid worth!
But what is commentator's happiest praise? That he has furnish'd lights for other eyes, Which they, who need them, use, and then despise.
SONNET TO DR. AUSTIN.
Austin! accept a grateful verse from me,
And oh! could I command the glittering wealth
Friend of my friend! * I love thee, though unknown, And boldly call thee, being his, my own.
SONNET TO GEORGE ROMNEY, ESQ.
On his Picture of me in Crayons, drawn at Eartham, in
the 61st Year of my Age, in the Months of August and September
Romney, expert infallibly to trace
On chart or canvas, not the form alone
And semblance, but, however faintly shown, The mind's impression too on every face
With strokes that time ought never to erase
Thou hast so pencilld mine, that though I own
The subject worthless, I have never known The artist shining with superior grace.
But this I mark—that symptoms none of woe
In thy incomparable work appear. Well-I am satisfied it should be so,
Since, on maturer thought, the cause is clear; For in my looks what sorrow couldst thou see When I was Hayley's guest, and sat to Thee?
SONNET TO MRS. UNWIN.
MARY! I want a lyre with other strings, [drew,
Such aid from Heaven as some have feign'd they
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new And undebased by praise of meaner things, That ere through age or wo I shed my wings,
I may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true, And that immortalizes whom it sings.
But thou hast little need. There is a book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light, On which the eyes of God not rarely look,
A chronicle of actions just and bright;
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine,
AUTUMN OF 1793.
The twentieth year is well nigh past,
My Mary! Thy needles, once a shining store, For my sake restless heretofore, Now rust disused, and shine no more,
My Mary! For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil The same kind office for me still, Thy sight now seconds yot thy will,
My Mary! But well thou play’dst the housewife's part, And all thy threads with magic art Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary! Thy indistinct expressions seem Like language utter'd in a dream; Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
For could I view nor them nor thee,
Partakers of thy sad decline,
Such feebleness of limbs thou provest,
My Mary! But ah! by constant heed I know, How oft the sadness that I show, Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
My Mary! And should my future lot be cast With much resemblance of the past, Thy worn-out heart will break at last,