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TO MRS. STAPLETON, (NOW MRS. COURTNAY.)
She came—she is gone—we have met
And meet perhaps never again; The sun of that moment is set,
And seems to bave risen in vain, Catharina has fled like a dream
(So vanishes pleasure, alas!) But has left a regret and esteem
That will not so suddenly pass.
The last evening ramble we made,
Catharina, Maria, and I,
By the nightingale warbling nigh.
And much she was charm'd with a tone Less sweet to Maria and me,
Who so lately had witness'd her own. My numbers that day she had sung,
And gave them a grace so divine, As only her musical tongue
Could infuse into numbers of mine.
The longer I heard, I esteem'd
The work of my fancy the more, And e'en to myself never seem'd
So tuneful a poet before. Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year, Catharina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier bere; For the close-woven arches of limes
On the banks of our river, I know, Are sweeter to her many times
Than aught that the city can show.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging taste from above, Then, whether embellish'd or rude,
'Tis nature alone that we love.
May even our wonder excite,
A lasting, a sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice, May it still be her lot to possess
The scene of her sensible choice! To inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that she leads. PART I.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,
As oft as it suits her to roam,
With little to hope or to fear,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
On her Marriage to George Courtnay, Esq.
1792. Believe it or not, as you chuse,
The doctrine is certainly true,
And poets are oracles too.
To see Catharina at home,
And lo-she is tually come.
Such prophecy some may despise,
But the wish of a poet and friend Perhaps is approved in the skies,
And therefore attains to its end. 'Twas a wish that flew ardently forth
From a bosom effectually warm'd With the talents, the graces, and worth
Of the person for whom it was form’d.
Maria * would leave us, I knew,
To the grief and regret of us all, But less to our grief, could we view
Catharina the queen of the hall:
* Lady Throckmorton.
And therefore I wish'd as I did,
And therefore this union of hands; Not a whisper was heard to forbid,
But all cry-Amen-to the bans.
Since therefore I seem to incur
No danger of wishing in vain, When making good wishes for her,
I will e'en to my wishes againWith one I have made her a wife,
And now I will try with another, Which I cannot suppress for my life
How soon I can make her a mother.