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This movable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired and its use, And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest 1 had to produce; Where, flaming in scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view, And hope in due time to behold
My Iliad and Odyssey too: This china, that decks the alcove,
Which here people call a boufet, But what the gods call it above
Has ne'er been reveal'd to us yet: These curtains, that keep the room warm,
Or cool, as the season demands, Those stoves, that for pattern and form,
Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands: All these are not half that I owe
from our earliest youth To me ever' ready to show
Benignity, friendship, and truth; For Time, the destroyer declared,
And foe of our perishing kind, If even her face he has spared,
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compass'd about with the goods
And chattels of leisure and ease, I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these; And fancies I fear they will seem
Poets' goods are not often so fine; The poets will swear that I dream,
When I sing of the splendour of mine. VOL. I.
TO MY COUSIN
ON RECEIVING FROM HER A NETWORK PURSE, MADE
My gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
Than plaything for a nurse,
I thank thee for my purse.
For richest rogues to win it;
The best things kept within it.
TO MRS. KING.
ON AER KIND PRESENT TO THE AUTHOR, A PATCHWORK
COUNTERPANE OF HER OWN MAKING.
Both on his heart and head,
Who deigns to deck his bed.
A bed like this, in ancient time,
(As Homer's epic shows), Composed of sweetest vernal flowers, Without the aid of sun or showers,
For Jove and Juno rose.
Receives the weary swain,
Till roused to toil again.
Should every maiden come
The bell would toll for some.
All in a moment fled!
Each pocketing a shred.
As bird of borrow'd feather.
Who put the whole together.
TO LADY AUSTEN.
express the occurrence of the day;
But when a poet takes the pen, Far more alive than other men, He feels a gentle tingling come Down to his finger and his thumb. Derived from nature's noblest part, The centre of a glowing heart: And this is what the world who knows No flights above the pitch of prose, His more sublime vagaries slighting, Denominates an itch for writing. No wonder I, who scribble rhyme To catch the triflers of the time, And tell them truths divine and clear, Which, couch'd in prose, they will not hear; Who labour hard to allure and draw The loiterers I never saw, Should feel that itching, and that tingling, With all my purpose intermingling, To your
intrinsic merit true, When call'd to address myself to you. Mysterious are His ways,
power Brings forth that unexpected hour,
When minds, that never met before,
An obscure part of Olney, adjoining to the residence of Cowper, which faced the market-place. » Lady Austen's residence in France.