Lines addressed to her Nephew, Philip Whitaker, 1786

Sacred to Memory and Religion pure,

Let these Mementos and these Lines endure;

With pious Awe the Truths of Scripture hear,

Trace o’er in Thought and pour your wants in Prayer.

Its Precepts learn, nor from your Mind efface

The Gifts of Providence, or Gifts of Grace.

Recall to Mind the various Blessings given,

And grateful own the God of Earth and Heaven.

To Him devote the blooming Hours of Youth

Replete with Wisdom, Virtue, Honor, Truth;

In Life’s young Morn wake every active Power

And dedicate to God the Matin Hour.

His Praise is Pleasure and his Service sweet.

So humbly bow beneath his Mercy Seat,

Ask and receive¾seek and the humble Soul

Shall find such Aid as will each Fear controul.

Divine Omniscience every Thought surveys.

Just be our Actions; pure our humble Praise.

While taught by Heaven, ourselves we learn to know

If Virtue fails, or heavn’ly Graces Grow:

The past improv’d will future Bliss impart

And growing Wisdom regulate the Heart.

The bright Assemblage still increasing shine,

Shed Fragrance round and speak a Power divine.

Shelter’d beneath the fostering Hand of Care,

The tender Branches with Affection dear

Perform with duteous Love the filial Part

And share the grateful Praise of every Heart.

Late be that Period when your Life shall end

And all who knew must mourn the dying Friend;

Be that last Hour with Joy triumphant blest,

And having liv’d to God with him forever rest.

Text: Attwater Papers, acc. 76; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 4, pp. 205-06. This poem appears at the beginning of a bound volume containing ‘Texts preached from, at Bratton, and Memorandums of some remarkable Occurrences beginning with the Year 1786’, transcribed in Philip Whitaker’s hand, with this note: "The following Lines were written to me by my Aunt J Attwater and desir’d to be inscrib’d at the beginning of this Book."