Ye dearest objects of my earliest care,
Themes of my eager hope, my ardent pray’r;
To you, affection dedicates this page,
Of you alone, solicits patronage.
O, might some thought, however ill express’d,
One error chase, one passion lull to rest;
Raise one bright spark of virtue’s sacred fire,
One pure design, one holy aim inspire;
Or wake at once the grand resolve, to brave
All that opposes bliss beyond the grave:
Though on this form the humble sod be laid,
For you the last tear pour’d, the last pray’r made;
The good pursu’d is gain’d, the meed is given;
O may we share the blest result in—heaven.
Text:. Advertisement to Coltman’s Familiar Letters Addressed to Children and Young Persons of the Middle Ranks (London: Darton and Harvey, 1811), p. v.; see also Timothy Whelan, Other British Voices: Women, Poetry, and Religion, 1766-1840 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), p. 232.