To Sylvia, 1770

What tho’ no muse my midnight Dream inspires

Nor glows my Bosom with poetic fires,

Yet sacred Friendship bows before thy Shrine.

Duteous I bend, and own thy Right Divine;

Where’er thy Votary roves, where’er she rests,

Thy noble Energy pervades her Breast.

How vain, my Friend, the Poet’s tuneful Art

To paint these soft emotions of the heart,

These tender ties that to the Soul convey

Its noblest Joys and charm its cares away.

Not all the powers of Eloquence avail,

Ev’n here thy own harmonious lays must fail.

’Tis thine indeed the coldest Hearts to warm,

Alike thy Virtues and thy numbers charm.

For Thee the muse of Broughton’s peaceful shades,

That haunts her Vales and sad umbrageous Glades,

A Wreath shall form of verdant Laurel twin’d;

And round thy Brows the unfading Chaplet bind,

Fair blooming Hope with flowers thy path shall strew,

Genius shall guide thy steps and Fame pursue,

Honor and Admiration shall attend.

Where’er she leads, the Votaries of my Friend,

Myra shall at an humble distance wait,

“Pleas’d to admire and proud to imitate.”


Text: STE 5/2; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 4, p. 74.