To Amira (1)

Amira’s Happiness employs my care,

And Friendship breaths for her the frequent sigh,

But what is Happiness? a smiling ray

Mingle with clouds, and breaking here and there

With cheerful radiance, now it gayly shines,

And now it disappears, and Nature droops

Disconsolate. Frail momentary state

Of Earthly bliss, how fleeting, and how vain!

In vain we seek for Happiness on Earth,

’Tis fix’d on high, beyond these changing scenes

Immortal Bliss with full Meridian Light

Forever shines and every smiling ray

Which breaks amid the shades of Mortal’s Life,

Is sent from Heaven to point our upward view,

And guide our wishes to the Seats of Joy.

Thither, my dear Amira, may you rise

In frequent thought, and view the joys of Earth

In their true light, as Blessings only lent

To sweeten Care and cheer the darksom way.

Grateful enjoy, nor mourn their transient date,

While Faith extends her wing and bears your hopes

Sublime, to Joys all permanent and bright,

In the fair Mansions of Eternal Day.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/3/2, p. 35; also STE 3/3/8, p. 3 (transcribed by William Steele); also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 2, p. 177.