To Amira (2)

Now Friendship wakes again the pleasing Strain,

Her fears remov’d, her ardent wishes heard.

Join, dear Amira, in the grateful Song:

Increase and share the Joy your safety gives

With glad thank-off’rings to indulgent Heav’n,

Indulgent Heav’n that lent a pittying tear

To every sigh, and through the ling’ring weeks

Of restless pain and frequent boding fears

Sustain’d your Life, and cheer’d your fainting heart;

But chiefly when the hour of danger spread Its agonizing terrors through your frame,

When Friendship’s tender Consolations fail’d

And sympathizing Pity wept in vain.

Then Sov’reign Mercy spread her guardian Arms

Supporting, saving, Death and Danger fled,

And smiling Hope dawn’d chearful o’er the scene.

O, never let our thankful hearts forget

This favour, added to the numbers past

With which Almighty Love has crown’d our Lives!

But say when’er our wond’ring thoughts recount

The various Gifts we daily, hourly share,

Unmerited, and oft alas! receiv’d

With cold indifference, shall we not ask

Yet wishing to be grateful, “What return

“What off’ring shall we render to the Lord “For all his Benefits?” – the Heart, the Life,

This Heav’n requires, ’tis all we can present,

And less than this, were vile ingratitude.

But ah! without his animating Grace

The Heart how frail! its noblest ardour sinks

To guilty coldness. O for constant aid

Enliv’ning, strength’ning, raising all our pow’rs

To blest Devotion, and unweary’d Praise.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/3/3, no. 6; also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 2, pp. 177-78.