To Silvia (3)

Come Friendship, with thy sweetly-pleasing power,

Teach me to calm my dear-lov’d Silvia’s breast:

Shed thy kind influence o’er the gloomy hour,

And sooth her every anxious care to rest.

Tell her that Providence, immensely kind,

Through all events its guardian care extends;

Nor can a real grief oppress her mind

But ev’n that grief unerring wisdom sends.

Oft, when imaginary woes oppress,

A dark cloud rises, and we shrink with fear;

Perhaps that very cloud is meant to bless,

And shed rich comforts on the coming year.

The ways of Providence, how kind! how wise!

From seeming ills what real good is born!

Not can the heart its blessings learn to prize

That, gay and thoughtless, never knew to mourn.

O may my Silvia raise her wishes high!

With warm devotion may her bosom glow!

Pant for unmingled bliss beyond the sky

And thankful own the gifts enjoy’d below!

Text: 1780, vol. 3, pp. 97-8; also STE 3/3/5, sheet 29, MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College; also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 2, (ed. Julia B. Griffin), pp. 64-65.