Inscribed in Miss Frowd's Book of Friendship, 1778

Fain would my heart its little tribute pay,

Forgive the seemingly unkind delay,

No more spontaneous flows the artless Strain,

What once was pleasure memory turns to pain.

Fled are the Dreams that charm’d my infant mind

Like Leaves which autumn scatters to the Wind.

Too well thou knowst the cause; thy friendly tears

Bedew the Page where her Dear Name appears,

Who taught my Soul to taste of Joys refin’d,

And waked to action my lethargic Mind.

Oh may we still her bright example view

And patient the same blissful path pursue!

(A fonder wish can faithful Friendship form?

A nobler aim the Breast of Virtue warm?)

Her last dear Precepts may we ever prize

And Heaven her dying wishes realize.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, STE 5/3; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, pp. 111-12. This poem, addressed to Sarah Froude, is written at the end of 1778, just after the death of Anne Steele that November, which is the subject of the poem.