Lines written at Motcombe near the Dwelling of the same Friend (1778)

Delightful Prospect! where shall the charm’d Eye

Amidst such variegated beauty rest,

The boundless Landscape jingling with the Sky

Swells with tumultuous Extasy the Breast.

Yet nearer Scenes still sweeter feelings give,

My Eye reverted views yon lov’d Retreat,

There Hospitality and Friendship live,

For my Sarissa there has fix’d her Seat.

Sequester’d Spot! By nature’s guardian Hand

That from the busy world’s tumultuous Strife,

May Angels o’er it their kind wings expand

And guide its Dear inhabitant thro’ Life.

Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, STE 5/3; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, p. 112. This is another poem addressed to Sarah Froude. It appears that Steele paid a visit to her cousins at East Knoyle late in 1778, after the death of Anne Steele. At this time, Sarah Froude was teaching in Mrs. Hayne’s female boarding school in Motcombe, a small village in Dorset, near Shaftesbury, about eight miles south of East Knoyle. She had been at Mrs. Hayne’s since the fall of 1773, when Mary Steele visited her (see Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, pp. letters 36-37, 39).