To Miss M. Frowd (1778)

Tell me, dear Amanda, tell me,

Well thy feeling Bosom knows,

Are not Love’s illusive pleasures

More than balanced by its woes?

Can her happiness be lasting,

Can she taste the sweets of rest,

Whose fond heart for every pleasure

Leans upon another’s breast?

Sweet the smile of mutual fondness,

Sweet the sympathetic tear,

But on these delightful moments

Steals not some intruding Tear.

Are not Life’s unnumber’d Sorrows

Vast enough for us to weep,

That from tenderness we borrow

Miseries to increase the heep?

Ah! too late the admonition

I see vain appeal recall,

Useless ev’n a Zeno’s wisdom,

Parker would confute it all.

MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, STE 5/5/v; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, p. 111. Mary Froude was visiting her sisters during the winter break 1777-78. At this time, she was teaching at the female academy in Park Street, Bristol, operated by Hannah More and her sisters. She would teach there for some time, possibly until the Mores turned the school over to Selina Mills in 1790.