Ah while with fond regret I trace
Submissive Sorrow on that Face,
By Beauty’s magic Hand combin’d,
Illumin’d with the glow of Mind;
How yearns my Heart that Grief to bear,
To soften, or at least to share.
Oh impotence of human Love
Which cannot from the heart remove,
One Pang, or steal away one thought
By agonized Remembrance brought!
Ah when in yonder world of Light
Emancipated Minds unite,
Tho’ from Affliction ever free
Shall sympathy thus powerful be?
Say, will they not by means unknown
Commence with Spirits like their own?
And feel while mingling Mind with Mind
Their mutual Transports more refin’d?
Till then – accept this starting Tear
The little All of Friendship here.
Text: MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, STE 5/3; also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 3, p. 153.