To the Same, laid on her Dressing Table, 1794

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.