To her Friend Camilla

While you, secure from the noise and strife,

Serenely pass in shades your life,

And walk, and chat, and work, and read,

Just as your inclinations lead;

Or ‘mongst the trees, and fruits, and flowers,

Sweetly spend the flying hours:

While no intruding cares molest,

Nor anxious fears disturb your rest: –

Poor I, confin’d to dust and noise,

Debarr’d from all these harmless joys,

And vainly saunt’ring up and down

In this poor, empty, doleful town,

Can only at a distance view

The bliss which fate hath granted you.

Yet, in my fancy, I can trace

The unknown beauties of the place;

Bid all it’s flow’ry scenes arise;

– And broad-gate stands before my eyes!

Oh! might I view the charming scene,

And wander o’er the verdant green;

Which still more verdant would appear,

And charm me more, if you were there!

Heighten’d by friendships sacred power,

New charms would glow in ev’ry flower:

I’d teach the woods Camilla’s name,

And that should be my constant theme.

The warbling birds shou’d catch the sound,

And chaunt it to the vales around. –

But since these wishes all are vain, )

I make one, which I may obtain, )

And wish you back to town again. )

Text: The Christian’s Magazine 5 (1764), p. 520, ‘by the same’; see also Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 8, pp. 98-99. The identity and location of ‘Camilla’ is unknown.