WHILE Morcham does your much lov’d presence share,
And Lydia’s health claims your maternal care,
O Madam, deign with candour to peruse
A rustic lay, presented by the Muse.
From Loudoun’s plains she now awakes the lyre,
And gladly would to arduous feats aspire.
On the smooth margin of the stream reclin’d,
She fondly hopes to please a taste refin’d.
What tho’ she boast of no peculiar charm,
That would the critic of his force disarm?
She humbly deprecates your doom severe,
And fain would wish to find you partial here.
The Muse alone does this indulgence claim,
Else it were impious such a thought to frame.
Would you from Morcham cast your mental eye,
And the recesses of our castle spy,
You’d see Honoria, in her elbow chair,
A mind at ease, thoughts unperplex’d with care;
With aspect mild, explore the sacred page,
Guide of her youth, and comfort of her age;
In conduct prudent, and in counsel wise;
Her friendship ev’ry virtuous mind must prize.
Then view the pair, in bonds of Hymen blest,
With little Cupids flutt’ring round their breast.
The bliss that’s mutual, all their thoughts employ,
Whose social hearts partake no selfish joy.
To please each other proves their constant aim,
While ev’ry act endears the tender claim.
Matilda too, your notice must demand;
To paint would here require a Raphael’s hand:
To trace the radient beauties of her mind,
Shall be a task for nobler pens assign’d.
I’d rather far her little foibles scan,
Though strict inspection finds no more than one.
Such anxious care on others she bestows,
She quite forgets what to herself she owes.
Vouchsafe the charming Celia next a look,
Her mind serene, and in her hand a book:
Eyes, which at will, can pleasure give or pain,
On stupid Humphry Clinker shine in vain.
As through the hall and kitchen now you pass,
Pray deign to peep among the lower class:
The cook’s at work; but, madam, who can know
Whether her hands or tongue more swiftly go?
They’re nimble both; but diff’rent is th’ effect;
One merits praise, the other disrespect.
Poor Mary sighs beneath a load of woes,
Hard and uneasy ev’ry turn she does:
How light soe’er the task, she’ll pond’ring say,
“Ah! Is there not a lion in the way?”
Will seems in haste his master’s boots to clean,
Old James is driving Turkeys o’er the green,
Our crazy-pated dairy-maid just now
Is scribbling o’er these senseless lines to you.
Hark! there’s a call, O pardon what I’ve penn’d;
I’m sure you’re glad my letter’s at an end.
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Based on Keywords: turkeys, disrespect, foibles, radient, dairy-maid, loudoun, clinker, deprecates, unperplex, honoria