Mary Barber

(1690-1757 / England)

An Apology Written For My Son To The Reverend Mr. Sampson, Poem by Mary Barber


With Joy your Summons we obey,
And come to celebrate this Day.
Yet I, alas! despair to please;
For you require exalted Lays:
And, let me write whate'er I will,
You'll think my Verse deficient still;
Altho' the Task I now decline,
Asks no Assistance from the Nine;
For Nature, better far than Art,
Can paint the honest, grateful Heart.

Heav'n knows how much I rack'd my Head,
(For beaten Paths I scorn to tread)
To tell the Vice--Roy something new,
Who graciously distinguish'd you;
Who had your Merit in his Eye,
When Prelates often pass'd it by.
What Blessings must the People share,
Where Virtue is the Ruler's Care!

Some Lines I wrote; which seem'd so fine,
My Mother cry'd, ``They can't be thine:
(Alas! there needs but little Care
In Sons, to please a Mother's Ear)
``Maro might own such Lines as these,
``Nor with more Elegance could praise:
``This is the true poetic Fire:
``But such a Subject must inspire:
``What beauteous Images are here!
``Constantia help'd you now, I fear:
``It must be so; you are not able--
Then I by Chance upon the Table
The Birth of manly Virtue spy'd;
So threw my useless Pen aside.
And set my Verses in a Flame,
Nor dar'd to touch the hallow'd Theme:
For there the God his Pow'r displays,
And leaves no Room for mortal Praise.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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