Mary Barber (1690-1757 / England)
An Apology Written For My Son To The Reverend Mr. Sampson,
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.
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