To My Dear Friend Mr. Congreve On His Commedy Call'd The Double Dealer

Well then; the promis'd hour is come at last;
The present age of wit obscures the past:
Strong were our sires; and as they fought they writ,
Conqu'ring with force of arms, and dint of wit;
Theirs was the giant race, before the Flood;
And thus, when Charles return'd, our empire stood.
Like Janus he the stubborn soil manur'd,
With rules of husbandry the rankness cur'd:
Tam'd us to manners, when the stage was rude;
And boisterous English wit, with art endu'd.
Our age was cultivated thus at length;


To My Dear Friend Mr. Congreve On His Commedy Call'd The Double Dealer

Well then; the promis'd hour is come at last;
The present age of wit obscures the past:
Strong were our sires; and as they fought they writ,
Conqu'ring with force of arms, and dint of wit;
Theirs was the giant race, before the Flood;
And thus, when Charles return'd, our empire stood.
Like Janus he the stubborn soil manur'd,
With rules of husbandry the rankness cur'd:
Tam'd us to manners, when the stage was rude;
And boisterous English wit, with art endu'd.


To Marry Or Not To Marry

A Girl’s Reverie

Mother says, ‘Be in no hurry,
Marriage oft means care and worry.’

Auntie says, with manner grave,
‘Wife is synonym for slave.’

Father asks, in tones commanding,
‘How does Bradstreet rate his standing? ’

Sister, crooning to her twins,
Sighs, ‘With marriage care begins.’

Grandma, near life’s closing days,
Murmurs, ‘Sweet are girlhood’s ways.’

Maud, twice widowed (‘sod and grass’)
Looks at me and moans ‘Alas! ’

They are six, and I am one,


To R.W.E

As when a father dies, his children draw
About the empty hearth, their loss to cheat
With uttered praise & love, & oft repeat
His all-familiar words with whispered awe.
The honored habit of his daily law,
Not for his sake, but theirs whose feeble feet
Need still that guiding lamp, whose faith, less sweet,
Misses that tempered patience without flaw,
So do we gather round thy vacant chair,
In thine own elm-roofed, amber-rivered town,
Master & Father! For the love we bear,


To R.B

The fine delight that fathers thought; the strong
Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame,
Breathes once and, quenchèd faster than it came,
Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song.
Nine months she then, nay years, nine years she long
Within her wears, bears, cares and moulds the same:
The widow of an insight lost she lives, with aim
Now known and hand at work now never wrong.
Sweet fire the sire of muse, my soul needs this;
I want the one rapture of an inspiration.
O then if in my lagging lines you miss


To Mr. Lawrence

Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice


To Lord Hu

We shall not ask for the precious pearl of the Duke of Sui,
nor for the priceless jade disk of Master Ho.
We merely ask for the recent news of our homeland.
The Palace of Spiritual Illumination must be still there,
surrounded by desolation.
What's happened to the stone statues buried deep in the grass,
still guarding the Imperial tombs?
Is it true that our people left behind in the occupied territories
are still planting mulberry trees and hemp?
Is it true that the rear guard of the Barbarians
only patrols the city walls?


To His Son, Vincent Corbet

What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well:
I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health;
Nor too much wealth, nor wit, come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning, not for show,
Enough for to instruct and know,
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table or at fire.
I wish thee all thy mother's graces,
Thy father's fortunes, and his places.
I wish thee friends, and one at court,


To His Honour The Lieutenant-Governor, On The Death Of His Lady Marc 24, 1773

ALL-Conquering Death! by thy resistless pow'r,
Hope's tow'ring plumage falls to rise no more!
Of scenes terrestrial how the glories fly,
Forget their splendors, and submit to die!
Who ere escap'd thee, but the saint * of old
Beyond the flood in sacred annals told,
And the great sage, + whom fiery coursers drew
To heav'n's bright portals from Elisha's view;
Wond'ring he gaz'd at the refulgent car,
Then snatch'd the mantle floating on the air.
From Death these only could exemption boast,


To His Dead Body

When roaring gloom surged inward and you cried,
Groping for friendly hands, and clutched, and died,
Like racing smoke, swift from your lolling head
phantoms of thought and memory thinned and fled.

Yet, though my dreams that throng the darkened stair
Can bring me no report of how you fare,
Safe quit of wars, I speed you on your way
Up lonely, glimmering fields to find new day,
Slow-rising, saintless, confident and kind—
Dear, red-faced father God who lit your mind.


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