On the Dowager Lady

THE form that moulders here in earth
Was a rich pearl in Beauty's worth;
Nor ever had the cestus grac'd
A love more spotless, pure, and chaste.
Nor barren was the nuptial bed
On which the Loves their flowers had spread,
A miracle of infant grace
The raptur'd Mother could embrace.
BuTheaven, whose favourites most are tried,
Smote, and the little charmer died.
Religion to the Mourner spoke —
She bore the agonizing stroke.
But more probation was at hand,
By Wisdom for the suffering plann'd:
The Husband of her soul's free choice,
Dear to her love's unprompted voice,
In early manhood's ripening glow,
Struck by the deep and thundering blow,
A victim of distemper's rage,
Felt the infirmities of age.
But she, though born to be admir'd,
And with a social heart inspir'd,
With scorn her privilege reprov'd,
And was the nurse of him she lov'd.
Still, to make all defamers dumb,
Another trial was to come:
With pain the Muse that note could raise
Above the reach of human praise;
But for the living she can feel,
And therefore must the tale conceal.
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