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And mow thro' infancy and age;

Then kiss the sacred dust and melt in tears.

Veiling from the eye of day,

Penance dreams her life away;
In cloistered solitude she sits and sighs,
While from each shrine still, small


rise. Hear, with what heart-felt beat, the midnight bell Swings its slow summons thro' the hollow pile! The weak, wan votarist leaves her twilight cell, To walk, with taper dim, the winding isle;

With choral chantings vainly to aspire, Beyond this nether sphere, on Rapture's wing of fire.

III. 3.

Lord of each pang the nerves can feel,

Hence with the rack and reeking wheel.
Faith lifts the soul above this little ball!

While gleams of glory open round,
And circling choirs of angels call,
Can'st thou, with all thy terrors crowned,
Hope to obscure that latent spark,
Destined to shine when suns are dark?

Thy triumphs cease! thro' every land,
Hark! Truth proclaims, thy triumphs cease!

Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Benignly points to piety and peace.
Flushed with youth her looks impart

Each fine feeling as it flows;

Her voice the echo of her heart,

Pure as the mountain-snows:

Celestial transports round her play,
And softly, sweetly die away.
She smiles! and where is now the cloud

That blackened o'er thy baleful reign?
Grim darkness furls his leaden shroud,

Shrinking from her glance in vain.
Her touch unlocks the day-spring from above,
And lo! it visits man with beams of light and love.

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Yes, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain;
I wake, I breathe, and am myself again.
Still in this nether world; no seraph yet!
Nor walks my spirit, when the sun is set,
With troubled step to haunt the fatal board,
Where I died last-by poison or the sword;
Blanching each honest cheek with deeds of night,
Done here so oft by dim and doubtful light.

After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, April 27, 1795.


--To drop all metaphor, that little bell Called back reality, and broke the spell. No heroine claims your tears with tragic tone; A very woman scarce restrains her own! Can she, with fiction, charm the cheated mind, When to be grateful is the part assigned? Ah, no! she scorns the trappings of her Art; No theme but truth, no prompter but the heart!

But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask?


Is here no other actress ? let me ask.

Believe me, those, who best the heart dissect,

Woman studies stage-effect.
She moulds her manners to the part she fills,
As Instinct teaches, or as Humour wills;

And, as the grave or gay her talent calls,
Acts in the drama, till the curtain falls.

First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
When the red coral rings its golden bells!
To play in pantomime is then the rage,
Along the carpet's many-coloured stage;

Or lisp her merry thoughts with loud endeavour, Now here, now there-in noise and mischief ever!

A school-girl next, she curls her hair in papers, And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours; Discards her doll, bribes Betty for romances; Playful at church, and serious when she dances; Tramples alike on customs and on toes, And whispers all she hears to all she knows; Terror of caps, and wigs, and sober notions ! A romp! that longest of perpetual motions ! -Till tamed and tortured into foreign graces, She sports her lovely face at public places; And with blue, laughing eyes, behind her fan, First acts her part with that great actor, MAN.

Too soon a flirt, approach her and she flies! Frowns when pursued, and, when entreated, sighs! Plays with unhappy men as cats with mice; Till fading beauty hints the late advice. Her prudence dictates what her pride disdained, And now she sues to slaves herself had chained!

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