Anna Laetitia Barbauld

(20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825 / Leicestershire, England)

Dejection


When sickness clouds the languid eye,
And seeds of sharp diseases fly
Swift through the vital frame;
Rich drugs are torn from earth and sea,
And balsam drops from every tree,
To quench the parching flame.
But oh! what opiate can assuage
The throbbing breast's tumultuous rage,
Which mingling passions tear!
What art the wounds of grief can bind,
Or soothe the sick impatient mind
Beneath corroding care!

Not all the potent herbs that grow
On purple heath, or mountain's brow,
Can banished peace restore;
In vain the spring of tears to dry,
For purer air or softer sky
We quit our native shore.
Friendship, the richest balm that flows,
Was meant to heal our sharpest woes,
But runs not always pure;
And Love—has sorrows of his own,
Which not an herb beneath the moon
Is found of power to cure.
Soft Pity, mild dejected maid,
With tenderest hand applies her aid
To dry the frequent tear;
But her own griefs, of finer kind,
Too deeply wound the feeling mind
With anguish more severe.

Submitted: Monday, September 06, 2010

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