Address To Miss J.

Once Clotho on an April day
Was seen to throw her rock away;
The fatal rock was nearly spun,
And the sad task was nearly done,
The other sisters wound the clew,
And heavy in the hand it grew;
Atropos' scissors open wide,
And seem just ready to divide;
“Enough, enough,'' the Spinster cried,
Threw down the weary rock, and sighed;
“Let us in April's flowery loom
See how she weaves her earliest bloom,
And, as the infant buds appear,
Drop in their eye a lucid tear.
The frame is wove of slender thread,
And oft the floweret hangs its head;
The bending stalk too oft gives way,
And many a blossom fades ere May.
But Spring her carpet--work begins,
And every flower now cards and spins;
Let us this jocund time of year
Take some small joy in looking there;
The process fair must sure delight,
For sweetly blend the red and white,
And sweetly life begins to dawn,
And sweetly blooms the painted lawn;
The flowers spring up, of every dye,
That blush to meet th' observant eye,
But soon a withering blight descends,
And all this short--liv'd beauty ends.''
“Alas!'' the sisters all exclaim,
“Spring's work and ours are just the same;
Alike the fairest buds we show
That never once get leave to blow;
Alas! the task we must renew,
And the small thread must break in two.''

Thalia snatch'd the rock and flew
To where none but the Graces knew;
The Fates to Jove complaints preferr'd,
And Jove the Fates has ever heard.
By Styx, the awful thunderer swore,
He ne'er would see the Graces more;
No more on Ida should they stray,
Nor with the heavenly Muses play;
Nor to Apollo's sprightly reed
The mazy dance in circles lead,
Unless the distaff back they'd win,
Or teach some mortal nymph to spin,
Whose love of all the human kind
Should form the texture of the mind,
And, twisting and entwining there,
Spin the fine feelings like a hair;
Then, gliding through Affection's loom,
The veil of tenderness become;
The weaver shall the wearer be,
Or else bring back the rock to me.
The Graces joy'd at this behest,
For long they'd known a nymph possess'd
Of all that Jove had fix'd on here,
Who the soft veil would win and wear.
But first her hand must learn to twine
The long small thread with finger fine;
That foot be taught, the Graces lent,
The engine to revolve intent.
The veil was wove, I saw the loom,
I saw the changeful colours come;
I saw the white, I saw the red,
The feelings all mix with the thread;
I saw the Virtues wreathe it round
The nymph the happy Graces found.
To Jove Thalia smiling said;--
“At length, great Sire, I've found the maid,
Fair as the lily, on whose cheek
Her softest shades grow sweetly meek;
The veil of Tenderness she's worn
E'er since the dawn of life's young morn,
And nought so well becomes the fair,
For 'tis the veil the Virtues wear.
Now let the Fates their trade forego,
Nor hither bring their web of woe;
O! let the thread of life be spun
By one more easily, gently won;
Who lengthening out the slender line
Shall smoothly run and softly twine,
Whilst Health and Happiness shall hail
The Spinster fair--Johanna Gale!''