Mary Barber

(1690-1757 / England)

On Leaving Bath. - Poem by Mary Barber

The Britons, in their Nature shy,
View Strangers with a distant Eye:
We think them partial and severe;
And judge their Manners by their Air:
Are undeceiv'd by Time alone;
Their Value rises, as they're known.

Here many a worthy Mind I found,
With Sense and Taste, by Virtue crown'd,
At once so truly good and great,
They knew to bear a prosp'rous State.

Few take from noble Blood Pretence
To act or look with Insolence:
Veins, with the richest Purple dy'd,
But seldom swell the Heart with Pride,
So, tho' the River--Gods, from high,
With plenteous Urns the Streams supply,
Which still enlarge, as they descend,
Roll down, and in the Ocean end,
Thro' Ages pour'd; yet, to our Eyes,
Old Ocean is too great to rise.

The gen'rous Treatment I have met,
Hath run me deep in Albion's Debt:
And, could my artless Lines impart
The grateful Dictates of my Heart,
Latest Posterity should know
The Sense I have of what I owe.

Dear Bath, a long, a last Adieu!
Since I no more shall visit you;
Nor fix'd by Choice, but barr'd by Fate,
From a Felicity so great.
O may thy Waters ever be
Healthful to others, as to me!
Had Ovid, with prophetic View,
Beheld the Wonders wrought by you,
Medea's Arts he might have spar'd,
And Life by thee alone repair'd.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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