Anna Laetitia Barbauld

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

To Miss T. - Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Sweet are the thoughts that stir the virgin's breast
When love first enters there, a timid guest;
Before her dazzled eyes gay visions shine,
And laughing Cupids wreaths of roses twine;
And conscious beauty hastens to employ
Her span of empire and her dream of joy.

Sarah! not thus to thee his power is shown;
More stern he greets thee from his awful throne.
Thee, called to bid thy cheering converse flow,
And shed thy sweetness in the house of woe;
The solemn sympathies of grief to share,
And, sadly smiling, soothe a sister's care.

O'er her young hopes the sable pall is spread;
Her wedded heart holds converse with the dead;
To ties, no longer earthly, fondly true,
Each thought that breathes of love, must breathe of heaven too.

Thus, Sarah, love thy nobler mind prepares,
Shows thee his dangers, duties, sorrows, cares;
Thus with severer lessons schools thy heart,
And, pleased his happiest influence to impart,
For thee, dismissing from his chastened train
Each motley form of fickle, light, or vain,
Builds the strong fabric of that love sublime
Which conquers Death, and triumphs over Time.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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