Anna Laetitia Barbauld

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

To Mr. Bowring - Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld


Bowring, the music of thy polished strains
Through every tongue its equal power sustains.
To the rude Russ it gives a softer touch,
It melts to mellower sounds the homely Dutch,
With bloodless conquest from each land it bears
The precious spoil of long-recorded years;
And, pleased its holy ardour to diffuse,
With thy own spirit sanctifies the Muse.
Thus, in some window's deep recesses laid,
The soft Æolian harp its power displayed,
From the shrill east wind and the stormy north
It drew soft airs and gentle breathings forth;
Subdued to harmony each passing sound,
Waked with unusual notes the echoes round,
With happy magic softened, as it past,
The hollow whistling of the keenest blast;
And each rude gust that swept the changing sky
Dissolved to strains of liquid harmony.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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