Mary Barber

(1690-1757 / England)

To The Right Honble. The Lady Dowager Torrington, - Poem by Mary Barber

When you command, the Muse obeys,
Proud to present her humble Lays.
Of writing I'll no more repent,
Nor think my Time unwisely spent;
If Verse the Happiness procures
Of pleasing such a Soul as yours.

Endless Anxiety, I find,
Hath dire Effects upon the Mind:
A Life of unsuccessful Care
Too often sinks us to Despair.
From such a Life as this, I chuse
To snatch some Moments for the Muse;
To slight Mortality, and soar
To Worlds where Anguish is no more;
Forget Ierne's wretched State,
Tho' doom'd to share her cruel Fate;
Destin'd to pass my joyless Days,
Where Poverty, relentless, preys;
And form'd, unhappily, to grieve
For Miseries I can't relieve.

From giving Wealth my Hands are ty'd;
That great Felicity's deny'd.
Yet have I sometimes the Delight,
To help a Wretch by what I write;
To make some happier Bosoms melt;
And heal the Woes they never felt.

To Torrington, whose gen'rous Breast
Delights in raising the Diftress'd,
Adding new Honour to her Blood,
By all the Ways of doing Good,
How needless is the Poet's Art;
Since He, that made, enlarg'd her Heart?

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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