Anna Laetitia Barbauld

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

To Wisdom - Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

O WISDOM! if thy soft controul
Can sooth the sickness of the soul,
Can bid the warring passions cease,
And breathe the balm of tender peace,
WISDOM! I bless thy gentle sway,
And ever, ever will obey.

But if thou com'st with frown austere
To nurse the brood of care and fear;
To bid our sweetest passions die,
And leave us in their room a sigh;

Of if thine aspect stern have power
To wither each poor transient flower,
That cheers the pilgrimage of woe,
And dry the springs whence hope should flow;
WISDOM, thine empire I disclaim,
Thou empty boast of pompous name!
In gloomy shade of cloisters dwell,
But never haunt my chearful cell.
Hail to pleasure's frolic train;
Hail to fancy's golden reign;
Festive mirth, and laughter wild,
Free and sportful as the child;
Hope with eager sparkling eyes,
And easy faith, and fond surprise:
Let these, in fairy colours drest,
Forever share my careless breast;
Then, tho' wise I may not be,
The wise themselves shall envy me.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010



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