The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland Volume V Part 26

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was well known to be true, by those who were most nearly acquainted with her. Those admirable lines on Temperance, in her Bath poem, she penned from a very feeling experience of what she found by her own regard to it, and can never be read too often, as the sense is equal to the goodness of the poetry.

Fatal effects of luxury and ease!

We drink our poison, and we eat disease, Indulge our senses at our reason's cost, Till sense is pain, and reason hurt, or lost.

Not so, O temperance bland! when rul'd by thee, The brute's obedient, and the man is free.

Soft are his slumbers, balmy is his rest, His veins not boiling from the midnight feast.

Touch'd by Aurora's rosy hand, he wakes Peaceful and calm, and with the world partakes The joyful dawnings of returning day, For which their grateful thanks the whole creation pay, All but the human brute. 'Tis he alone, Whose works of darkness fly the rising sun.

'Tis to thy rules, O temperance, that we owe All pleasures, which from health and strength can flow, Vigour of body, purity of mind, Unclouded reason, sentiments refin'd, Unmixt, untainted joys, without remorse, Th' intemperate sinner's never-failing curse.

She was observed, from her childhood, to have a fondness for poetry, often entertaining her companions, in a winter's evening, with riddles in verse, and was extremely fond, at that time of life, of Herbert's poems. And this disposition grew up with her, and made her apply, in her riper years, to the study of the best of our English poets; and before she attempted any thing considerable, sent many small copies of verses, on particular characters and occasions, to her peculiar friends. Her poem on the Bath had the full approbation of the publick; and what sets it above censure, had the commendation of Mr. Pope, and many others of the first rank, for good sense and politeness. And indeed there are many lines in it admirably penn'd, and that the finest genius need not to be ashamed of. It hath ran through several editions; and, when first published, procured her the personal acknowledgments of several of the brightest quality, and of many others, greatly distinguished as the best judges of poetical performances.

She was meditating a n.o.bler work, a large poem on the Being and Attributes of G.o.d, which was her favourite subject; and, if one may judge by the imperfect pieces of it, which she left behind her in her papers, would have drawn the publick attention, had she liv'd to finish it.

She was peculiarly happy in her acquaintance, as she had good sense enough to discern that worth in others she justly thought was the foundation of all real friendship, and was so happy as to be honoured and loved as a friend, by those whom she would have wished to be connected with in that sacred character. She had the esteem of that most excellent lady, who was superior to all commendation, the late dutchess of Somerset, then countess of Hertford, who hath done her the honour of several visits, and allowed her to return them at the Mount of Marlborough. Mr. Pope favoured her with his at Bath, and complimented her for her poem on that place. Mrs. Rowe, of Froom, was one of her particular friends. 'Twould be endless to name all the persons of reputation and fortune whom she had the pleasure of being intimately acquainted with. She was a good woman, a kind relation, and a faithful friend. She had a real genius for poetry, was a most agreeable correspondent, had a large fund of good sense, was unblemished in her character, lived highly esteemed, and died greatly lamented,

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The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland Volume V Part 26 summary

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