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Elegies and Other Small Poems   By: (1776-1852)

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Madam ,

The many endearing instances of regard I have experienced since I had the honor of being known to your Ladyship, while they impress my mind with gratitude, flatter my hopes with a favourable reception of the following miscellanies, which, under your patronage, I venture to submit to the public .

Considered as the first essays of an early period of life, and as the exercises of leisure, my wishes suggest, that they may not, perhaps, be found wholly unworthy of attention; but whatever be their fate with others, I shall feel myself much gratified, if, in your Ladyship's judgment, they may be allowed some merit .

Though there cannot be a greater pleasure than dwelling on the excellencies of a distinguished and amiable character, I know not that it would be permitted me to indulge my present inclination with enumerating those virtues and endowments which confessedly distinguish your Ladyship, but my wishes I may offer, and that you may long, very long, continue to bless your family, to adorn your rank, and console the unhappy, is the sincere prayer of

Your Ladyship's most obliged humble servant, MATILDA BETHAM .

Stonham, Nov. 20, 1797.


If, in the following pages, there may be found any unacknowledged imitations, I hope I shall not be censured as an intentional plagiarist; for it has been my wish, however I may be esteemed presumptuous, not to be unjust; and I sometimes fear lest an imperfect recollection of another's idea should have appeared to me as a dawning thought of my own. Wherever I could recollect a similar passage, although unnoticed at the time I wrote, it has been either altered or acknowledged.

I commit these trifles to the press with the anxiety necessarily resulting from a desire that they may not be deemed altogether worthless. Though the natural partiality of the writer may be somewhat strengthened by the commendations of friends and parents, I am well aware that no apology can give currency to imperfection.

I have not vainly attempted to ascend to the steeps of Parnassus. If, wandering at its foot, I have mistaken perishable shrubs for never dying flowers, the errors of a youthful mind, first viewing the fascinating regions of fancy, will not be rigidly condemned; for wherever there is true taste, there will be genuine candour.


To , with Arthur and Albina Arthur and Albina The Fraternal Duel Lines in a Letter to A.R.C. The Lonely Walk The Outlaw Invitation Whitsun Monday Philemon On a Fan To Simplicity The Terrors of Guilt Cen'lin, Prince of Mercia Rhapsody Human Pleasure or Pain The Complaint of Fancy On the Eve of Departure from O To M.I. Translation from Metastasio from Della Casa Editha To M.I. Written in Zimmerman's Solitude To the Memory of Mr. Agostino Isola To the Nuns of Bodney Written in London Fragment Fragment Written April 18, 1796.



Ah! if your eye should e'er these lines survey, Dismiss from thence its penetrating ray: Let Criticism then her distance keep, And dreaded Justice then be lull'd to sleep; For, let whatever sentence be their due, I feel I cannot censure bear from you.

A British Maid awaits the arrival of her lover from the battle, on a hill, where, at its commencement, she had retired to make vows to heaven for his success. Evening .


Ah me! the yellow western sky turns pale, And leaves the cheerless sons of earth to mourn; And yet I hear net in the silent vale, A sound to tell me Arthur does return.

Ah, haste ye hours! quick plume the loit'ring wing! Bring back my hero, crown'd with glorious spoils! Let bards on lofty harps his triumphs sing, And loud applause repay successful toils!

Reward the flame, ye great... Continue reading book >>

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