by Elizabeth Bentley
WHAT glorious vision charms my wond'ring sight!
A Goddess with benignant smile appears;
Her graceful form, attir'd in robes of light,
And in her hand a rural pipe she bears.
'Tis Gratitude! I know the heav'nly Maid!
Whose bosom's with ecstatic feelings fraught;
Love and respect are in her mien display'd,
Her anxious looks express each inmost thought.
Receive, she cries, receive this pipe, and play
Such sounds as I shall dictate to thine ear;
For lib'ral deeds demand thy noblest lay,
Such lays as Angels might with pleasure hear.
Spare me, bright Goddess! how shall words impart
Thy glowing sentiments which fire my breast?
Such shining, gen'rous deeds o'erwhelm my heart
With transports, ah! too great to be exprest.
O! had I POPE'S or GRAY'S harmonious lyre,
O'er Nature's paths with THOMPSON could I tread,
Or catch one vivid ray of SHAKESPEAR'S fire,
Or follow where seraphic MILTON led.
Then would my Muse expand her ardent wings,
And far beyond these nether regions soar;
Drink deeply at Parnassus' hallow'd springs,
And Fancy's airy heights with ease explore.
Then, led by chearful Hope, unaw'd by Fear,
I'd bend a constant vot'ry at thy shrine;
Such notes as thou should'st whisper to mine ear,
Should breathe melodious through the flowing line.
But since unerring Fate's divine decree
Has fix'd my lot to ring in humbler strain,
I'll sound the simplest shell, content to be
The last and lowest of the tuneful train.
Last updated January 14, 2019