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Dear Erskine too, whose eyes dispense
Her
pure

soul's bright intelligence,
Whose look is truth, whose speech is verity,
Whose genius, honour, and sincerity,
Live ever in my recollection,
I'd almost said my best affection,
I would not shock with adulation,
But view with silent admiration :
Her mother's dignity commanding,
And more than female understanding,
And probity so prais’d by you,
Esteem demand as tribute due.

Kind C***s! could I her worth rehearse, Might likewise claim a grateful verse; Her quickness, humour, lively ease, Her never-failing wish to please, Might with her friendly warmth combine, To win a harder heart than mine; But children nurs’d in fortune's lap, Are fed so soon with flattery's pap, And so surrounded by duplicity, They lose all relish for simplicity : Folks jealous, rusticated, shy, Shrink from

gay

fashion's critic eye: Nor pour

the cordial soul in vain, Check'd by the dread of cold disdain:

I'm tir'd, and so I swear are you, And sleep now claims her drowsy due: May pleasing visions gently spread Their airy wings around your

head ! For my part, I devoutly hope To see six ladies in a groupe, And C***s, with laddle in her hand, Dispensing mirth and negus bland ; Since our best pleasures will not last, Let us in dreams live o'er the past.

ODE TO HYGEIA:

ADDRESSED TO THE LATE MRS WILLIAM SPROT,

EDINBURGH :-SPRING 1779.

Drops that from my fountain pure,

" I have kept of precious cure.

MILTON.

DAUGHTER

AUGHTER of Exercise and calm Content,

By Temperance nourish'd in the shady vale,
Where Dian's nymphs resort with bows unbent,

To taste the freshness of the morning gale ;
Divine Hygeia, turn thy steps again,
Nor let the plaintive Muse implore in vain !

Oh, coy disdainful maid, in native charms array'd,

Beyond the needless pageantry of art, Time was, thy radiant smile could every care beguile,

And shed sweet influence o'er my drooping heart.

Why, goddess, have thy lovely eyes

Their azure beams withdrawn?
Dost thou my artless prayer despise ?

When oft at morning dawn
I lift pure hands from guilt and interest free,
And humbly seek for friendship, peace, and thee !

Return, inconstant fair, while thro' the soften'd air

Mild zephyrs waft the balmy breath of spring,

And budding woods with early music ring. Ah! what avails their bloom, or all the soft perfume

Yon dewy violet banks exhale to me, While thro’the birchen grove, with lingering steps Irove,

And vainly trace thy wonted haunts for thee !

*

Yet while in Clutha's winding vale
Light floating on the western gale,
Thy spirit cheers my friend,

,
To thee shall grateful songs arise,
To thee the rural sacrifice

In fragrant fumes ascend *.

* The Lady to whom this poem was addressed, was then in a declining state of health, and preparing to go to the sea-side for the benefit of bathing. She recovered partially, but died much lamented, in the 26th year of her age, 1783.

And where Edina's turrets rise,
Tho' smoky wreaths obscure the skies,

And vapours taint the air,
Thy soft ambrosial pinions spread
O'er lov'd Asteria's drooping head,

"And soothe the languid fair.

And see, to wooe thee down, she quits the noisy town, In

quest of thee she seeks the breezy shore ; On Ocean's stormy breast, thou oft art found to rest, His green-hair'd nymphs thy wat'ry haunts explore.

And when with trembling hope she laves,
Oh shed thy influence o'er the waves,

Her bloom restore, her health renew;
There let her hail thy form divine,
Emerging from the foamy brine,

Like Venus on the dazzled view !

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