When the grey evening spreads a calm around,
Tell me, has thy bewilder’d fancy sought,
Retir’d in some sequestered spot of ground,
Rest, from the labour of eternal thought?
When, wrapt in self, the soul enjoys repose,
The wearied brain resigns its fervent heat,
In dream-like musing every care we lose,
And wind our way with slowly-moving feet.
Oft, to indulge the thought-exploded sig,
When, slowly wandering at the close of day,
Light emanations from th’abstracted eye,
With transient beauty in the sun-beams play,
Thy sister seeks the solitary shade.
Her mind inhaling the aerial gloom,
Sees, not-observing, the fair landscape fade,
And sullen mist usurping day-light’s room.
Not her’s the feelings which regret inspires,
When sorrows keen have made the spirits low;
Adversity has damp’d the youthful fires,
And all the tears that fall are tears of woe.
Ah no! possessing every social bliss,
I cannot, will not at my fate repine;
Or ask for happiness excelling this,
When such a world of treasures now are mine!
And, when the melancholy grove I seek,
Scarce can my palpitating heart controul,
While silent tears are trembling on my cheek,
The flood of pleasure swelling in my soul.
But soon my too-elated thoughts are calm,
The tumults of the mental chaos cease;
A soft oblivion the rais’d senses charm,
And lull to a reflecting, soothing peace.
Hail, sweet enhancements of the languid mind!
Whose calm reposes restless worldlings scorn;
But from whose aid recruited strength we find,
And waken, lively as the bird of morn.
And thou, lov’d boy, in whose congenial breast,
I doubt not but those sentiments reside;
For we, our thoughts, our actions have confest,
As much in hearts as persons are allied;
Hail thou, my brother! may thy steps be led
By heav’nly wisdom through this world of care,
And gain the realms for which our Saviour, bled!
Nor pain, nor lassitude await us there.
OCTOBER 13, 1794.
Mary Matilda Betham (16 November 1776 – 30 September 1852)
Mary Matilda Betham, born in Stradbroke, Suffolk, England, was an English diarist, poet, woman of letters, and miniature portrait painter.Her painted were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1804 to 1816. Her first of four books of verses was published in 1797. For six years, she researched remarkable historical women worldwide and published A Biographical Dictionary of the Celebrated Women of Every Age and Country in 1804.