Tag Archives: Mary Darwall

Mary Darwall, “Hymn to Plutus”




PLUTUS! to thee I bow, to thee alone,
And, prostrate, worship at thy splendid throne.
To thee, great god of ocean, earth and air,
My heart ascends, and thus prefers its pray’r.

O! grant thy vot’ry wealth, howe’er ‘tis gain’d,                                       5
By murders blotted, by corruption stain’d,
By grov’lling arts, which virtuous fools despise,
Who wish for wealth, yet scorn the ways to rise:
Still let them court that empty bubble, fame,
Be self-applause their riches, peace their claim.                                          10
Such rebels to thy sway my soul disdains,
Theirs be the glory, Plutus! mine the gains.
For me let Phoebus, with intenser ray,
Pour o’er Peruvian mines the blazing day;
Tho’ Pan’s fair flocks bestrew the high parch’d plains,                                 15
Brown Ceres droop, and breathless faint the swains,
Tho’ sable slaves in countless myriads die,
Beneath the influence of the fervid sky,
What is’t to me, who, in this temp’rate isle,
At southern heat, and Greenland winters smile?                                          20
To me propitious is the scorching beam,
Tho’ sick’ning nature gasp beneath the gleam;
Since to this kind, prolific warmth I owe
The diamond’s blaze, and ruby’s heighten’d glow:
This to all-pow’rful gold matures the ore,                                                       25
For which the suppliant crowd thy shrine adore.
Do I forget, or break a promise made,—
Must I be tied to servile rules of trade?
No:—Liberty from ample fortune springs
To spurn beneath my foot such trivial things.                                                 30

Shou’d the small number, who on honor doat,
And feast on virtue in a thread-bare coat,
Say, I by falsehood and collusion gain’d
The darling end, for which each nerve was strain’d;
Whilst I enjoy the permanent delight                                                                35
Of solid gold, I’ll swear THEIR BLACK IS WHITE.
Tho’ tongue-tied truth may blame the bold design,
The world will honor me, whilst wealth is mine:
Then, PLUTUS, grant me wealth; to thee I bend,
And my devotion but with life shall end.                                                          40


Title  PLUTUS  “Greek God of Wealth, rewards the just with wealth and reduces the unjust to penury” (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters).

vot’ry  “A person who has dedicated himself or herself to religious service by taking vows; a monk or nun” (OED).

13  Phoebus  “Greek God of the sun; the sun personified” (OED).

15  Pan  “Greek God of flocks and herds” (OED).

16  Ceres  “In Roman religion, goddess of the growth of food plants” (Britannica).

17  myriads  “Multitudes” (OED).

36  I’ll swear THEIR BLACK IS WHITE  Proverbial for vigorously maintaining something in order to get what one wants.

SOURCE:  Poems on Several Occasions, vol. 1 (Walsall, 1794), pp. 41-44.  [Google Books]

Edited by Lauryn Orozco

Anonymous, “Tears of Affection”


“Tears of Affection”


Wak’d are the woodland wild notes sweet,
The dappled morn’s approach to greet;
Yet, while they vibrate on my ear,
Down my sad bosom falls the tear:
I view the smiling landscape round,                                 5
I hear the torrent’s distant sound,
I listen to each song of joy,
I gaze upon the azure sky;
But sick’ning Fancy turns away
From ev’ry charm of perfum’d May.                                 10

Oh! let me seek solemn gloom,
That hovers mournful round the tomb,
Where rest a Parent’s lov’d remains!—
There will I pour in hopeless strains
The bitter plaints of agony,                                                 15
That Fate, unpitying, dooms for me.
Complaint may save my fever’d brain
From starting frenzy’s ghastly train.
That dreary vault, whose womb contains
A sainted Parent’s cold remains,                                        20
His holy shade may hover round,
And listen to each plaintive sound,
That speaks affection’s ceaseless woe;—
May view the streaming tears that flow.

That holy shade perhaps may pour                              25
Calm resignation o’er my breast,
And bid me wait the blissful hour
When ev’ry tortur’d sense shall rest;
When my glad soul to heav’n shall soar,
And drink of sorrow’s cup no more.                                   30


6 torrent A violent or tumultuous flow, onrush, or ‘stream’” (OED).

8 azure “The clear blue colour of the unclouded sky” (OED).

15 plaints “Audible expression of sorrow; such an expression in verse or song, a lament” (OED).

22 plaintive “Afflicted by sorrow; grieving, lamenting; suffering” (OED).

25-26 “On the supposition that our departed friends are permitted to become our Guardian Angels” [Author’s note].

31 Z.  This is marked as one of the poems that was “given to the author by two young friends, who never intended to publish in their own names, but were content to roll down the stream of time, or sink into oblivion with her they loved” (“Advertisement,” Poems on Several Occasions, vol. I, p. ii).

Source: [Mary] Darwall, Poems on Several Occasions, vol. II (Walsall, 1794), pp. 132-134.  [Google Books]

Edited by Ebony Conner

Mary Darwall, “Elegy on a much lamented Friend, Who died in Autumn, 1759”


“ELEGY on a much lamented Friend, Who died in Autumn, 1759”


Yet the dull Death-bell smites my trembling Ear;
Yet Fancy sickens o’er Fidelia’s Bier;
Ye weeping Muses, wake the mournful Lyre!
Ye laughing Loves, and jocund Sports, retire!
Fantastic Mirth, and all the smiling Train                                                         5
Of fair Festivity, forsake the Plain!
While gloomy Grief, and ev’ry chearless Pow’r,
Throw darker Horrors o’er this Midnight Hour.
Vot’ries of Woe, your painful Dirges sing!
No more the Muse attunes the sprightly String.                                           10
All, all the Scenes of Joy and Beauty fly,
Clouds dim the Sun, and Tears bedew the Sky:
Fidelia’s Loss see Nature’s self bewail!
Weep in the Stream, and languish in the Gale!
No more the vocal Natives of the Grove                                                          15
Chear the dark Shades, or chant their Songs of Love.
No more the Shepherds pipe, the Virgins sing;
No More the Vales with various Echoes ring:
But pale, and sad, each rural Nymph appears,
With Locks neglected, Eyes be-dim’d with Tears.                                            20
Fidelia’s dead!” they cry, and all around –
Fidelia dead!” the cavern’d Rocks rebound.
Accept, dear Shade, this fondly streaming Tear,
That Friendship sheds on thy untimely Bier.
Ah! what did thy superior Worth avail?                                                            25
Still, still oppos’d by Fortune’s adverse Gale;
Thro’ Life aspers’d by Envy’s black’ning Breath,
Pursu’d by Malice to the Gates of Death;
There, only there the painful Scene was o’er,
All Wrongs forgot, and Anguish wept no more.                                               30
There cold, and peaceful, dear Fidelia sleeps;
No more with palid Care long Vigils keeps;
And there shall sleep, in equal Night inurn’d,
The Friend that lov’d her, and the Fool that scorn’d.
There, wrapt in Shade impervious, Newton lies;                                       35
There lifeless Lely’s Hand, and Myra’s Eyes;
There Thomson’s Harp forgets the moral Song,
Deaf Handel’s Ear, and silent Milton’s Tongue.
There ev’n this Heart, which melts to strains of Woe,
Shall cease to grieve, these streaming Eyes to flow:                                        40
This weary Clay, to Death’s cold Arms consign’d,
Shall give to kindred Skies th’ immortal Mind.


1 Death-bell  “A bell rung at a person’s death or funeral” (OED).

4 jocund  “Feeling, expressing, or communicating mirth or cheerfulness” (OED); Lyre  “A stringed instrument of the harp kind, used by the Greeks for accompanying song and recitation” (OED).

9 Vot’ries Devotees; Dirges  “A song sung at the burial of, or in commemoration of the dead” (OED).

13 bewail  “To wail over, to utter wailings or cries of sorrow over the dead” (OED).

18 Vales  Valleys.

19 Nymph  “Any of a class of semi-divine spirits, imagined as taking the form of a maiden inhabiting the sea, rivers, mountains, woods, trees, etc., and often portrayed in poetry as attendants on a particular god” (OED).

24 Bier  “The movable stand on which a corpse, whether in a coffin or not, is placed before burial; that on which it is carried to the grave” (OED).

33 inurn’d  “To put (the ashes of a cremated body) in an urn; hence transferred, to entomb, bury, inter”  (OED).

35 Newton  Sir Issac Newton (1642-1727), “English physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

36 Lely  Sir Peter Lely, (1618-1680), Dutch-born “Baroque portrait painter known for his Van Dyck-influenced likenesses of the mid-seventeenth century English aristocracy” (Encylopaedia Britannica); Myra  Likely a reference to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, “one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches and now traditionally associated with the festival of Christmas” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

37 Thomson  James Thomson, (1700-1748), Scottish poet, best known for his long poem, The Seasons; “An Ode on Aeolus’s Harp” is likely referenced in this line (Encylopaedia Britannica).

38 Handel  George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), “German-born composer of the late Baroque era, noted particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions” (Encylopaedia Britannica);  Milton  John Milton, (1608-1674), “poet, pamphleteer, and historian” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

Source: Original Poems on Several Occasions.  By Miss Whateley (London 1764), pp. 23-25. [Google Books]

Edited by Megan Mather

Mary Darwall, “To my Garden”


“To my Garden”

Fair Abode of Rural Ease,
Scene of Beauty, and of Peace!
When with anxious Care opprest,
Charm, O! charm my Soul to rest!
In thy Walks I musing trace                                               5
Youthful Flora’s various Race;
In thy fragrant Shades reclin’d,
Soothe with Song my vacant Mind.
When the God of Verse and Day,
Lends the Western World his Ray;                                   10
While the Virgin Queen of Night,
Sheds around her Silver Light;
While Favonius breathes a Gale,
Sweet as o’er Sabea’s Vale;
Here retir’d, in artless Lays,                                              15
Nature’s Daughter sings her Praise.
While the blushing Rose-bud vies
With the fring’d Carnation’s Dyes;
While chaste Daphne’s Branches twine
With the balmy Eglantine;                                                 20
Beauty’s Pow’rs my Mind inspire,
Bolder now I strike the Lyre.
But the trembling Strings rebound,
“Sweet Philander!” Darling Sound!
Not the friendly Western Gales                                         25
Dancing o’er the verdant Vales,
Nor the Black-bird’s Evening Strains,
Soothe the Breast where Cupid reigns.
Flora’s Charms no more I view;
No more the Heav’n’s etherial Blue;                                  30
Unheeded Philomel complains;
In vain fair Cynthia gilds the Plains:
Beauty fades, and Pleasure’s flown—
My Mind contemplates him alone.


6  Flora  The Roman “goddess of the flowering of plants” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

9  God of Verse and Day  Apollo, god of the sun and poetry (Encyclopedia Britannica).

11  Virgin Queen of Night  Diana, Roman goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and later the moon after connections were made between her and the Greek goddess Artemis (Encyclopedia Britannica).

13  Favonius  Roman god of the west wind, also known as Zephyrus in the Greek tradition, who kissed a nymph named Chloris and turned her into Flora (Encyclopedia Britannica).

14  Sabea  Pre-Islamic Southwestern Arabia (Encyclopedia Britannica).

16  Nature’s Daughter  Persephone, queen of the underworld and daughter of Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture (Encyclopedia Britannica).

19  Daphne’s Branches A reference to a laurel tree; according to Greek mythology, Daphne asked her father to turn her into a laurel tree in order to escape Apollo’s advances (Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology).

20  Eglantine  Small, prickly wild rose with fragrant foliage and numerous small pink flowers (Encyclopedia Britannica).

28  Cupid  The Roman god of “love in all its varieties” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

30  etherial  Archaic spelling of “ethereal,” “heavenly, celestial” (OED).

31  Philomel  Also known as “Philomela;” here the mythological personification of the nightingale.

32  Cynthia  “A poetic name for the Moon personified as a goddess” (OED).

Source: Original Poems on Several Occasions.  By Miss Whateley (London 1764), pp. 98-99. [Google Books]

Edited by Jordie Palmer

Mary Darwall, “To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”


“To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”

My much belov’d, my gentle friend,
May ev’ry happiness attend
Thy health’s returning bloom;
May fell disease, and grief, and pain,
With all their dire afflictive train,                                                 5
No longer be thy doom.

Th’ autumnal sun now shines serene,
Rich Ceres beautifies each scene,
And plenty laughs around;
The woods, the hills, the vales look gay,                                  10
O! hither come, and every day
With rapture shall be crown’d.

Come, range with me the verdant lawn,
And hear the lark at early dawn
His sprightly matin trill;                                                        15
Or, with my little playful throng,
At eve enjoy the blackbird’s song,
Beside some gurgling rill.

But wheresoe’er my friend shall stray,
May peace and pleasure smooth her way,                               20
And health and fortune smile;
May love, with all his choicest flowr’s,
For thee adorn his myrtle bowr’s,
And all thy cares beguile.

May some gay youth, fond, kind, and true,                               25
My SYLVIA’s worthy heart subdue
To Hymen’s gentle pow’r;
Soft may the silken fetters prove,
Distrust or doubt ne’er chill your love,
But peace gild every hour!                                                    30


8 Ceres “The Roman goddess of the growth of food” (Britannica).

10 vales “A more or less extensive tract o f land lying between two ranges of hills” (OED).

14 lark “A name used generally for any bird of the Alaudidae family” (OED).

15 matin “The morning song of birds” (OED); trill “To utter or sing (a note, tune, etc.) with tremulous vibration of sound” (OED).

18 rill “Small stream; a brook; a rivulet” (OED).

23 myrtle bowr’s “Any various evergreen shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrtus” (OED).

27 Hymen “In Greek mythology, the god of marriage” (Britannica).

28 fetters “Chains for the legs” (Johnson).

30 gild “To cover entirely or partially with a thin layer of gold” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1794), pp. 26­-28. [ Google Books]

Edited by Sandy Karkar