Elizabeth Gooch, “To a Friend”


“To a Friend”


To lose my visionary life
Has been my dearest wish of late;
Tir’d of the world’s eternal strife,
I bow beneath the storms of Fate.

Condemn’d to misery and pain,                                                 5
Long have I wander’d, long suppress’d
The chilling marks of cold disdain
From those in whom I once was blest!

But, ah! the rankling wound can ne’er
Within my bosom’s core be heal’d;                                    10
Those pangs are always most severe
That in the heart remain conceal’d.

Retirement’s haunts at length invite
To promis’d scenes of future peace;
There, if I cannot hope delight,                                                  15
Oppressive tumults yet may cease.

Ah ! strive not then by tender care
To lure me from my fix’d abode,
On Earth my fate is fell despair—
In Heav’n—my Judge will be my God!                                20


9 rankling “To fester, esp. to a degree that causes pain” (OED).

13 Retirement “A secluded or private place; a retreat” (OED).

16 tumults “Great disturbance of mind or feeling” (OED).

19 fell “Intensely painful or destructive” (OED).

SOURCE:  Poems on Various Subjects (London, 1793), pp. 10-11. [Google Books]

Edited by Halsey Williamson