The Spirit of the Attic Chest

Miss Flaxman

To the Editress

Pent as by magic in the dark recess
Of thy poetic Chest, fair maid I lay,
Long as a Lapland night, the term I guess
Unseen thy smiles, unseen the light of day.
The summer months flew by, unmark'd by me
Unhappy captive of the infant Muse,
Who careless sporting in the sunny ray
Forgot her Chest, forgot her poor recluse...

But lovely summer and rich autumn past,
I hail thee winter as a long lost friend,
I love to hear the storm and wintry blast
They say captivity is at an end,
Now fall Parnassian dews in gentle show'rs,
Through the kind aperture above my head,
Refreshing, as the dews of heav'n to flow'rs
Are these sweet drops, by friends ingenious shed.

First falls the stately ode, with rushing sound
And thund'ring grandeur to the deep profound,
And now a gentle fluttering reveals
That some soft sonnet to the bottom steals
The sighing elegy with movement grave,
Seeks an asylum in the Muse's cave,
With sprightly air the epigrams advance,
Buoyant the witty trifles seem to dance;
Charades and rebuses sometimes descend,
For even these are welcome from a friend.

And now material smiles dispel the gloom,
That for long months had clouded all the room,
Congratulating friends now seated round
And wit, and tea, and compliments abound;
At length the board's remov'd, and ev'ry guest,
Longs for the opening of the mystic Chest.

Rejoice with me, ye votaries of the Nine
The moment comes & happiness is mine.