To a Lady

To a lady distinguished by her dutiful attention to an aged parent

 Ah! why has Nature with a wayward hand
Cast on yon pathless rock that blushing rose
 But to the dews of heaven its leaves expand
But to the vagrant gales its scents disclose
Unseen it droops its unsupported head,
And strews with silken leaves a flinty bed.

 But see, my Anna, how that hoary oak
Its ample arms it heaves amidst the skies
 See, from its own paternal branches shook,
Beneath its shade, a sapling kindred rise
Its sacred head their filial boughs defend,
While struggling trees the winter tempests rend.

 Thus gently Anna sinks the aged breast
As ardour flags and human visions cease,
 When sooth’d by dutious arts like thine to rest
High-favor’d few that thus decline to peace!
No pious praise of saints nor holy prayer
As scenes like this to heav’n is half so dear.