A Song to the Ladies of Britain

With the pleasures that Providence loves to bestow,
There wisely is blended some portion of woe;
For bounty would injure, if always profuse:
Sweet (as Shakespeare has said) is adversity’s use.

That adversity mortals would eagerly shun,
Is a vapour that softens too scorching a sun:
And distress, so much dreaded, is ill understood,
Since it frequently turns to a permanent good.

’Tis a soil, that of virtue irradiates the gem;
’Tis a source of exertion; of talents a stem;
’Tis a flood that impregnates the soil it o’erflows;
’Tis a briar that bears the Jerusalem rose.

Ye daughters of Britain! this island for you
Was formed as a paradise, sweet to the view;
And your charms, when displayed in their own native worth,
Are the darlings of nature, the pride of the earth!

While your graces domestic with honor declare,
Love and modesty shine in the true British fair;
While to catch foreign follies ye wish not to roam,
Duties, made you delight, will endear your blest home.

Whatsoever afflictions may flow o’er this land
They flow, but to bid her quick virtues expand;
And to prove to the world, while her fame she maintains
As the Lord of her bosom, benificence reigns.

So she speaks to her sons, with that powerful voicee,
In which she has taught their warm hearts to rejoice,
When she says with a force, that no perils can smother,
“’Tis the glory of Britons to succour each other.”

With the love of the soul, may thy dignified race
Brave Britain! their parent for ever embrace;
In their age may they bless thee, as blest by their youth
Thou dear land of delight! thou fair temple of truth!