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An Apology Written For My Son To The Reverend Mr. Sampson, - Poem by Mary Barber (Barber Mary)

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With Joy your Summons we obey, And come to celebrate this Day. Yet I, alas! despair to please; For you require exalted Lays: And, let me write whate'er I will, You'll think my Verse deficient still; Altho' the Task I now decline, Asks no Assistance from the Nine; For Nature, better far than Art, Can paint the honest, grateful Heart. Heav'n knows how much I rack'd my Head, (For beaten Paths I scorn to tread) To tell the Vice--Roy something new, Who graciously distinguish'd you; Who had your Merit in his Eye, When Prelates often pass'd it by. What Blessings must the People share, Where Virtue is the Ruler's Care! Some Lines I wrote; which seem'd so fine, My Mother cry'd, ``They can't be thine: (Alas! there needs but little Care In Sons, to please a Mother's Ear) ``Maro might own such Lines as these, ``Nor with more Elegance could praise: ``This is the true poetic Fire: ``But such a Subject must inspire: ``What beauteous Images are here! ``Constantia help'd you now, I fear: ``It must be so; you are not able-- Then I by Chance upon the Table The Birth of manly Virtue spy'd; So threw my useless Pen aside. And set my Verses in a Flame, Nor dar'd to touch the hallow'd Theme: For there the God his Pow'r displays, And leaves no Room for mortal Praise. Mary Barber

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