Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Scottish Poetry XXVI

On Reading Hutchison on the Passions
by Charlotte Lennox

Thou who thro' Nature's Faults can rove,
And shew what Springs the eager Passions move;
Teach us to combat Anger, Grief and Fear,
Recal the Sigh, and stop the falling Tear.
Oh, be thy soft Philosophy addrest,
To the untroubled Ear and tranquil Brest:
To these be all thy peaceful Notions taught,
Who idly rove amidst a Calm of Thought:
Whose Soul by Love or Hate were ne'er possesst,
Who ne'er were wretched, and who ne'er were blest:
Whose fainter Wishes, Pleasures, Fears remain,
Dreams but of Bliss and Shadows of a Pain;
Serenely stupid; so some shallow Stream
Flows thro' the winding Valleys still the same:
Whom no rude Wind can ever discompose,
Who fears no Winter Rain, or falling Snows;
But slowly down its flow'ry Borders creeps,
And the soft Zephyr on its Bosom sleeps.
Oh couldst thou teach the tortur'd Soul to know,
With Patience, each Extreme of human Woe;
To bear with Ills, and unrepining prove
The Frowns of Fortune, and the Racks of Love:
Still should my Breast some quiet Moments share,
Still rise superior to each threatning Care:
Nor fear approaching Ills, or distant Woes,
But in Philander's Absence find Repose.

'Hutchison' is Francis Hutcheson, the moral philosopher; in the period there is no consistency in how his name is spelled.

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