Unskill'd in Numbers & poetic flight

First Line Unskill'd in Numbers & poetic flight
Addressee Sally Bate
Addressee Arabella Bate
Author Eleanor Peart
Date 1768

Occasional (Presentation of gift book) [Family; Literature]. 

Transcribed from Bodleian Eng. Poet. e.28.


Unskill’d in Numbers & poetic flight,

How shall the Blushing Muse presume to write,

Unform’d my Thoughts, and negligent my Lays,

Can I appear a Candidate for praise?

O! Did those raptures in my bosom glow,

Which in my Hebes Accents flow,

Unbid I would confess the pleasing Theme,

And stand Intrepid in the Lists of fame;

Pleas’d with the tryal trace out human Life,

Through all it is Scenes of happiness and strife,

The hopes, and fears, which on its state attend,

And how in Death those different passions end,

With Tuneful Voice describe the realms above,

The blissful Seats of harmony and Love;

Or Could my Conscious Muse but fully trace,

The silent Virtues, which Dione Grace;

How much her Hearts from low desires refin’d

How Read her Eyes the Transcript of her Mind;

Her tender Care, and Grief for the distrest,

Her joys unfeign’d to see true Merit bless’d,

Her Soul so form’d for every Social Care;

A Friend so Generous, Ardent, and Sincere!

I’d paint in hers my Hebes lovely Mind,

Beauteous as her Face, and as her Verse refin’d,

I’d shew that Mind, with every grace inspir’d

Whom first I only for her Lays Admir’d! –

These are the lofty Subjects I would chuse,

But these transcend my Inexperienc’d Muse,

The too Unequal Theme I must decline,

And to Abler Pens the Glorious Task resign;

Go Thou, then beauteous Emblematic Book,

And bid thy Lovely Owners, on thee look,

Go tell my Dione, her Flora sends

In thee, the Model of her much lov’d Friends,

Thy fair outside, most beautifully Neat,

In outward form resembles them! compleat.

Thy spotless form within, unblemish’d as refin’d

Is Just a faithful Copy of their Mind

For they in Virtue shine, as elegantly bright

As Thou in all thy Folds of darling White

Tell! Ah Tell the much lov’d pair,

As Dione thour’t pure, as Hebe fair.