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Poems,

By
Ellen Taylor,
The
Irish Cottager.

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom’d caves of Ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”
Gray.

Printed by G. Draper, Grafton-Street. 17921792.

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Introduction.

The Authoress of the following little Poems, tho’ in a state of the
most retired obscurity, has by the natural efforts of Genius attracted the
attention of the Public. A few lines written by her appeared some time
ago in one of our News-papers; in which were such strong effusions of
feeling and sensibility, as induced the Editor to make minute enquiries
into the life and situation of the Writer. It appears that she was the
the daughter of an indigent Cottager, in a remote part of the Queen’s
County; who had barely the ability to afford common sustenance to her
and a numerous family during his life-time: of course it was out of his
power to educate this promising genius in a more extensive manner,
than by having her instructed in the most common rudiments of reading
and writing: on the death of her father even these scanty resources
failed, as what little property he left, devolv’d to her elder brother,
whose conduct our Authoress noticed in one of her Poems, written on the
death of her favourite younger brother, with whom she lived in great
poverty, tho’ seemingly happy and content, until it pleased heaven to
afflict this her “protector, brother, friend,” (as she pathetically calls
him) with a lingering disorder which terminated in his death. During
his tedious and severe illness the kind and affectionate Ellen attended him
with unremitting care and assiduity, and was obliged in order to support
and alleviate his sufferings, to sell every article she possess’d; even some
favourite books which were given her by a friend in her neighbourhood,
as a mark of approbation and reward for her talents and genius: thus
reduced, she offered herself as a servant in a Gentleman’s Family near
where she lived, and continued n that situation for some time, always
behaving with great propriety and good conduct; but her affliction for
her brother’s death, and a melancholy turn of mind ocasioned by her
many and different distresses, rendered her unfit for a service where
activity and labour were actually necessary; she was therefore dismiss’d,
but for no particular fault or misconduct: during her residence A2 in A2v
in this family she wrote the first Poem inserted in the collection now
offered to the Public, and which drew the attention of a Gentleman then
on a visit at her master’s house, who on going into the drawing-room
early one morning just as Ellen had finished cleaning it, observed her
standing before a Print, which resembled a female figure leaning in a
weeping attitude on an Urn; our Authoress had a written paper in her
hand, and appeared drowned in tears; the Gentleman requested to know
the cause of her grief, and also what the paper contained which seemed
to affect her so much; with modesty and reluctance she shewed the paper;
which to the Gentleman’s great astonishment contained the lines before-mentioned,
as the first in this collection: It now becomes almost a
duty of the generous public, to prevent this beautiful field flower from
being buried (like Burn’s mountain daizy,) beneath the oppressive Ploughshare
of povery, and which may be prevented by the sale of her Poems;
the profits, and some liberal subscriptions, being intended for her sole use
and emolument: and the Public may rest assured that what-ever sum
may arise from the sale of these Poems, or from the subscription which
has been confined to a small circle, will most carefully be laid out in
order to procure her some permanent establishment, and rescue her from
extreme poverty, which she now experiences in a poor Hut on the Commons
of Lyons
; where to earn a scanty livelihood she keeps a small
day school, and receives a trifling pittance for teaching the poor children
in that neighbourhood to read and write: nor is she yet acquainted
with the good fortune that may attend this endeavour to serve her,—
the Editor having collected the Poems, and undertaken the publication of
them without her knowledge; waiting the success which it is hoped
they will meet with from a generous Public, ever ready to assist Genius
when sinking under poverty and distress.

A List A3r

A List
of
Patronage.

  • Countess Bective
  • Countess Mt. Cashell
  • Viscountess de Vesci
  • Viscountess Pery
  • Viscountess Northland
  • Hon. Mrs. Knox
  • Hon. Mrs. Wm. Knox
  • Hon. Mrs. Agar
  • Lady Barker
  • Mrs. Brownlow
  • Mrs. Latouche
  • Mrs. J. Latouche
  • Mrs. P. Latouch
  • Mrs. W. D. Latouche
  • Mrs. Monck
  • Mrs. Quin
  • Mrs. Alexander
  • Mrs. Vesey
  • Mrs. Frances Hamilton
  • Mrs. Forde
  • Mrs. Griffith
  • INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that cb is unmatched.
  • Mrs. Lefanu
  • Mrs. Lefanu
  • Mrs. Barry
  • Mrs. Walker
  • Miss M. A. Latouche
  • Miss G. Latouche
  • Miss Henderson
  • Miss Pomeroy
  • Miss Palmer
  • Miss Brownrigg
  • Archbishop of Cashell
  • Bishop of Kilmore
  • Solicitor General
  • Rev. Mr. Walker
  • Sir. Rob. Hodgson
  • Rev. Dr. Stock
  • Rev. Mr. Stokes
  • Rev. Dr. J. Buck
  • Richard Griffith, Esq;
  • Isaac Ambrose Eccles, Esq;
  • Thomas Tickell, Esq;
  • Wm. Green, Esq;
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Poems, A4r 1

Poems.

On seeing the Print of a Female Figure in a weeping
Attitude, leaning on an Urn.

Say, pretty weeping figure, say,

For whom it is you mourn;

Or by whose ashes thus you stay,

And grieving grasp his Urn?

Ah! say, when living by what name

He call’d you, or what part

Might he of the affections claim,

Of thy fond feeling Heart?

In thy unstudied flowing dress

No widows Weeds appear;

Then ’tis not Turtle’s tenderness,

That doth demand a tear.

Nor A4v 2

Nor on thy finger strait and long,

Appears the nuptial Ring;

Then ’tis not from a Mother’s pang,

That there thy Sorrows spring.

Ah! did one Parent bear ye both?

Was it one Milk ye drew?

Was he Companion of thy Youth?

And infant play-mate too?

Wou’d he find pleasure in thy mirth?

Wou’d he thy griefs console?

Or was his love as dews to Earth,

Refreshing to thy Soul?

Was he protector, brother, friend,

In every sense to thee?

Did blighting Death these comforts end

And rob thee of all three?

If so, fair figure, drink thy tears

In Luxury of Woe:

While mine drawn on by kindred cares,

In plenteous streams shall flow.

By B1r 3

By Ellen Taylor, on the Death of her Brother,
a Fragment.

Thy Labour’s o’er! thy bitter Cup is past!

Yes, dearest of my Soul, you’ve breath’d your last!

Thy feeble shatter’d frame has cast away,

And flown thro’ mercy to Eternal day:

No longer pain or sickness dost thou dread,

For thou hast found a place to lay thy head.

No more thy Brother’s unrelenting heart,

Shall slight thy wants, nor make thy bosom smart.

No longer indigence shall thee surround,

For thou with everlasting wealth art crown’d.

Thus Reason bids me bend to Heaven’s high will,

But this frail human nature claims thee still;

And says, too soon thy destin’d course was run,

Too soon thy hapless Sister left alone,—

As one who banish’d from his native Isle,

Thro foreign parts to roam a poor exile;

No more the dear society to prove,

Of those who lov’d him—nor of those he lov’d—

How oft in silent sorrow have I gaz’d

On thee—since dire consumption on thee seiz’d,

Whose every stage did me of hope bereave,

For well I saw ’twould bring thee to thy grave.—

No language can express my heart-felt pains,

When parting with thy lifeless, dear remains;

A last adieu! a final cold embrace;

No more to see thy best beloved face!

Say, dear departed shade, say wou’dst thou know,

The one that was thy Sister here below?

B In B1v 4

In whom beyond all else thou did’st confide,

By thee, in thy distresses to abide;

Whose name in trembling, dying accents hung,

To the last moments on thy faltering tongue.

If she thy fair example shou’d pursue,

And learn to live, and learn to die, like you:

When Death’s kind hand may guide her to that shore,

Where now thou art:—there meet to part no more.

Written on Miss Porter, during a lingering Illness.

Inow once more invoke the sacred muse,

Though I must own she long has dormant lain,

Yet hope at present she will not refuse

Me to assist, in this my plaintive strain.

Beneath you spire in the adjacent vale,

There stands a lonely hospitable feat;

Where art, and nature, try who’ll most prevail,

To render each embellishment compleat:

The shorn hedge-rows, mantled o’er with green,

The shady limes, in nicest order plac’d;

The Beech, and Elm, encrease the rural scene;

And all around proclaim the owner’s taste.

Ther once I lived, and though in servile state,

My situation was to me no pain,

Nor did I then regret my sordid fate;

For in that house, I could not feel the chain:

My B2r 5

My mistress, ever tender, good and kind,

I there received her mild commands each day;

Nor did it once disturb my peace of mind,

With utmost chearfulness her to obey.

An only daughter did the Mansion grace,

Whose sympathising soul and feeling heart,

To all around diffused nought but peace,

Nor could she bear to see another smart.

But ah! too soon, does lingering sickness come,

And by degrees consumes her tender prime;

For why the lady, in her youth and bloom,

Like frost-nipt blossoms, dropt before her time.

On Miss Porter, who died of a Decay, the Daughter of her
Master.

May he that cloaths the Lillies all in white,

Watch thee by day, and keep thy sleep by night.

May guardian angels always guide thy youth,

Never to err from sweet unspotted truth.

May every happiness on thee attend,

My benefactress, and my kindest friend:

Each pain that does her constitution mar,

Lord Jesus Christ may move them from her far;

If, Lord, thou wild, thou can’st her health restore;

Zeal, faith, and hope with mercy, can do more:

B2 As B2v 6

As round thy throne each Seraph bends the knee,

Proclaiming forth thy glorious Majesty.

On her lock down, and by thy heavenly aid

Restore to health once more, the virtuous maid,

To be the comfort of her parents age,

Each symptom of her malady assuage,

Return of health may every day presage!

This Poem address’d to a Gentleman, who had
lent her some Books.

Much thanks, good Sir, I to you kindness owe,

For ’tis from thence my present conforts flow;

You are the source—from whence it doth proceed,

That I, when time permits—can fit and read

O’er all the elegance of mind, and pen

Of these most learned celebrated men.—

What energy of thought,—what mood and tense;

What nervous force, and well-digested sense:

What intellectual strength, and beauties shine,

Through every sentence, and through every line!

First Milton doth me greet in words sublime;

And soaring, leads me to the dawn of time.

My soul enraptur’d, through untrodden ways,

Here roves at large, in the enchanting maze,

To see Creation’s infancy,—and view

Our common parents;—ere they sorrow knew.

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To hear their conversation, meek and plain

Ere sin or death did their dominion gain.—

See Thomson, next; with plain familiar dress,

Tho’ not so grand, more easy of access:

Through ages more mature doth sweetly trace

The numerous offspring of old Adam’s race.

Despises no the Peasant’s humble lot,

Nor scorns to peep into the meanest cot;

Describes the annual seasons, as they roll,

With kind good-nature, mingled thro’ the whole.—

School’d by adversity, great Young doth shew

What short-liv’d happiness we’ve here below:

With sentiments exalted and refin’d,

Paints all the woes, that wait upon Mankind;

The complicated mass, of grief and cares,

That doth attend us, thro’ this vale of tears;

But oh! what consolation doth he bring;

What healing comforts, thro’ his words do spring,

When immortality he doth pursue,

And brings our promis’d glory into view?

That lasting series of heav’nly joys,

So far superior to all earthly toys;

Where pomp and precedence, for ever cease,

And all alike enjoy eternal peace.—

Since, sir, I stand indebted thus to thee;

For all that in these pages I now see:

Then may thy sentimental soul ne’er know

The pangs, that do from adverse fortune flow:

May all that’s truly righteous good, and great

Here, and hereafter, be thy happy fate!

Written B3v 8

Written by the Barrow side, where she was sent to
wash Linen.

Thy banks, O Barrow, sure must be

The Muses choicest haunt;

Else why so pleasing thus to me,

Else why my Soul enchant!

To view thy dimpled surface here,

Fond fancy bids me stay;

But Servitude with brow austere,

Commands me straight away:

Were Lethe’s virtues in thy stream,

How freely wou’d I drink,

That not so much as on the name

Of Books, I e’er might think.

I can but from them learn to know

What’s misery compleat,

And feel more sensibly each blow,

Dealt by relentless fate.

In them I oft have pleasure found,

But now it’s all quite fled,

With fluttering heart, I lay me down,

And rise with aching head.

For such a turn, ill suits the sphere

Of life in which I move,

And rather does a load of care,

Than any comfort prove.

Thrice B4r 9

Thrice happy she condemned to move

Beneath the servile weight,

Whose thoughts ne’er soar one inch above,

The standard of her fate.

But far more happy is the soul,

Who feels the pleasing sense;

And can indulge without controul,

Each thought that flows from thence.

Since nought of these my portion is,

But the reverse of each;

That I shall taste but little bliss,

Experience doth me teach.

Cou’d cold insensibility,

Thro’ my whole frame take place;

Sure then from grief I might be free,

Yes, then I’d hope for peace.

On the Death of Mr. Mark, a Merchant in Limerick.

The Publick papers this sad news doth tell,

Thy mortal part is numbered with the dead:

Laid in the silent grave, at ease to dwell;

But precious spirit, whither art thou fled?

Say, hast thou entered the Celestial gate,

Blest with the Crown, that’s to the Righteous due;

Or dost thou on thy darling daughter wait,

And watch her steps as guardian Angels do?

What, B4v 10

What, tho’ no fable Escutcheons grace thy Bier!

Nor crested Marble do thy virtues tell!

Yet, shall they ever flourish fresh and fair,

As the green turf, that o’er thy breast doth swell.

For thou wer’t all that justice cou’d commend,

Wer’t as the Turtle constant to thy mate;

A tender Father and a faithful friend;

Nor stood the poor, unheeded at thy gate.

Such as in servile station eat thy bread;

Thy courteous carriage tow’rds them, was so mild,

As fill’d their hearts with reverence, not dread;

For thou wert ever gentle, good and kind.

And tho’ thy Ships with Indian treasures fill’d,

Did thro’ the parted waves in grandeur ride;

Yet did thy meek, thy humble soul ne’er yield,

To aught like vanity, or sordid pride.

Thy morn, thy noon, and to thy latest eve,

Blameless as any born of Adam’s race;

With chearfulness thy mortal life did give,

To enter that of everlasting peace.

On the Death of the Rev. Mr. ――

Ithee again invoke, thou Heaven-born maid!

Yes, I once more do thy assistance ask;

And if thou do’st refuse to lend thy aid;

My feeble pen’s unequal to the task.

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To sing of Virtues quite to me unknown,

Save only information brought by fame,

Of real merit which to Heaven is flown,

And left behind a never dying name.

Scarce had the grey-ey’d morn sprang from above,

Scarce had the Lark his mattin song began;

When the kind Doctor full of truth and love,

Had rode abroad to see the bed-sick man.

For ever watchful o’er the weighty charge,

That was to him, by Providence assign’d;

His chiefest aim was to impart at large

Pure charity, and love, to all mankind.

When any doubts of sacred truths arose

The afflicted mind he’d instantly console,

For true reveal’d Religion he’d disclose,

And to the Saviour, re-unite the soul.

The Widow, and the orphan, when distress’d,

From his benevolence soon found relief;

For all their woes or anguish he redress’d,

And hush’d their sorrows, and appeas’d their grief.

What numbers of the indigent and poor,

From his kind hand receiv’d their daily bread;

For of his Wealth he never did make store;

But clothed the naked, and the hungry fed.

For many years he lived in Wedlock’s bands,

In which he ne’er had aught him to perplex;

For the kind Fair to whom he join’d his hand,

Was blest with all that’s pleasing in her sex.

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And though dame Nature was right well inclin’d,

To deck her outward form with every grace;

Yet the more lasting beauties of the mind

By far out-shone the charms of her fair face.

In early youth, their tender souls were join’d,

By the soft ties of true and mutual love;

Which time had wrought to friendship so refin’d,

That nothing less than death could it remove.

But ah! that sad, that inauspicious day

Was set apart to end his precious life,

To lay him low, to moulder into clay,

And tear him from his fond and virtuous wife.

Now winter’s eve, deep clothed in midnight shade,

Which often had the imagination scared,

Is noontide fun in brightest beams arrayed,

When to the colour of her fate compar’d.

Her sorrows at this unexpected blow,

Upon this earth admits of no relief,

Save what from Reason and Religion flow;

’Tis they alone can palliate her grief.

Until her mortal part is done away;

Then may the Angels, and Arch-Angels wait,

And waft her soul to Realms of endless day,

To meet her love beyond the reach of fate.

Written C2r 13

Written to a Fellow Servant, who went to
Dublin to get a Place, or to visit her
Friends.

Whilst thou, dear maid, art pleas’d with all things
new,

Having our grand Metropolis in view;

This Mansion here seems lonely quite to me,

And looks unfurnish’d when not graced by thee,

Yet still some similies I daily find,

That bring thy Image strongly to my mind:

Pomona now has clothed the friendly shade,

And Flora too has dress’d the fragrant mead,

And when I see their verdure of a truth,

Methinks they seem just like thy blooming youth.

Above, the sky is all serene and fair,

Which does a likeness of thy aspect wear;

And when below I see the flowing tide,

How smooth and void of tumult, it doth glide;

Viewing its glassy surface there I find,

A striking emblem of thy gentle mind.

Thus every pleasing object that I see,

Reminds me still of friendship, and of thee;

The sprightly Mary is no longer gay,

Her looks in pensive silence seem to say,

That when Rebecca’s absent from her dome,

The quintescence of friendship’s not at home;

But when thy tedious visit’s at an end,

Once more she’ll see her sister, and her friend;

Her wonted gaiety, will then return,

Nor will she more thy irksome absence mourn,

But gladly meeting you, with one accord,

We’ll join to thank the everlasting Lord.

An C2v 14

An Acrostick, extempore, written by Ellen
Taylor
, on a beautiful little Boy.

Grow up, sweet Babe, and may thy pleasing grace,

Each hour that o’er thy head doth roll, encrease:

On thee may Heaven its choicest gifts bestow,

Replete with virtue, may thy passions flow;

Good fortune on thy rising years await,

Exalted bliss and happiness compleat.

Child of thy Father’s kindest dearest love,

Heir to his every virtue may you prove;

And when set down to Science, and to Art,

Perfection be thy lot in every part:

May thy fond Mother live her son to see,

An ornament to fair Society!

Nor less than what I wish, may wait on thee!

Finis.

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