i A1r

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.

ii A1v iii A2r

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 iv 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 v 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
  • 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;
vi A3v
Poems, 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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.

To 7 B3r 7

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 8 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 9 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, 10 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.

To 11 C1r 11

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.

C And 12 C1v 12

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 13 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 14 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.

15 C3r