To Mr. Barbauld, November 14, 1778

Original Text: 
The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld, Volume I (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster-Row, 1825), pp. 134-36. PR 4057 B7 1825 v.1 Robarts Library.
1     Come, clear thy studious looks awhile,
2       'T is arrant treason now
3       To wear that moping brow,
4     When I, thy empress, bid thee smile.
5       What though the fading year
6       One wreath will not afford
7       To grace the poet's hair,
8       Or deck the festal board;
9     A thousand pretty ways we'll find
10     To mock old Winter's starving reign;
11     We'll bid the violets spring again,
12     Bid rich poetic roses blow,
13     Peeping above his heaps of snow;
14     We'll dress his withered cheeks in flowers,
15       And on his smooth bald head
16       Fantastic garlands bind:
17       Garlands, which we will get
18   From the gay blooms of that immortal year,
19       Above the turning seasons set,
20Where young ideas shoot in Fancy's sunny bowers.
21     A thousand pleasant arts we'll have
22   To add new feathers to the wings of Time,
23     And make him smoothly haste away:
24       We'll use him as our slave,
25     And when we please we'll bid him stay,
26   And clip his wings, and make him stop to view
27     Our studies, and our follies too;
28How sweet our follies are, how high our fancies climb.
29     We'll little care what others do,
30     And where they go, and what they say;
31     Our bliss, all inward and our own,
32   Would only tarnished be, by being shown.
33       The talking restless world shall see,
34       Spite of the world we'll happy be;
35             But none shall know
36             How much we're so,
37           Save only Love, and we.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.