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ODE TO CHARITY.
TO IE FEXEOKXES IT THE CHAIACTEIS Or THE FTECE.
O Charity, divinely wise,
Though sweeter strains adorn'd my tongue Than Saint conceiv'd or Seraph sung, And though my glowing fancy caught Whatever Art or Nature taught, Yet if this hard unfeeling heart of mine Ne'er felt thy force, O Charity divine! An empty shadow Science would be found: My knowledge ignorance, my wit a sound.
Though my prophetic spirit knew To bring futurity to view, Without thy aid e'en this would nought avail, For Tongues shall cease, and Prophecies shall fail. Come, then, thou sweet immortal guest, Shed thy soft influence o'er my breast, Bring with thee Faith, divinely bright, And Hope, fair harbinger of light, To clear each mist with their pervading ray, To fit my soul for Heav'n, and point the way; There perfect Happiness her sway maintains; For there the God of Peace for ever reigns.
The following trifle owes it birth and name to the mistake of a Foreigner of Distinction, who gave the literal appellation of the Bas-bleu to a small party of friends, who had been often called, by way of pleasantry, the Blue Stockings. These little Societies have been sometimes misrepresented. They were composed of persons distinguished, in general, for their rank, talents, or respectable character, who met frequently at Mrs. Vesey's and at a few other houses, for the sole purpose of conversation, and were different in no respect from other parties, but that the company did not play at cards.
May the Author be permitted to bear her grateful testimony (which will not be suspected of flattery, now that most of the persons named in this Poem are gone down to the grave) to the many pleasant and instructive hours she had the honour to pass in this company; in which learning was as little disfigured by pedantry, good taste as little tinctured by affectation, and general conversation as little disgraced by calumny, levity, and the other censurable errors with which it is too commonly tainted, as has perhaps been known in any society.
THE BAS BLEU
Vesey, of Verse the judge and friend,