Ann Yearsley

On Mrs. Montagu (1785)


O MONTAGU! Forgive me if I sing

Thy wisdom tempered with the milder ray

Of soft humanity, and kindness bland:

So wide its influence, that the bright beams

Reach the low vale where mists of ignorance lodge,

Strike on the innate spark which lay immersed,

Thick clogged, and almost quenched in total nightó

On me it fell, and cheered my joyless heart.

Unwelcome is the first bright dawn of light

To that dark soul: impatient, she rejects,

And fain would push the heavenly stranger back;

She loathes the cranny which admits the day;

Confused, afraid of the intruding guest;

Disturbed, unwilling to receive the beam,

Which to herself the native darknessshows.

The effort to quench the cheering flame

Was mine . . .



William Wordsworth

Ode, Intimations of Immortality