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Anna Jane Vardill

Elegiac Verses

On the Death of Miss CHARLOTTE DEMYS, one of the amiable daughters of Peter Demys, Esq. and Lady Charlotte, of the Pavilion, Hans-place, Sloane street, who lately died at the early age of fifteen years.

The gentle dove, to Venus dear,
Came softly to Apollo’s ear;
His silver pinions thrice he wav’d,
And thrice his beak in nectar lav’d;
Then whisper’d “Phœbus, now I bring
From Beauty’s lap no offering:
But from thy purest light I crave
A beam to deck her Charlotte’s grave;
She, who in youth and pleasure’s bloom,
Was soft and spotless as my plume,
Which, smooth’d by mild Minerva’s hand,
Has oft the smiling Graces fann’d.
Whene’er the magic strings she swept,
Close to her envied bow’r I crept,
And thought the fabl’d lyre was near,
Which Thracian lions paus’d to hear.
Love, pity, friendship, all combine,
A garland for her tomb to twine;
Pleasure and Peace, retiring, mourn
The treasure from their mansion torn.
Kind Phœbus! lend one only ray
To guard it from Oblivion’s sway,
And bid thy subject Muses strew
The flowers to kindred sweetness due;
Or let me from thy myrtle steal
One leaf the wounds of woe to heal;
Thus may thy bounteous pow’r repay
Hearts which have glorified thy sway!”
Apollo smil’d,—“Fair Bird, return!
Go, bid the suppliant mourners learn
My richest myrtles ever bloom
Round maiden virtue’s early tomb;
And there, at dewy morn and eve,
My nymphs shall chosen garlands leave,
Of fairer flow’rs than ever yet
Blush’d in Ambition’s coronet.
But seek not here the precious leaf,
Whose honey’d dews may med’cine grief;
Not in my laurel dwells the balm
Which nature’s agony can calm:
Go! win from reason’s vestal shrine,
The olive-branch of peace divine;
Science and Charity shall give
Their light to those who bid them live.
Let feasts of social bounty cheer
The gentle shade which hovers near;
Life may Elysium’s joys prepare,
Tho’ death alone conducts us there.


The European Magazine, Vol. 68, November 1815, p. 257