"To Mr. Barbauld, November 14, 1778." by Anna Lætitia Barbauld (1743 - 1825)
First Publication: The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld, with a Memoir by Lucy Aikin. London: Longman, 1825. I:134-36.
What though the fading year
One wreath will not afford
To grace the poet's hair,
Or deck the festal board;
A thousand pretty ways we'll find
To mock old Winter's starving reign;
We'll bid the violets spring again,
Bid rich poetic roses blow,
Peeping above his heaps of snow;
We'll dress his withered cheeks in flowers,
And on his smooth bald head
Fantastic garlands bind;
Garlands, which we will get
From the gay blooms of that immortal year,
Above the turning seasons set,
Where young ideas shoot in Fancy's sunny bowers.
A thousand pleasant arts we'll have
To add new feathers to the wings of Time,
And make him smoothly haste away:
We'll use him as our slave,
And when we please we'll bid him stay,
And clip his wings, and make him stop to view
Our studies, and our follies too;
How sweet our follies are, how high our fancies climb.
We'll little care what others do,
And where they go, and what they say;
Our bliss, all inward and our own,
Would only tarnished be, by being shown.
That talking restless world shall see,
Spite of the world we'll happy be;
But none shall know
How much we're so,
Save only Love, and we.