Think not I shall do that wrong
Either to my native tongue,
English authors to despise,
Or those books which you so prize;
Though from them awhile I stray,
By new studies call’d away,
Them when next I take in hand,
I shall better understand.
For I’ve heard wise men declare
Many words in English are
From the Latin tongue deriv’d,
Of whose sense girls are depriv’d
’Cause they do not Latin know.—
But if all this anger grow
From this cause, that you suspect
By proceedings indirect,
I would keep (as misers pelf)
All this learning to myself;
Sister, to remove this doubt,
Rather than we will fall out,
(If our parents will agree)
You shall Latin learn with me.
“Your prayers you have said, and
you’ve wished Good night:
What cause is there yet keeps my darling awake?
This throb in your bosom proclaims some affright
Disturbs your composure. Can innocence quake?
“Why thus do you cling to my neck,
and enfold me,
What fear unimparted your quiet devours?”
“O mother, there’s reason—for Susan has told me,
A dead body lies in the room next to ours.”
“I know it; and, but for forgetfulness,
I meant you the coffin this day should have seen,
And read the inscription, and told me the year
And day of the death of your poor old Nurse Green.”
“O not for the wealth of the world
would I enter
A chamber wherein a dead body lay hid,
Lest somebody bolder than I am should venture
To go near the coffin and lift up the lid.”
“And should they do so and the coffin
The corpse underneath it would be no ill sight;
This frame, when its animal functions are over,
Has nothing of horror the living to fright.
“To start at the dead is preposterous
To shrink from a foe that can never contest;
Shall that which is motionless move thee to terror;
Or thou become restless, ’cause they are at rest?
“To think harm of her our good feelings
By whom when a babe you were dandled and fed;
Who living so many good offices did us,
I ne’er can persuade me would hurt us when dead.
“But if no endeavour your terrors
If vainly against apprehension you strive,
Come, bury your fears in the arms of your mother;
My darling, cling close to me, I am alive.”
In whatsoever place resides
Good Temper, she o’er all presides;
The most obdurate heart she guides.
Even Anger yields unto her power,
And sullen Spite forgets to lour,
Or reconciled weeps a shower;
Reserve she softens into Ease,
Makes Fretfulness leave off to teaze,
She Waywardness itself can please.