Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
To a Lady
By Richard Dabney (1787?–1825)
LADY, that form so slight and fair
Was, surely, never framed to bear
The season’s change, the hand of pain,
And fell disease’s racking train,
That must, from year to year, attend        5
Life’s course, till life itself shall end.
That heart, so pure, so soft, so good,
That scarce has yet a pang withstood,
Was, surely, never meant to bear
Grief, sorrow, wo, deceit, despair,        10
And all the mental ills, that rend
The human heart, till life shall end.
Some happy island far removed,
Whose groves of bliss an angel loved,
Where winter’s gloom was never known,        15
Nor fell disease’s hollow groan;
Where grief, deceit, despair and wo
Dare not their forms of horror show,
Lady, was placed thy destined lot—
But fate, that destiny forgot;        20
Or, envious of thy blissful state,
Some fiend of earth, and earthly hate,
Gave thee to pain and sorrow here—
Betray’d thee to this world of care.

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