Unspoilt by flattery, and Untaught by art

First Line Unspoilt by flattery, and Untaught by art
Author William Heath Marsh

Occasional [Literature; Friendship].

Transcribed from "To a Lady who had expressed her approbation of some of the Authors productions, and solicited the sight of some further effusions of his Muse." Marsh, William Heath. UChicago Library Codex Ms 529 vol. 2 pp. 50–52.


Unspoilt by flattery, and Untaught by art

To hide the emotions of a grateful heart,

With trembling hand I send these simple lays:

The poor return for justly Valued praise:

Which still I fear to claim as Merits due,

But highly prize to find bestow’d by You.

You, who can chase each doubt, and kindly blend

With cultur’d taste the feelings of a Friend;

Can palliate faults, each hidden grace display,

Can call each budding beauty into day;

Whose Wish t’approve o’er rigid laws prevails,

And tempers Criticism’s chilling gales.

But shall the Muse with transport quite elate,

Tempt, really dare to tempt, a different fate?

Say Would the Merchant, toil and danger o’er,

Arriv’d in port, encounter perils More?

With affluence blest, in search of useless gain

Launch his frail bark, and plough the stormy Main?

How then can I, thus gratified with fame,

Blast the fair laurels that adorn my Name;

Hazard the favour that I now enjoy

And the slight fabric of applause destroy?

E’en if I would the power no more I boast;

Dispers’d my trifles, and my copies lost.

My chok’d up spring no copious torrent knows,

In shallow rills the scanty current flows.

Pleas’d in my Muse to gain a lis’ning ear,

To share a smile, or sooth Afflictions tear

At time likes these from Sympathy she Sings,

But feels too soon she soars on Waxen Wings;

Proud of her idle flutterings can delight,

Just live their little day, then Sink to endless Night.