Hard is the task my friend to me has giv’n

First Line Hard is the task my friend to me has giv’n
Author William Heath Marsh
Addressee Mary Caroline Grose Blofeld

Occasional [Literature; Friendship].

Transcribed from "To Mrs: Blofeld who requested me to Write some lines but refused to give me a subject." Marsh, William Heath. UChicago Library Codex Ms 529 vol. 2 pp. 75–76.


Hard is the task my friend to me has giv’n,

For Poesy’s a gift, a gift of Heav’n,

Too bold I am, thus rashly to Aspire

To borrow from her hands the Warbling lyre,

Conscious my trembling fingers as they rove

Will feebly strike the tuneful chords I love.


But Friendship promis’d if I would comply,

Her dazzling shield should dim the critic’s eye;

Proud of her promise then, I thus resign

To her indulgent orb each feeble line,

My heart, the Monitor to whom I bend

Bids me pourtray the Features of a Friend,

But the chaste Model fancy has in View

Eludes my toil—th’Original is You.

Ah then, from You, let me this pledge beguile,

Make the faint image grow beneath a Smile,

The bright reflection shall a charm diffuse,

To animate the Whole with borrow’d hues.