…from the quills of the dead white poets
William Cowper (1731 – 1800)
Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine – thy own sweet smiles I see,
The same, that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say,
‘Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!’
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time’s tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected, here!
Who bidd’st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precepts were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.