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Poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld


On the Death of Mrs. Jennings



Est tamen quieté, & puré, & eleganter actæ ætatis, placida ac lenis senectus.

                                          Cicero de Senect.

'TIS past: dear venerable shade, farewel!
Thy blameless life thy peaceful death shall tell.
Clear to the last thy setting orb has run;
Pure, bright, and healthy like a frosty sun: 
And late old age with hand indulgent shed
Its mildest winter on thy favour'd head.
For heaven prolong'd her life to spread its praise,
And bless'd her with a patriarch's length of days.
The truest praise was hers, a cheerful heart,
Prone to enjoy, and ready to impart.
An Israelite indeed, and free from guile,
She show'd that piety and age could smile.
Religion had her heart, her cares, her voice;
'Twas her last refuge, as her earliest choice.
To holy Anna's spirit not more dear
The church of Israel, and the house of prayer.
Her spreading offspring of the fourth degree
Fill'd her fond arms, and clasp'd her trembling knee.
Matur'd at length for some more perfect scene,
Her hopes all bright, her prospects all serene,
Each part of life sustain'd with equal worth,
And not a wish left unfulfill'd on earth,
Like a tir'd traveller with sleep opprest,
Within her childrens' arms she dropt to rest.
Farewel! thy cherish'd image, ever dear,
Shall many a heart with pious love revere:
Long, long shall mine her honour'd memory bless,
Who gave the dearest blessing I possess. 

Mrs. Jennings - The Author's Grandmother.



Anna Laetitia Barbauld


Anna Laetitia Barbauld's other poems:
  1. To Miss RЧ, on her Attendance upon her Mother at Buxton
  2. Song 4 (WHEN gentle Celia first I knew)
  3. Song 3 (LEAVE me, simple shepherd, leave me)
  4. Backwardness of the Spring 1771
  5. The Origin of Song-Writing


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