button to main menu  Gents Mag 1823 part 2 p.486

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Gentleman's Magazine 1823 part 2 p.486

  Susan Blamire

Poet, Susan Blamire

Kellington, Dec. 12.
THAT human life is short, fleeting, and uncertain, every circumstance around us sufficiently evinces. How apt we in general are to neglect this admonition, and how prone we all are to flatter ourselves that it possibly may be our lot to extend life to its most protracted limits, every day's experience confirms.
The following elegant lines by Sir Thomas More-

'Fleres si scires unum tua tempora mensem,
Rides, cum non sit forsitan una dies'-
were as elegantly and feelingly paraphrased by a lady, at p.360 of your Magazine for last October. Permit me to offer to your readers another translation of these impressive lines from the pen of a Cumberland poet (Ralph), whom I have before noticed in your pages; and whose poems, perhaps, from the provincial dialect in which they are for the most part written, are, it is presumed, less generally known than their merits seem to deserve.

'Wretch! man would cry,
If sure to die
Before a month is past;
Yet laughs away
This poor short day,
Which is perhaps his last.'
When we are upon the subject, Mr. Urban, of Cumberland Poets, you may perhaps recollect that you did me the honour to insert in your pages some time ago a copy of verses, entitles 'To-morrow,' which I believed at that time, and still have strong reasons to believe, proceeded from the pen of a Miss S. Blamire, of Thuckwood-nook near Carlisle, and accordingly communicated them to you as such. M.H. the authoress of 'Affection's Gift' however, claimed them as the production of a Miss Parker, upon the authority of Dr. Styles, who, in his 'Early Blossoms,' has published them as the effusions of that lady's Muse. In consequence of this charge, I made every inquiry in my power to ascertain their real author. I communicated the result of my researches to you, and which seemed fully to satisfy the inquiries of M.H. as far at least as I was concerned, and who also at the same time, with her acknowledgments for my candour in communicating the sources from which I derived them, added a hope that Dr. Styles would act with the same frankness and liberality. Whether, however, the Doctor has never seen this appeal (which I can scarcely suppose), whether he is so much rapt up in evangelical rhapsodies, or whether he is so much dazzled with the glare of Royal splendours, as to be utterly incapacitated from giving any attention whatsoever to the certainly just request of an amiable lady, I am unable to say; or whether he is so much engaged in the contemplation of his own academical honours, as altogether to disregard the giving satisfaction to one who can claim no higher distinction than that of a regular member, late Fellow, and, for nearly twenty years, a resident, in what he flatters himself may justly be esteem the first College (Trinity) of the first University of Europe.
No disparagement is here meant to the late publications of Dr. Styles. The elegant language in which they are written, and the sacred principles of morality and true religion which they inculcate, are certainly well calculated to implant in the youthful mind the desire of attaining whatever is prasieworthy, and whatever is conducive to dignify their nature, and to make them useful members of society.
I subjoin another copy of verses from the plaintive Muse of Miss Blamire, and to the legitimacy of which, it is presumed, there can be no objection whatever.
Written on a gloomy Day in Sickness at Thuckwood, in June 1786.

'The gloomy lowering of the sky,
The milky softness of the air,
The hum of many a busy fly,
Are things the cheerful well can spare.
But to the pensive, thoughtful mind,
Those kindred glooms are truly dear,
When in dark shades such wood-notes wind,
As woo and win Reflection's ear.
The birds that warble over head,
The bees that visit every flower,
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