Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Meek Child of Sorrow"

From Reading Treasure:
Sir Herbert Croft (1 November 1751 - 26 April 1816) was an English-born author who was best known for his proposed English dictionary and his popular novel, 'Love and Madness, a Story too true, in a series of letters between Parties whose names could perhaps be mentioned were they less known or less lamented.' Although Croft's proposed dictionary never got off the ground, his novel--which many people thought was a real collection of letters--was fairly successful.

In 1814, Croft composed and published the following 'Consolotary verses' to Madame, the duchesse d'Angouleme, who had been newly restored to France with the rest of her family. The verses were published after May 30th, 1814, the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Croft dedicated these verses to George III, the prince regent of England, as a "small mark of gratitude for the favours conferred ... through a long series of year.' What these favours are, exactly, is unknown.

The complete versions can be read for free on Google Books. I've transcribed a small excerpt below.
Meek child of sorrow, whose still-wearied eyes
Stream over such unusual miseries!
Lov'd, royal Lady, whom, we, all, confess
Virtue has mark'd, ev'n more than wretchedness!
I don't deny the sources of your grief;
But let a stranger try to lend relief.
Stranger! yet Hartwell's bow'rs and allies know
You do not term the British muses so.

'Twas there the muse of Young consol'd your mind;
And made it, if more sad, still more resign'd:
There Thomson prov'd how each kind season fills
The world with charms, that balance life's worst ills:
There Rogers taught your tender soul to see
The pleasures, sadly sweet, of memory;
Which, sometimes, in a visionary trance,
Hurried your rapt thoughts back to your lov'd France.
(Read more.)
For more about the life and adventures of Marie-Antoinette's daughter, read Madame Royale. Share

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