Thomas Rickman (1761-1834)
To Miss ------
I stole not your garters, dear Margaret, believe me,
To place them around my neck or my knee:
They are valueless yet; or they do much deceive me;
Having never been worn and made sacred by thee.
Of Stars and of Garters so much has been said
That wit's at a stand on a subject so tried:
On the latter, what has not been sung to the maid
Ere lovers have hung themselves in them and died!
May such tragedy-doings never wait on your love;
But affection all pure and sublime be your lot;
So a heaven on earth your existence shall prove,
Whether fate shall assign you a palace or cot.
Then love for love only, ecstatic you'll barter
And exchange for the ring all the rights of the garter.
Far from the busy hum of men away,
Secluded here, naught of the world I see;
And almost doubt if such a place there be
As London's trading town, or Paris gay,
Surcharged with crowds the livelong night and day.
That war is going on by land and sea,
That slaughter, tumult, horror and dismay
Pervade the world, now seemeth strange to me.
And, as I pass the sweetly lonely hours,
Estrangéd here from bustle, strife, and care,
Surrounded but by woods and fields and flowers,
While nature's music floats along the air,
And autumn all her various bounties pours,
I wish an erring world these scenes with me to share.