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To her GRACE
The Dutchefs of RICHMOND.
May it please your GRACE,
Garden was the first pleasing and beautiful habitation of our firft parents; felected by heaven, as the most agreeable scene, to amuse their thoughts, and to protect their innocence; and I have reason to believe, that the verdant lawns, the arching fhades, the cooling groves of GooD WOOD may long afford your GRACE the fame transporting pleasures.
When you have experienced all the glittering and pompous vanities of this world; the emptiness of titles, the infufficiency of birth and grandeur, to add any thing to our real happiness; meteors thefe, which shine and invite, only to cheat and delude us; your GRACE will be convinced at last, that the sweetest, the most refined, and ra
* A beautiful feat of his Grace the Duke of Rich 'mond, in Suffex.
tional fatisfactions of life are only to be enjoyed in these rural retirements, which moralize and inftruct, while they delight us; gratifying our fenfes at the fame time that they are guardians of our virtue. A folemn evening's walk in this enchanting folitude, formed to awaken ferious thoughts and calm reflections, on all the fleeting tranfient glories below, will infpire you with more foft, more tender, and refined Senfations, than you can hope to derive from the flattering gaieties of a court, or the treacherous fmiles of fortune. It is in this cool, this peaceful, and inftructive retirement, that the mind ufually first begins to attend to the voice of wisdom, drops its pride and ambition, meditates upon its immortal state, and borrows its intellectual light, even from these fhades.
Thefe, MADAM, are truths unpleafing perhaps to the ear of one in the prime of her youth and beauty, (which, like the flowers I prefent your GRACE with, muft foon
foon decay and languish;) but they are the truths which reafon fubfcribes to, and experience ratifies; refembling those falutary tho', bitter medicines which disgust us first and afterwards relieve us.
Your GRACE has already gained a conqueft over the heart of a moft worthy and distinguished nobleman, esteemed and beloved at home, admired and honoured by the most refined and polished courts in EUROPE: extend your power yet farther, strive to obtain a victory over yourself; a more glorious and laudable triumph, which will entitle you to a more illuftrious crown than the proudeft victors upon earth ever layed a claim to.
One particular reafon of my prefuming to affix your GRACE's name to this poem, and to defire your acceptance of it, was the opportunity it gave me of making a grateful and public acknowledgment of those fignal favours I have received from that noble and generous family to which you are
now happily allied; and could I hope for the continuance of the leaft fhare of their regard and friendship, I fhould esteem the laft fcenes of a life, almost wore out with age and infirmities, not altogether unhappy.
Be pleased, MADAM, to accept of my most affectionate and ardent wishes, that your prefent felicity may be as lafting as it is now fincere and real; which time may prolong, though it wants a power to augment, or improve it.
I am, (may it please your GRACE)