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Women in History of Scots Descent
Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid


Janet Little, 1759-1813 - Read all her poems here

TO THE COUNTESS OF LOUDOUN

    WILL gentle LOUDOUN deign to lend an ear,
When nature speaks, and sorrow drops a tear?
Within your walls my happiness I found
Luxuriant flourish, like the plants around:
Blithe as the birds that perch on yonder spray,
In joyous notes, I pour'd the willing lay.
Beneath your roof there humble lines had birth,
Whose honour'd Patrons now lie low in earth;
Or borne by Fate far from their native shore,
With smiles auspicious glad my heart no more.

    Here youth and beauty, innocence and love,
I joy'd to see, to serve, and to approve:
Here honour'd Age to all around did show,
That virtue's paths alone can bliss bestow:
Here moral lessons spoke from ev'ry part,
And peace and kindness wrote them on my heart.
Hoary inhabitants around the place,
Whose faithful services obtain'd that grace,
'Mid ev'ry comfort rural life affords,
Shower prayers and blessings, on its former Lords.

    To you the young are taught to lift the eye,
Mild morning sun of their unclouded sky.
Blest in a lot left nothing to desire,
Those happy scenes did future hopes inspire,
That thus my life in careless ease might run,
My age supported by my master's son;
In him, that goodness, and those virtues find,
Which grateful numbers meet in you combin'd.

    Ah! like a changeful vision of the night,
Those scenes are fled, and death appals my sight!
Where'er I turn, lamented tombs appear,
Or parting sails extort the bitter tear!
To distant realms the darling child too gone;
O guard him heav'n, and let me weep alone!
For ev'ry tear, let countless blessings fall
On thy sad mother in thy grandsire's hall!

    Forgive, fair nymph, the dictates of despair;
Grief flies, for comfort, to the tender fair.
The good and great, we fondly think have pow'rs,
Can charm to ease our sad and anxious hours:
Else why to you should I at Fate repine?
The friends I mourn, alas! were doubly thine!
For their dear sakes, bid lines they priz'd still live,
And grant that shelter they no more can give.
Yet, the sad verse how should you patronize
That wakes up anguish in a heart at ease!
For their dear sakes my pray'rs are ever thine,
Nor can I more were your protection mine.


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