Sylvia 1749, “Just Waking from a Pleasing Dream” read by Danielle Collins

“Just Waking from a Pleasing Dream” by Sylvia 1749

What is it all a dream, and nothing more?

And am I just the thing I was before?

Who would not wish for everlasting night,

When sleep can furnishing out such gay delight?

But ah! ’tis past, no more my soul will bless;

So die the dreams of earthly happiness:

Just when we think to grasp the wish’d for prize,

Before us still the painted shadow flies.

Panting behind, the phantom we pursue,

Of’t lose the tempting game, as of’t start new;

For, Proteus like, it varies of’t its shape;

With fatal art each earthly joy ’twill ape,

And with its dazzling ignis fatuus light,

Perverts our senses, and deceives our sight.

Some latent pow’r magnetic draws us on,

while Hope and Fancy cry, it may be won.

Now just before the lovely shade appears,

The sum of all our wishes, hopes and fears,

We strive to see the object of our care;

But grasp a shade, and fill our arms with air.

Then full before our streaming tortur’d eyes,

We she an ugly, frowning spectre rise;

Deluded fool, she cries, thy course restrain,

Nor follow what no mortal e’er shall gain;

If happiness complete on earth you’d find,

You hunt a shadow, and pursue the wind;

And no, whene’er you’d cease the airy game,

I’ll rise, and Disappointment is my name.

To earth we fall, and sicken at the sight,

Curse our past folly, and abhor the light:

But soon the gloomy spectre dies away,

And the fair phantom, eager to betray,

Drest in another garb, salutes our view;

We rise, and with fresh warmth the chase renew,

Forget our cares, our pains, our dangers past,

And in fantastic dreams our moments waste;

The fleeting, tempting, painted air we chase,

Till death arrests us in the fruitless race.

Rest then, my soul, with humble bliss content,

Nor let thy time in vain pursuits be spent!

To hire joys be all thy hopes confin’d,

For those alone can satisfy the mind.

Sackville, “The Advice” read by Lisa Green

Somervile, “Epitaph” read by: Chris Barton

Seward, “Sonnet 71: To The Poppy” read by Melanie Jankovits

Seward, To The Poppy

Sedley, “Constancy” read by Cammie Satter

Source: UMW Sedley “Constancy”

Fear not, my Dear, a Flame can never dye,
That is once kindled by so bright an Eye;
View but thyself, and measure thence my Love,
Think what a Passion such a Form must move;
For though thy Beauty first allur’d my Sight,
Now I consider it but as the Light
That led me to the Treasury of thy Mind,
Whose inward Vertue in that Feature shin’d.
That knot be confident will ever last,
Which Fancy ty’d, and Reason has made fast;
So fast that time, although it may disarm
Thy lovely Face, my Faith can never harm;
And Age deluded, when it comes, will find
My Love removed, and to thy Soul assign’d.

Sackville, “The Fire of Love in Youthful Blood” read by Kathleen Nelson

Source: UMW. The Fire of Love in Youthful Blood by Sackville

Sedley, “Song: Love still has something of the sea” read by Charlotte Rodina

“Source: UMW.” Sedley Song: Love still had something of the sea

Love still has something of the sea,
From whence his Mother rose;
No time his slaves from doubt can free,
Nor give their thoughts repose.

They are becalm’d in clearest days,
And in rough weather tost;
They wither under cold delays,
Or are in tempests lost.

One while they seem to touch the port,
Then straight into the main
Some angry wind in cruel sport
Their vessel drives again.

At first disdain and pride they fear,
Which, if they chance to ‘scape,
Rivals and falsehood soon appear
In a more dreadful shape.

By such degrees to joy they come,
And are so long withstood,
So slowly they receive the sum,
It hardly does them good.

‘Tis cruel to prolong a pain;
And to defer a joy,
Believe me, gentle Celemene,
Offends the winged boy.

An hundred thousand oaths your fears
Perhaps would not remove,
And if I gaz’d a thousand years,
I could no deeper love.

Seward, “December Morning” read by Sarah Perrin

Source: UMW Anna Seward “December Morning”

Sheridan, “If a Daughter You Have” read by Sarah Smethurst

Source: UMW Sheridan’s “If a Daughter You Have”

If a daughter you have, she’s the plague of your life,
No peace shall you know, tho’ you’ve buried your wife,
At twenty she mocks at the duty you taught her,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter.
Sighing and whining,
Dying and pining,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter.

When scarce in their teens, they have wit to perplex us,
With letters and lovers for ever they vex us,
While each still rejects the fair suitor you’ve brought her,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter.
Wrangling and jangling,
Flouting and pouting,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter.

Seward, Sonnet I (“When Life’s realities the Soul perceives”) read by Rhonda Federman

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