TO MISS HICKMAN[A],
PLAYING ON THE SPINET.
Bright Stella, form’d for universal reign,
Too well you know to keep the slaves you gain;
When in your eyes resistless lightnings play,
Aw’d into love our conquer’d hearts obey,
And yield reluctant to despotick sway:
But, when your musick sooths the raging pain,
We bid propitious heav’n prolong your reign,
We bless the tyrant, and we hug the chain.
When old Timotheus struck the vocal string,
Ambition’s fury fir’d the Grecian king:
Unbounded projects lab’ring in his mind,
He pants for room, in one poor world confin’d.
Thus wak’d to rage, by musick’s dreadful pow’r,
He bids the sword destroy, the flame devour.
Had Stella’s gentle touches mov’d the lyre,
Soon had the monarch felt a nobler fire;
No more delighted with destructive war,
Ambitious only now to please the fair,
Resign’d his thirst of empire to her charms,
And found a thousand worlds in Stella’s arms.
[FOOTNOTE A: These lines, which have been communicated by Dr. Turton, son to Mrs. Turton, the lady to whom they are addressed by her maiden name of Hickman, must have been written, at least, as early as 1734, as that was the year of her marriage: at how much earlier a period of Dr. Johnson’s life they might have been written, is not known.]