Monday, November 28, 2005

Sarah Thorn's warnings

I haven't posted anything from my great- great-grandmother's composition book lately. As you'd expect, some of its contents are morally uplifting in a way that's a little offputting today. We don't voice these sentiments any more. All the same, though not complete in themselves, they contain simple truths. I expect it's Freud more than anyone else who keeps us from appreciating them in what I expect is their unselfconscious integrity. Examples include the following couple of maxims:
Bear and forbear a maxim true
As erring mortals ever knew.


Beauty displays a twofold kind
That of the body and the mind.
That said, Sarah had a good ear for poetic phrases. I particularly like "Joy rings our steps" in the following verse. If you can make out any of the missing words, please supply them in comments.

Pleasure's a syren with inviting arms
Great is her voice and powerful her charms
Lur'd by her call we tread the flowery ground
Joy rings our steps, and music wafts round
Lull'd in her arms we loose the flying armies
And lie embosomed mid'st her ..... .....
Till armed with death! she watches our undoing
.... ! while she sings, and ..... in ......
25th Febr. 1834

I like the flowery penmanship of this, which comes at the end of the little manuscript:

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