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When Stretch’d on One’s Bed

When stretch’d on one’s bed With a fierce-throbbing head, Which preculdes alike thought or repose, How little one cares For the grandest affairs That may busy the world as it goes! How little one feels For the waltzes and reels Of our Dance-loving friends at a Ball! How slight one’s concern To conjecture or learn What their flounces or hearts may befall. How little one minds If a company dines On the best that the Season affords! How short is one’s muse O’er the Sauces and Stews, Or the Guests, be they Beggars or Lords. How little the Bells, Ring they Peels, toll they Knells, Can attract our attention or Ears! The Bride may be married, The Corse may be carried And touch nor our hopes nor our fears. Our own bodily pains Ev’ry faculty chains; We can feel on no subject besides. Tis in health and in ease We the power must seize For our friends and our souls to provide. Jane Austen Enjoyed this article? Browse our book shop at janeaustengiftshop.co.uk (more…)
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When Winchester Races

When Winchester races first took their beginning It is said the good people forgot their old Saint Not applying at all for the leave of Saint Swithin And that William of Wykeham’s approval was faint. The races however were fixed and determined The company came and the Weather was charming The Lords and the Ladies were satine’d and ermined And nobody saw any future alarming.– But when the old Saint was informed of these doings He made but one Spring from his Shrine to the Roof Of the Palace which now lies so sadly in ruins And then he addressed them all standing aloof. ‘Oh! subjects rebellious! Oh Venta depraved When once we are buried you think we are gone But behold me immortal! By vice you’re enslaved You have sinned and must suffer, ten farther he said These races and revels and dissolute measures With which you’re debasing a neighboring Plain Let them stand–You shall meet with your curse in your pleasures Set off for your course, I’ll pursue with my rain. Ye cannot but know my command o’er July Henceforward I’ll triumph in shewing my powers Shift your race as you will it shall never be dry The curse upon Venta is July in showers–‘.   This is Jane Austen’s last poem, written on July 15, 1817, only days before her death on July 18, 1817. The light tone belies the serious state of her health at this time. Venta was another, older name for Winchester, the town (more…)
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Happy the Lab’rer

A up cycled floral broochHappy the Lab’rer Happy the lab’rer in his Sunday clothes! In light-drab coat, smart waistcoat, well-darn’d hose, And hat upon his head, to church he goes; As oft, with conscious pride, he downward throws A glance upon the ample cabbage rose That, stuck in button-hole, regales his nose, He envies not the gayest London beaux. In church he takes his seat among the rows, Pays to the place the reverence he owes, Likes best the prayers whose meaning least he knows, Lists to the sermon in a softening doze, And rouses joyous at the welcome close.   This poem by Jane Austen was part of a game played by the Austen family. The object was to write as long a poem as possible with words rhyming with rose. A full list of submissions from the family can be found in the Hands on Regency: Games to Play portion of this magazine. Enjoyed this article? Have a look at our party and games section in our online giftshop. (more…)
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Of A Ministry Pitiful, Angry, Mean

Of a Ministry pitiful, angry, mean, A gallant commander the victim is seen. For promptitude, vigour, success, does he stand Condemn’d to receive a severe reprimand! To his foes I could wish a resemblance in fate: That they, too, may suffer themselves, soon or late, The injustice they warrent. But vain is my spite They cannot so suffer who never do right. Jane Austen   Enjoyed this article? Browse our book shop at janeaustengiftshop.co.uk (more…)
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To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy

To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy who died Dec:r 16 — my Birthday. The day returns again, my natal day; What mix’d emotions with the Thought arise! Beloved friend, four years have pass’d away Since thou wert snatch’d forever from our eyes.– The day, commemorative of my birth Bestowing Life and Light and Hope on me, Brings back the hour which was thy last on Earth. Oh! bitter pang of torturing Memory!– Angelic Woman! past my power to praise In Language meet, thy Talents, Temper, mind. Thy solid Worth, they captivating Grace!– Thou friend and ornament of Humankind!– At Johnson’s death by Hamilton t’was said, ‘Seek we a substitute–Ah! vain the plan, No second best remains to Johnson dead– None can remind us even of the Man.’ So we of thee–unequall’d in thy race Unequall’d thou, as he the first of Men. Vainly we wearch around the vacant place, We ne’er may look upon thy like again. Come then fond Fancy, thou indulgant Power,– –Hope is desponding, chill, severe to thee!– Bless thou, this little portion of an hour, Let me behold her as she used to be. I see her here, with all her smiles benign, Her looks of eager Love, her accents sweet. That voice and Countenance almost divine!– Expression, Harmony, alike complete.– I listen–’tis not sound alone–’tis sense, ‘Tis Genius, Taste and Tenderness of Soul. ‘Tis genuine warmth of heart without pretence And purity of Mind that crowns the whole. She speaks; ’tis Eloquence–that grace of Tongue (more…)