Hester Thrale song by Herbert Lawrence

  • Posted on: 14 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

Herbert Lawrence1 is a Man of great good Sense, much Knowledge, sound Morality and rather agreeable Address: his Principles with regard to Religion are some what loose I fear, his Temper is peevish, and his Affections cold. I once had an extremely strong regard for him, but his Behaviour on the Illness and Death of my Son in the fatal Year 1776. shut my heart against him suddenly, and I could never open it to him more. he wrote some pretty Verses and said some clever Things and I have a Loss of his Acquaintance.

The following Song he wrote2 in my Praise forsooth is not a bad one.

If all that I lov’d were her Face,
From looking I sure might refrain;
In others her Likeness might trace
Or her Absence might ease all my Pain:

Content from her Charms I retir’d
Nor knew I till then how I lov’d;
What present my Passion admir’d
When absent my reason approv’d.

Then how should I hope for relief
When all I can see is Disdain;
No Pity in her for my Grief,
No merit in me to complain;

Yet will I not Fortune upbraid,
Though robb’d of my Freedom and Ease;
Still proud of the Choice I have made
Though hopeless it ever can please.

In August 1778, Hester Thrale wrote verses in appreciative response to Herbert Lawrence.

Hester Thrale's spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalisation, some of which may not conform to today's standards, are reproduced faithfully throughout. More writings by Hester Thrale