My dear Flo

  • Posted on: 16 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

We are returned from London & its Environs where I gained little—& lost—my Dear Flo, ’Tis inconceivable how that poor Animal’s Death has lessened the little stock of harmless Pleasure I enjoy'd—but he is dead, left under my Mother’s favourite Tree at Streatham Park; where I deposited her Spaniel Belle many a long Year ago—He took some Tears with him from his good natur’d Master1—& from me these Lines.

Hester Maria Thrale and Belle by Zoffany 1766

Dear Fellow Traveller! at once Farewell !
Together have we journey’d many a Stage;
Thou tinkling thro’ Life's Path thy little Bell,
Thy Mistress turning many a musty Page.
The last uneasy Post—A dull Old Age,
Forsaken I perhaps must tread alone:
No four-foot Favourite my Cares t’asswage,
Of Flo forgotten—and to Belle—unknown.
That here her Limbs are laid so near thy own,
Proves her lov’d Patroness like thine in Taste;
Oh could in all things to Resemblance prone
My Manners take the strong Maternal cast,
Then the long Hours of Separation past—
She might receive me on that blissful Shore,
Where Peace & Happiness are found at last,
And Friends shall meet again to part no more.

Written by Hester Lynch Thrale. Thraliana entry dated 1 September 1797.