I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,
Winter's pale dawn; - and as warm fires illume,
And cheerful tapers shine around the room,
Thro' misty windows bend my musing sight
Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white,
With shutters clos'd, peer faintly thro' the gloom,
That slow recedes; while yon grey spires assume,
Rising from their dark pile, an added height
By indistinctness given. - Then to decree
The grateful thoughts to GOD, ere they unfold
To Friendship, or the Muse, or seek with glee
Wisdom's rich page! - O, hours! more worth than gold,
By whose blest use we lengthen Life, and free
From drear decays of Age, outlive the Old!
Dec. 19th, 1782.
1: This Sonnet was written in an Apartment of the West Front of the Bishop's Palace at Lichfield, inhabited by the Author from her thirteenth year. It looks upon the Cathedral-Area, a green Lawn encircled by Prebendal Houses, which are white from being rough-cast.