Catharina: The Second Part: On Her Marriage To George Courtenay, Esq.

A poem by William Cowper

Believe it or not, as you choose,
The doctrine is certainly true,
That the future is known to the muse,
And poets are oracles too.
I did but express a desire
To see Catharina at home,
At the side of my friend George’s fire,
And lo—she is actually come!


Such prophecy some may despise,
But the wish of a poet and friend
Perhaps is approved in the skies,
And therefore attains to its end.
‘Twas a wish that flew ardently forth
From a bosom effectually warm’d
With the talents, the graces, and worth
Of the person for whom it was form’d.


Maria[1] would leave us, I knew,
To the grief and regret of us all,
But less to our grief, could we view
Catharina the Queen of the Hall.
And therefore I wish’d as I did,
And therefore this union of hands:
Not a whisper was heard to forbid,
But all cry—Amen—to the bans.


Since, therefore, I seem to incur
No danger of wishing in vain
When making good wishes for her,
I will e’en to my wishes again—
With one I have made her a wife,
And now I will try with another,
Which I cannot suppress for my life—
How soon I can make her a mother.

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