'Tis thy command, and Edwin shall obey,
My voice shall sound submissive to thy will,
Tho' sad my lute, and mournful be my lay,
Yet 'tis enough, thy slave obeys thee still.
Poor as I am, my love how dare I own?5
No boon to offer but a faithful heart.
Unblest with fortune's gifts, obscure, unknown
With nought my portion but this tuneful art.
Yet pardon sentiments as warm and pure
As tho' by royal lips they were profest,10
My thoughts are noble, tho' my birth obscure,
And truth & honor harbour in this breast.
The Muses too have deigned to touch my tongue,
Early they charmed my simple, ravished ear,
Each rising sun a tender, hopeless song15
To thee I'll raise, if thou wilt gently hear.
No hope presumptuous shall my bosom fire,
My sole ambition only thee to please,
A look, shall pay the efforts of my lyre,
A smile, the highest boon my soul would seize.20
Attendant on thy steps, Oh! might I guard,
Protect, defend thee with an anxious eye,
No ill should reach thee which this arm might ward,
Thy servant would I live, thy champion die.
Art thou for some blest youth reserved by fate?25
The nuptial song I'll raise, the garland weave,
Nor mix my woes, nor envy his high state,
But boast myself thy minstrel, and thy slave.


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "The Minstrel" is printed in Selena without a title or date (the source text for Collected Poems and Journals), where it is attributed to the poet and singer Edwin Stanmore, and is meant to invoke James Beattie's The Minstrel (1771). BACK