William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

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

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 warmed
With the talents, the graces, and worth
Of the person for whom it was formed.

Maria 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 wished 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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