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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mock Panegyric on a Young Friend by Jane Austen

In measured verse I'll now rehearse 
The charms of lovely Anna: 
And, first, her mind is unconfined 
Like any vast savannah.

Ontario's lake may fitly speak 
Her fancy's ample bound: 
Its circuit may, on strict survey 
Five hundred miles be found.

Her wit descends on foes and friends 
Like famed Niagara's fall; 
And travellers gaze in wild amaze, 
And listen, one and all.

Her judgment sound, thick, black, profound, 
Like transatlantic groves, 
Dispenses aid, and friendly shade 
To all that in it roves.

If thus her mind to be defined 
America exhausts, 
And all that's grand in that great land 
In similes it costs --

Oh how can I her person try 
To image and portray? 
How paint the face, the form how trace, 
In which those virtues lay?

Another world must be unfurled, 
Another language known, 
Ere tongue or sound can publish round 
Her charms of flesh and bone.

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