Yes ! at this moment crowd upon my mind Scenes of bright days for ever left behind, Bewildering visions of enraptured youth, When hope and fancy wore the hues of truth, And long-forgotten years, that almost seem The faded traces of a morning dream ! Sweet are those mournful thoughts: for they renew The pleasing sence of all I owe to you, For each inspiring smile, and soothing tear— For those full honours of my long career, That cheer'd my earliest hopes, and chased my latest fear !
And though, for me, those tears shall flow no more, And the warm sunshine of your smile is o'er— Though the bright beams are fading fast away, That shone unclouded through my summer-day,— Yet grateful Memory shall reflect their light O'er the dim shadows of the coming night, And lend to later life a softer tone, A moonlight tint, a lustre of her own.
Judges and Friends! to whom the tragic strain Of nature's feeling never spoke in vain, Perhaps your hearts, when years have glided by, And past emotions wake a fleeting sigh, May think on her, whose lips have pour'd so long The charmed sorrows of your Shakspeare's song;— On her, who, parting to return no more, Is now the mourner she but secm'd before,— Herself subdued, resigns the melting spell, And breathes, with swelling heart, her long, her last farewell!
Mrs Siddons first appeared in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in 1775, under an engagement,—made with Mr Siddons, at Cheltenham, that summer,—for Mr Garrick. Her salary was £6 per week, and that of Mr Siddons, 40s. Her first appearance was in "Portia" in the Merchant of Venice, a character not hest suited to her powers; and afterwards she made a more unfortunate attempt in