Mock Panegyric on a Young Friend

Jane Austen

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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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  • Willard2348

    Just read "Mock Panegyric on a Young Friend" and thought it was quite interesting! The way the speaker describes Anna's mind as being "unconfined like any vast savannah" was pretty profound. Despite a few old language here and there, the poem flowed real well. I suppose it could be interpreted differently by everyone, but I think it's roundabout way of highlighting someone's beauty, both in their spirit and physically. Cool read!