"The early days of wedded life / Are oft o'ercast by childish strife; / Then be it your peculiar care / To keep that season bright and fair; / For then's the time by gentle art / To fix your empire in his heart."
— Clark [née Lewis], Esther (bap. 1716, d. 1794)
Are oft o'ercast by childish strife;
Then be it your peculiar care
To keep that season bright and fair;
For then's the time by gentle art
To fix your empire in his heart.
With kind, obliging carriage strive
To keep the lamp of love alive;
For should it through neglect expire,
No art again can light the fire
To charm his reason dress your mind,
Till love shall be with friendship joined;
Raise on that basis, 'twill endure,
From time and death itself secure
(ll. 35-48, p. 231 in Lonsdale)
Reading Roger Lonsdale's Eighteenth Century Women Poets (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989). Lonsdale writes, "'Advice to a Young Lady lately married', originally in the Bath Journal in 1752, was often reprinted in periodicals in the following decades and is also found in most commonplace-books of the period" (226).
See also Poems Moral and Entertaining, Written Long Since by Miss Lewis, then of Holt, Now, and for Thirty Years Past, the Wife of Mr. Robert Clark, of Tetbury. (With a Few Others Addressed to Her.) Published at the Request of Her Husband, for the Benefit of the Infirmary at Glocester, the Hospital at Bath, and the Sunday Schools at Tetbury. (Bath: Printed and sold by S. Hazard; sold also by G. G. J. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row, London; and by the booksellers of Bath, Bristol, Glocester, and Tetbury, 1789). <Link to ECCO>
Searching in ECCO I find the poem in The Muse in a Moral Humour (London, 1757) <Link to ECCO>, in Friendly Hints; Which, Being Rightly Observed, May Prove Very Conducive to the Mutual Happiness of Both Sexes in the Married State (Northampton, 1787) <Link to ECCO>, The Weekly Entertainer (Sherburne, January 21, 1788) <Link to ECCO>, it's adapted (or plagiarized) by Mrs. Pickering in Poems by Mrs. Pickering (Birmingham, 1794) [see printer's note, p. 51] <Link to ECCO>, it appears in Interesting Anecdotes, Memoirs, Allegories, Essays, and Poetical Fragments (1796) <Link to ECCO>, and in Amatory Pieces (Ludlow, 1799) <Link to ECCO>.