1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

Christopher Smyth, "Sonnet to Miss Seward" 1799; Anna Seward, Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 5:266-67n.



Not in thy bowers, Valclusa, when the strain,
Breath'd by the Spirit of love to night's still ear,
Fondly bewail'd fair Laura's timeless bier,
And mourn'd, on Sorga's banks, her loss in vain,
Did purer melody the soul enchain,
Than when, of late, the Muse, to Britain dear,
Tun'd her chaste lyre, that heaven might stoop to hear,
And with its strings charm'd her native plain.
Then why, thou sweet enthusiast, bid farewell
To the rich music of its various chime?
O sweep, with volant touch, thy chorded shell,
Yet, yet again, and swell the lofty rhyme,
To virtue's praise; nor with less rapture dwell
On nature's awful scenes and works sublime!