1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Eugenius, "To Mrs. Robinson" The Star (12 December 1791)



When SAPPHO, from the lofty steep,
O'erwhelm'd with dire despair,
Plung'd headlong in the foaming deep,
To end her hopeless care;

VENUS, who saw the tuneful Maid
Bend o'er the yawning wave,
Sent her own Son the Nymph to aid—
He came too late to save!

But, as the trembling spirit rose
To seek its calm abode,
VENUS, in pity to her woes,
This gentle boon bestow'd:

No more the victim of despair
Shall SAPPHO'S spirit rove;
But on the earth, divinely fair,
Claim ev'ry gazer's love!

Again the wond'rous Nymph appears
More tuneful, more divine;
She brings fresh music from the spheres,
For, ah! HER LYRE IS THINE!