1790 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Laetitia Barbauld

John Aikin, "Sonnet to Mrs. Barbauld, March 1790" Aikin, Poems (1791) 75.



Thus speaks the Muse, and bends her brow severe:
"Did I, LETITIA, lend my choicest lays,
And crown thy youthful head with freshest bays,
That all th' expectance of the full grown year
Should lie inert and fruitless? O revere
Those sacred gifts whose meed is deathless praise,
Whose potent charms th' enraptur'd soul can raise
Far from the vapors of this earthly sphere:
Seize, seize the Lyre! resume the lofty strain!
'Tis time, 'tis time! hark how the nations round
With jocund notes of Liberty resound,
And thy own CORSICA has burst her chain!
O let the song to Britain's shores rebound,
Where Freedom's once-lov'd voice is heard, alas! in vain."