1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Paul Colombine, "To Mrs. Robinson, on reading her Legitimate Sonnets" 1796; Robinson, Poetical Works (1806) 1:xxxiv.



What voice attun'd to the soft Lesbian lute
Breathes in this rugged clime such accents clear?
What British SAPPHO warbles through the year,
When ev'ry grove in Greece is lorn and mute?
The Muse and the Graces held dispute,
Which at her birth, the blooming babe should rear
Their blended gifts in her so bright appear.
Who would not strive to press the tender suit
To win the beauteous prize? where'er she moves,
Whene'er she speaks, she fascinates each eye
And winds around each heart: the tender loves,
With genius, taste, and varied harmony,
So breath in her soft lay, hoar age approves,
While youth, fond youth, dissolves in ecstasy.