1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

John Burgoyne, "To Mrs. Robinson" Lloyd's Evening Post (2 February 1791) 110.



LAURA, when from thy beauteous eyes
The tear of tender anguish flows,
Such magic in thy sorrow lies,
That every bosom shares thy woes.

When on thy lovely perfect face
The sportive dimpled smile we see,
With eager hope the cause we trace,
And wish to share each bliss with thee.

For in thy highly-polished mind
Superior charms so sweetly blend,
In each such gentle grace we find,
E'en ENVY must thy worth commend.

For who can gaze upon the lip,
That coral lip of brightest hue,
Nor wish its honied balm to sip,
More fresh, more sweet than morning dew?

But when the sweet poetic lays
Pierce to the heart's remotest cell,
We feel the conscious innate praise
Which feeble language fails to tell.

So melting is thy Lute's soft tone,
Each breast unused to feel desire,
Confesses bliss before unknown,
And kindles at the sacred fire.

So chaste, so eloquent thy song,
So true each precept it conveys,
That e'en the SAGE shall teach the young
To take their lesson from thy lays.

And when thy pen's delightful art
Paints with soft touch LOVE'S tender flame,
Thy verse so melts and mends the heart,
That, taught by thee, we prize his name.

Or when, in plaintive Melody,
Thou mourn'st the FRIEND thy soul held dear,
Charm'd by thy pow'r we join with thee,
And weep in sadness o'er his bier.

Oh! MISTRESS of each yielding heart!
Accept the Verse to genius due;
No flatt'ry can that BARD impart
Who dares address his vows in you.
HUBERT.