1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

D., "Sonnet to Mrs. Smith, on reading her Sonnets lately published" General Evening Post (13 June 1786).



Not the sweet bird, who, thro' the nights of May,
Pours the sad story of her hapless love,
To the touch'd heart such tender things can say,
Or with such plaintive eloquence can move!
Base were those groveling minds, those breasts of stone,
Who taught thee grief, nor time nor hope can heal:
Hours may they know, unpitied and alone;
When their own woes shall make the wretches feel.
Oh! cou'd or fame, or friendship, aught impart
To cure the cruel wounds thy peace has known;
For others sorrows still thy tender heart
Should softly melt, but never for thine own;
Till pitying all, — and ev'n thy foes forgiv'n,
Thy candid spirit seeks its native heaven.
Chichester, May 8, 1786.