1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

F. R. S., "To Mrs. C. Smith" Morning Chronicle (9 March 1792).



Sweet Songstress, that near Arun's classic stream
Did'st pour in sighs thy melancholy throat,
As by "the silver Bow's" refulgent beam
Swell'd on thy ear the nightingale's sad note;
(While, vainly emulous of superior art,
In all her mournful melody of woe,
She bids the liquid lamentation blow;
Her numbers strike the ear — thine reach the heart).
—Say, are thy sorrows fled? — and shall no more
The soft'ning sympathy seduce the breast?
Say, art thou landed on that quiet shore,
Where suff'ring ceases and the weary rest?
Ah! be't not so — I love thy plaintive strain,
And would buy pleasure with the Poet's pain.
March 7, 1792.