1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Augustus, "Elegy on Mrs. R—bins—n, the late celebrated Perdita" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (9 August 1786).



What now avail to thee, those glittering toys,
Those gay delusive scenes, once much admir'd,
The splendid chariot, and the rake's applause,
Or all that human frailty e'er desir'd?

Those hours are past! nor youth nor beauty screen'd
Thy mortal frame from yielding up its breath;
Sunk from the pomp in which you lately reign'd,
In dark obscurity you sunk to death.

Alas! had those bright gifts on you bestown,
Been spent in virtue's unpolluted ways,
For your hard fate, the generous tears had flown,
Nor as an exile, had you clos'd your days.

Possess'd of every charm, and every grace,
And of a mind accomplish'd as your mein;
How happy might you then have run your race,
Compos'd and cheerful, placid and serene.

May gracious heav'n forgive your frailties here,
And blot away whate'er you've done amiss;
Grant you that pardon, which you beg'd sincere,
And give you entrance in the realms of bliss.

Ye fair, attend, the sage advice pursue,
Nor swerve from virtue, which must ever bloom,
Its lovely precepts ever keep in view,
For that survives beyond the grave and tomb.
July 18.