1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

A Lady of Fifteen, "Sonnet. To the Muse, on reading Miss Smith's Sonnets" Gentleman's Magazine 55 (December 1785) 991.



Bewitching power, if to thine art 'tis given,
To sooth the evils which mankind await,
And make the wretch, to fell despondence driven,
A moment lose the sense of present fate!
Or still thy influence o'er thy Charlotte shed;
Still in sweet strains may she her sorrows sing,
And, while she twines fresh laurels for her head,
Some kind relief may those who hear her bring!
And, could my hand her poignant woe relieve,
Soon should her lyre to strains of joy be strung,
But I can only that soft pity give,
Which all must feel who read her plaintive song.
Sing on, sweet maid, and soon may time restore
The vernal wreath which blooms for thee no more.