1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

A Gentleman now on his Travels, "To Mrs. Robinson" Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser (9 January 1783).



The seaman from winds, and the fury of seas,
Each harbour will bless where he anchors at ease,
Yet with fonder regard will he eye the wish'd strand,
Where his vessel is destin'd, and cargo must land.—
—So I, dear MARIA! on life's ocean tost,
When I cannot keep sea, veer about for the coast,
And praise ev'ry harbour where shelter is found,
But you are the Port where my wishes are bound.—
Those wishes accept, — and abhor'd may I be,
If I ever fram'd wish that meant evil to thee!

While restless from nation, to nation I roam,
My heart, still untravell'd, seeks thee as its home.
O yield it abode! and believe, it my fair,
Of this breast art thou Tenant, — none else harbour there;
There sweet Star of beauty! thy dear image dwells,
Wings hard the fond pulse, and the sigh ever swells,
Gives a tide to the current that bathes the warm heart,
And grown to the soul, is become e'en a part!
O yield it abode! — bow ye Monks and be blest,
The Heaven I crave, is a place in her breast.
And say, breathes a Monk, wou'd in secret reprove
The devotion that's paid at the altar of Love?

Beshrew that cold Being, whom rigid and fell,
Nature forms a Recluse, and devotes to a cell;
Let him melt o'er his reliques, at beauty congeal,
And Saints praise his apathy, Ideots his zeal;
With Love in my heart, and with thee in my eye,
What zeal can Divinity equal, supply!