1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Author of the Bevy of Beauties, "Address to Mrs. Robinson, written in the Spring of 1777" Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser (28 March 1782).



My head, wild with rhime, and with passion in my heart,
As a tribute long due, I remit you a part;
—Yet, poor is the verse, as a gift to bestow,
And the heart, dear Maria! was thine long ago.
"But, what is its worth?" the fair Monitor cries—
There, BLOSSOM OF BEAUTY, thy sweet image lies:
And the casket has value, an hermit would swear,
Which treasures a jewel so precious, — so rare!—
"Oh! drop the sophistical reas'ning of schools;
With nature to guide thee, leave logic to fools."—
I bow to the mandate, I quit the disguise;
Each soft tender sensitive view in my eyes!
When mute I approach you, 'tis love chains my tongue—
The river is silent, the stream brawls along!

O why did I gaze on that form, or that face,
Where nature has scatter'd each ravishing grace!
Each feature enchanting — a bloom like the morn,
And dimples to lighten, and smiles to adorn:
O why leave PHILOSOPHY mid way the skies,
To study the motion alone of thine eyes!—
How winning that glance! — O while looks sweetly move
My pulse to soft rapture, my senses to love;
Absorb'd in a trance of delight let me lie,
Thy voice o'er my ear breathe the music of joy;
And, while my fond soul the sweet melody sips,
An earnest of Heav'n bestow from thy lips!