1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

Anna Seward, "Sonnet to Miss Williams, on her Epic Poem, Peru" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (30 September 1784).



Poetic Sister, who with daring hand,
Ere thy fourth lustre's last soft year is flown,
Hast seiz'd the epic lyre — with art divine;
Wak'd on its golden strings each spirit bland,
Or bade its deep sonorous tunes expand:
Shalt thou the claim to glory's meed resign,
Call other strains, less silver sweet than thine,
To Hymen the fate of a disastrous land?
See! at that call, Peru's wild genius flies
To Thespian bowers! — there, as Urania strays,
Grasps her bright robe, and thus impatient cries,
With bending knee and supplicating gaze:
"Be mine alone thy lovely female bard,
O from obstrusive lyres my well-sung story guard!"