1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Anonymous, "Florizel to Perdita" General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (25 March 1783).



When you, Perdita, lately reign'd
Sole mistress of my captive heart;
And lovely grateful, kindly deign'd
To give to me, in your's, a part;

Joyful I vow'd, my ardent love
For ever should remain the same;
Absence and Time, I said, should prove
Too weak to change my constant flame.

But ah! the rash, the hasty vow,
Before Cleora's beauty flies;
At her more glorious shrine I bow,
Her brighter charms demand my sighs.

The traveller, with glad surprise,
The first faint glimpse of morn surveys;
But when the sun's bright glories rise,
Amaz'd he views the dazzling blaze.

No more Aurora's dawning beams,
No more her glimm'ring rays delight;
He scorns, alas! such languid gleams,
And scarce believes he thought them bright.

So your weak beauties warm'd my heart,
For you I heav'd a gentle sigh;
Cleora threw a flaming dart:
For her I burn — for her I die.

But tho', Maria, thus you see
Your short-liv'd pow'r has found an end:
Yet rest assur'd, I e'er shall be,
Whilst life remains,
Your constant friend.
X.