1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

E. J., "On reading Letters written from France, by Helen Maria Williams" Public Advertiser (12 January 1792).



While Burke, equip'd for daring fight,
Steps forth a literary Knight,
In folds of ancient armour drest,
And boldly rears his feudal crest;
Waves high in air his brandish'd lance,
And his huge gauntlet throws at France;
Near the stern Chief, a lovely Maid
Comes in simplicity array'd:
The flowing robe in which she moves,
Wove by the Graces and the Loves;
She tries no formal refutation
Of his elab'rate speculation,
Nor raves of Governments and Laws,
For she to Nature trusts her cause;
Makes to the heart her strong appeal,
Which all who have a heart must feel;
Bids the quick tear of pity roll,
And seizes on the vanquish'd soul.