1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Maria, "Lines, addressed to Charlotte Smith, author of the Elegiac Sonnets" The Star (16 December 1788).



If sympathy, dear SMITH, can sooth thy woes,
Or ought of comfort to thy breast convey;
If friendship's balm can yield thee soft repose,
Or tender love can cheer thy rugged way.

I proffer this, and all a feeling heart can give,
Fondly wishing to calm thy troubled breast,
Maternal care has call'd on thee to live,
Hope, and Religion, will sooth thy soul to rest.

The tear of pity trembles in mine eye
Whilst I peruse thy tender melting strain,
Where the Nine Sisters with each other vie
To grace thy sonnets, and express thy pain.

The untaught Bard who now presumes to mount,
And trace thy footsteps up Parnassus' Hill,
Timid and doubtful every step I count,
My head turns giddy, and I drop the quill.