1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Anonymous, "On seeing Mrs. Robinson in Ophelia, in Hamlet" St. James's Chronicle (28 October 1777).



When Beauty's Lips invite the list'ning Ear,
What Heart so cold that can disdain to hear?
When Eyes reveal the Dictates of the Mind,
By Pity soften'd, and by Truth refin'd;
When Love inspires the Soul with every Grace,
And Beauty animates the Form and Face;
What Wretch obdurate can behold such Charms,
Without one Sigh, one Tear, to Love's Alarms?
Then dread no more the Critic's Lash, or fear
The Smile contemptuous, or the Frown austere,
For while true Merit strikes the candid Eye,
Thou shalt each mean invidious Shaft defy,
And still for artless Worth unrival'd reign,
While Envy shoots her venom'd Dart in vain.