1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Anonymous, "Advice to Mrs. Smith. A Sonnet" European Magazine 10 (August 1786) 127.



Muse of the South! whose soul-enchanting shell
With mournful notes can melt the soften'd heart,
And to each breast of sympathy impart
The tender sorrow thou describ'st so well!
Ah never let thy lyre superior dwell
On themes thy better judgment must disdain!
It ill befits, that verse like thine should tell
Of Petrarch's love, or Werter's frantic pain!
Let not or foreign taste, or tales enchain
The genuine freedom of thy flowing line,
Nor the dark dreams of Suicide obtain
Deceitful lustre from such tones as thine;
But still to nature and to virtue given,
Thy heavenly talent dedicate to heaven!