1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

J. B—o, "Sonnet to Miss Helena-Maria Williams" European Magazine 12 (August 1787) 144.



Enchanting Muse, whose clear melodious lay
(Like the sweet incense of a fragrant flower)
Steals on the sense with fascinating power,
Inrob'd in Pity's mild, benignant ray,
Pure simple nature unadorn'd by art,
With native beauty in thy song we trace;
(Where beaming Fancy with poetic grace,
Pourtrays the softer feelings of the Heart.)
While More and Seward, fav'rites of the Nine,
Each in their varied happy strains excel,
And tune the lyric to notes of highest swell;
Equal with them thy name shall splendid shine.
O then encourage still the glorious flame;
And let not Fear thy Muse's flight restrain:
Resume the pen — and may thy labours gain
A well-earn'd plaudit from the voice of fame.