1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

W. J. Oddy, "Sonnet, occasioned by reading Mrs. Robinson's Vancenza" European Magazine 21 (May 1792) 393.



Ah! loveliest sacrifice at Sorrow's shrine,
Hapless Elvira! did the purple bloom
Tint thy fair cheek! was ev'ry virtue thine!
Thus to be wedded to the senseless tomb?
Why was Almanza base? Has Falshood then
Stol'n the fair garb of Truth to mock the eye?
Shall hoary villains 'scape remorse and pain,
And youthful innocence afflicted die?
Fair Moralist, enforce these rules no more,
Genius like thine the firmest may deter;
Swell'd is the number that continual err,
But few, alas! attend to Virtue's lore.
Yet this we know, frailty may be forgiven,
But guilt confirm'd will meet the wrath of Heaven.
April 4, 1792.