1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

E., "Sonnet to Miss Helen Maria Williams, on her Poem of Peru" Gentleman's Magazine (June 1786) 513.



Daughter of Verse — soft Pity's sweetest child—
Meek virgin-priestess of the tuneful Nine!
Wilt thou admit of breathings rude and wild
T' attempt to praise such heavenly strains as thine?
All uncontroul'd to thy enchanting song
I give my feeling, nor the gift could rue;
For every note they sound, while led along,
To nature faithful, and to passion true.
What though no longer now thy numbers roll
Peru's sad story on my list'ning ear,
Still, sunk their charming tenour in my soul,
I think I hear them, and could ever hear;
While, like the thanks some blest oration draws,
I can but murmur thus my hoarse applause.