1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Virgilius, "To Laura Maria, on her Absence from England" 1791; Universal Magazine 91 (September 1792) 210.



Britannia, weep; your Muse is flown,
Her song no more is near;
Her magic lyre's resistless tone,
Her soft persuasive tear.

Far o'er the main she bends her way,
Hygea's smiles to prove;
But round her form enamour'd play
The magic spells of Love.

Her mind, where all the Graces join,
No polish needs acquire;
Her every thought, with skill divine,
The Muses all inspire.

With open hand, and gen'rous heart,
She ne'er a boon deny'd;
When Sorrow trembles to impart
The wound receiv'd from pride.

The pang that tore the widow's hart,
Was ne'er observ'd in vain;
The orphan's tear, the parent's smart,
She knew, and shared their pain.

The precepts which she taught, were those
That Virtue's self may teach;
The sympathy for other's woes,
The bliss to feel for each.

Her genius blaz'd effulgent light
O'er every lesser star;
Such as from day's illumin'd height,
Emblazons Phoebus' car.

The tears she gave to dire distress,
To heal the stings of pain;
Fell o'er the wretch, she bow'd to bless,
Like evening's gentle rain.

Where'er she roves, may heaven defend
And shield her heart from woes;
And on her varying paths attend,
And smooth them as she goes.
Highgate,
Sept. 1, 1791.