1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Robert Merry, "Stanzas, to Mrs. Robinson on reading her Poems" New London Magazine 7 (December 1791) 580.



Blest Daughter of Gentleness! Child of the Muse!
Restrain the dear lay that so meltingly flows,
Tho' its breathings a transport diviner infuse,
Than the Nightingale's pray'r for the kiss of the Rose.

Yet, alas! there is anguish and danger to hear;
The spells of the fatal enchanter I prove,
His magic dominion in thee I revere,
For I know thou art beauty! and feel thou art Love!

I feel that thy charms can enrapture the view
Thy thought so expansive, so richly refin'd!
Has power to disorder, has force to subdue,
And I die, in adoring thy heart and thy mind!

When I see thy own heav'n in refulgence array'd,
Like the PERSIAN to maddest devotion I run,
By the blaze of thy glory my sense is dismay'd,
For I am the Bigot, and thou art the SUN!

Yet tho' the rich tribute of MERIT and FAME,
From Taste and Discernment thou ever must share;
Pale folly, and rancour shall fix on thy name,
And ENVY, distracted, be turn'd to DESPAIR.

When the EAGLE majestical sails through the sky,
The OWL and the RAVEN are shock'd at the sight;
To the caverns of darkness, in anguish they fly,
And curse with dismay the bold bird of the light.

Then Daughter of Gentleness! Child of the Muse!
By pity each wretch's resentment controul;
Let the dull and the dastard aspire to abuse,
Be it mine, thou sweet minstrel, to give thee my soul.