1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Helen Maria Williams

Belinda, "Verses, to Miss Helen Maria Williams" Massachusetts Magazine or Monthly Museum 3 (April 1791) 245.



Soft as the mildest breath of spring,
That gently floats on zephyr's wing;
Across the flow'r enamell'd plain,
Is fair Maria's dulcet strain.

Rich as perfumes of Eden's vale,
That incense nature's passing gale,
And give their sweets to rising day,
Is polish'd Williams's hyblean lay.

Hadst thou but liv'd in ancient time,
When Sparta wanton'd in her prime,
Thy magic verse had rul'd the storm,
That levell'd Troy's imperial form.

Contending chiefs, with list'ning ear,
Had courted peace, thy voice to hear,
And Paris self, well pleas'd resign'd,
The proud vain queen — for Helen's mind.