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Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to the Moon

 PALE GODDESS of the witching hour;
Blest Contemplation's placid friend; 
Oft in my solitary bow'r,
I mark thy lucid beam
From thy crystal car descend,
Whitening the spangled heath, and limpid sapphire stream.
And oft, amidst the shades of night I court thy undulating light; When Fairies dance around the verdant ring, Or frisk beside the bubbling spring, When the thoughtless SHEPHERD'S song Echoes thro' the silent air, As he pens his fleecy care, Or plods with saunt'ring gait, the dewy meads along.
CHASTE ORB! as thro' the vaulted sky Feath'ry clouds transparent sail; When thy languid, weeping eye, Sheds its soft tears upon the painted vale; As I ponder o'er the floods, Or tread with listless step, th'embow'ring woods, O, let thy transitory beam, Soothe my sad mind, with FANCY'S aëry dream.
Wrapt in REFLECTION, let me trace O'er the vast ethereal space, Stars, whose twinkling fires illume Dark-brow'd NIGHT'S obtrusive gloom; Where across the concave wide; Flaming METEORS swiftly glide; Or along the milky way, Vapours shoot a silvery ray; And as I mark, thy faint reclining head, Sinking on Ocean's pearly bed; Let REASON tell my soul, thus all things fade.
The Seasons change, the "garish SUN" When Day's burning car hath run Its fiery course, no more we view, While o'er the mountain's golden head, Streak'd with tints of crimson hue, Twilight's filmy curtains spread, Stealing o'er Nature's face, a desolating shade.
Yon musky FLOW'R, that scents the earth; The SOD, that gave its odours birth; The ROCK, that breaks the torrent's force; The VALE, that owns its wand'ring course; The woodlands where the vocal throng Trill the wild melodious song; Thirsty desarts, sands that glow, Mountains, cap'd with flaky snow; Luxuriant groves, enamell'd fields, All, all, prolific Nature yields, Alike shall end; the sensate HEART, With all its passions, all its fire, Touch'd by FATE'S unerring dart, Shall feel its vital strength expire; Those eyes, that beam with FRIENDSHIP'S ray, And glance ineffable delight, Shall shrink from LIFE'S translucid day, And close their fainting orbs, in DEATH'S impervious night.
Then what remains for mortal pow'r; But TIME'S dull journey to beguile; To deck with joy, the winged hour, To meet its sorrows with a patient smile; And when the toilsome pilgrimage shall end, To greet the tyrant, as a welcome friend.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

The Bee and the Butterfly

 UPON a garden's perfum'd bed 
With various gaudy colours spread, 
Beneath the shelter of a ROSE 
A BUTTERFLY had sought repose; 
Faint, with the sultry beams of day, 
Supine the beauteous insect lay.
A BEE, impatient to devour The nectar sweets of ev'ry flow'r, Returning to her golden store, A weight of fragrant treasure bore; With envious eye, she mark'd the shade, Where the poor BUTTERFLY was laid, And resting on the bending spray, Thus murmur'd forth her drony lay:­ "Thou empty thing, whose merit lies In the vain boast of orient dies; Whose glittering form the slightest breath Robs of its gloss, and fades to death; Who idly rov'st the summer day, Flutt'ring a transient life away, Unmindful of the chilling hour, The nipping frost, the drenching show'r; Who heedless of "to-morrow's fare," Mak'st present bliss thy only care; Is it for THEE, the damask ROSE With such transcendent lustre glows? Is it for such a giddy thing Nature unveils the blushing spring? Hence, from thy lurking place, and know, 'Tis not for THEE her beauties glow.
" The BUTTERFLY, with decent pride, In gentle accents, thus reply'd: "'Tis true, I flutter life away In pastime, innocent and gay; The SUN that decks the blushing spring Gives lustre to my painted wing; 'Tis NATURE bids each colour vie, With rainbow tints of varying die; I boast no skill, no subtle pow'r To steal the balm from ev'ry flow'r; The ROSE, that only shelter'd ME, Has pour'd a load of sweets on THEE; Of merit we have both our share, Heav'n gave thee ART, and made me FAIR; And tho' thy cunning can despise The humble worth of harmless flies; Remember, envious, busy thing, Thy honey'd form conceals a sting; Enjoy thy garden, while I rove The sunny hill, the woodbine grove, And far remov'd from care and THEE, Embrace my humble destiny; While in some lone sequester'd bow'r, I'll live content beyond thy pow'r; For where ILL-NATURE holds her reign TASTE, WORTH, and BEAUTY, plead in vain; E'en GENIUS must to PRIDE submit When ENVY wings the shaft of WIT.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode on Adversity

 WHERE o'er my head, the deaf'ning Tempest blew, 
And Night's cold lamp cast forth a feeble ray; 
Where o'er the woodlands, vivid light'nings flew, 
Cleft the strong oak, and scorch'd the blossom'd spray; 
At morn's approach, I mark the sun's warm glow 
O'er the grey hill a crimson radiance throw; 
I mark the silv'ry fragrant dew, 
Give lustre to the vi'let's hue; 
The shallow rivers o'er their pebbly way, 
In slow meanders murmuring play; 
Day spreads her beams, the lofty forest tree, 
Shakes from its moisten'd head the pearly show'r, 
All nature, feels the renovating hour, 
All, but the sorrowing child of cold ADVERSITY; 
For her, the linnet's downy throat 
Breathes harmony in vain; 
Unmov'd, she hears the warbling note 
In all the melody of song complain; 
By her unmark'd the flowret's bloom, 
In vain the landscape sheds perfume; 
Her languid form, on earth's damp bed, 
In coarse and tatter'd garb reclines; 
In silent agony she pines; 
Or, if she hears some stranger's tread, 
To a dark nook, ashamed she flies, 
And with her scanty robe, o'er-shades her weeping eyes.
Her hair, dishevel'd, wildly plays With every freezing gale; While down her cold cheek, deadly pale, The tear of pensive sorrow strays; She shuns, the PITY of the proud, Her mind, still triumphs, unsubdu'd Nor stoops, its misery to obtrude, Upon the vulgar croud.
Unheeded, and unknown, To some bleak wilderness she flies; And seated on a moss-clad stone, Unwholesome vapours round her rise, And hang their mischiefs on her brow; The ruffian winds, her limbs expose; Still, still, her heart disdains to bow, She cherishes her woes.
NOW FAMINE spreads her sable wings; INGRATITUDE insults her pangs; While from a thousand eager fangs, Madd'ning she flies;­The recreant crew With taunting smiles her steps pursue; While on her burning, bleeding heart, Fresh wounded by Affliction's dart, NEGLECT, her icy poison flings; From HOPE's celestial bosom hurl'd, She seeks oblivion's gloom, Now, now, she mocks the barb'rous world, AND TRIUMPHS IN THE TOMB.

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Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to Reflection

 O THOU, whose sober precepts can controul 
The wild impatience of the troubled soul, 
Sweet Nymph serene ! whose all-consoling pow'r 
Awakes to calm delight the ling'ring hour; 
O hear thy suppliant's ardent pray'r ! 
Chase from my pensive mind corroding care, 
Steal thro' the heated pulses of the brain, 
Charm sorrow to repose­and lull the throb of pain.
O, tell me, what are life's best joys? Are they not visions that decay, Sweet honey'd poisons, gilded toys, Vain glitt'ring baubles of a day? O say what shadow do they leave behind, Save the sad vacuum of the sated mind? Borne on the eagle wings of Fame, MAN soars above calm Reason's sway, "Vaulting AMBITION" mocks each tender claim, Plucks the dear bonds of social life away; As o'er the vanquish'd slave she wields her spear, COMPASSION turns aside---REFLECTlON drops a tear.
Behold the wretch, whose sordid heart, Steep'd in Content's oblivious balm, Secure in Luxury's bewitching calm, Repels pale Mis'ry's touch, and mocks Affliction's smart; Unmov'd he marks the bitter tear, In vain the plaints of woe his thoughts assail, The bashful mourner's pitious tale Nor melts his flinty soul, nor vibrates on his ear, O blest REFLECTION ! let thy magic pow'r Awake his torpid sense, his slumb'ring thought, Tel1 him ADVERSITY'S unpitied hour A brighter lesson gives, than Stoics taught: Tell him that WEALTH no blessing can impart So sweet as PITY'S tear­that bathes the wounded Heart.
Go tell the vain, the insolent, and fair, That life's best days are only days of care; That BEAUTY, flutt'ring like a painted fly, Owes to the spring of youth its rarest die; When Winter comes, its charms shall fade away, And the poor insect wither in decay: Go bid the giddy phantom learn from thee, That VIRTUE only braves mortality.
Then come, REFLECTION, soft-ey'd maid! I know thee, and I prize thy charms; Come, in thy gentlest smiles array'd, And I will press thee in my eager arms: Keep from my aching heart the "fiend DESPAIR," Pluck from my brow her THORN, and plant the OLIVE there.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to Eloquence

 HAIL! GODDESS of persuasive art! 
The magic of whose tuneful tongue 
Lulls to soft harmony the wand'ring heart 
With fascinating song; 
O, let me hear thy heav'n-taught strain, 
As thro' my quiv'ring pulses steal 
The mingling throbs of joy and pain, 
Which only sensate minds can feel; 
Ah ! let me taste the bliss supreme, 
Which thy warm touch unerring flings 
O'er the rapt sense's finest strings, 
When GENIUS, darting frown the sky, 
Glances across my wond'ring eye, 
Her animating beam.
SWEET ELOQUENCE! thy mild controul, Awakes to REASON's dawn, the IDIOT soul; When mists absorb the MENTAL sight, 'Tis thine, to dart CREATIVE LIGHT; 'Tis thine, to chase the filmy clouds away, And o'er the mind's deep bloom, spread a refulgent ray.
Nor is thy wond'rous art confin'd, Within the bounds of MENTAL space, For thou canst boast exterior grace, Bright emblem of the fertile mind; Yes; I have seen thee, with persuasion meek, Bathe in the lucid tear, on Beauty's cheek, Have mark'd thee in the downcast eye, When suff'ring Virtue claim'd the pitying sigh.
Oft, by thy thrilling voice subdued, The meagre fiend INGRATITUDE Her treach'rous fang conceals; Pale ENVY hides her forked sting; And CALUMNY, beneath the wing Of dark oblivion steals.
Before thy pure and lambent fire Shall frozen Apathy expire; Thy influence warm and unconfin'd, Shall rapt'rous transports give, And in the base and torpid mind, Shall bid the fine Affections live; When JEALOUSY's malignant dart, Strikes at the fondly throbbing heart; When fancied woes, on every side assail, Thy honey'd accents shall prevail; When burning Passion withers up the brain, And the fix'd lids, the glowing drops sustain, Touch'd by thy voice, the melting eye Shall pour the balm of yielding SYMPATHY.
'Tis thine, with lenient Song to move The dumb despair of hopeless LOVE; Or when the animated soul On Fancy's wing shall soar, And scorning Reason's soft controul, Untrodden paths explore; 'Till by distracting conflicts tost, The intellectual source is lost: E'en then, the witching music of thy tongue Stealing thro' Mis'ry's DARKEST GLOOM, Weaves the fine threads of FANCY's loom, 'Till every slacken'd nerve new strung, Bids renovated NATURE shine, Amidst the fost'ring beams of ELOQUENCE DIVINE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to the Nightingale

 SWEET BIRD OF SORROW! ­why complain 
In such soft melody of Song, 
That ECHO, am'rous of thy Strain, 
The ling'ring cadence doth prolong? 
Ah! tell me, tell me, why, 
Thy dulcet Notes ascend the sky.
Or on the filmy vapours glide Along the misty moutain's side? And wherefore dost Thou love to dwell, In the dark wood and moss-grown cell, Beside the willow-margin'd stream­ Why dost Thou court wan Cynthia's beam? Sweet Songstress­if thy wayward fate Hath robb'd Thee of thy bosom's mate, Oh, think not thy heart-piercing moan Evap'rates on the breezy air, Or that the plaintive Song of Care Steals from THY Widow'd Breast alone.
Oft have I heard thy mournful Tale, On the high Cliff, that o'er the Vale Hangs its dark brow, whose awful shade Spreads a deep gloom along the glade: Led by its sound, I've wander'd far, Till crimson evening's flaming Star On Heav'n's vast dome refulgent hung, And round ethereal vapours flung; And oft I've sought th'HYGEIAN MAID, In rosy dimply smiles array'd, Till forc'd with every HOPE to part, Resistless Pain subdued my Heart.
Oh then, far o'er the restless deep Forlorn my poignant pangs I bore, Alone in foreign realms to weep, Where ENVY's voice could taunt no more.
I hop'd, by mingling with the gay, To snatch the veil of Grief away; To break Affliction's pond'rous chain; VAIN was the Hope­in vain I sought The placid hour of careless thought, Where Fashion wing'd her light career, And sportive Pleasure danc'd along, Oft have I shunn'd the blithsome throng, To hide th'involuntary tear, For e'en where rapt'rous transports glow, From the full Heart the conscious tear will flow, When to my downy couch remov'd, FANCY recall'd my wearied mind To scenes of FRIENDSHIP left behind, Scenes still regretted, still belov'd! Ah, then I felt the pangs of Grief, Grasp my warm Heart, and mock relief; My burning lids Sleep's balm defied, And on my fev'rish lip imperfect murmurs died.
Restless and sad­I sought once more A calm retreat on BRITAIN's shore; Deceitful HOPE, e'en there I found That soothing FRIENDSHIP's specious name Was but a short-liv'd empty sound, And LOVE a false delusive flame.
Then come, Sweet BIRD, and with thy strain, Steal from my breast the thorn of pain; Blest solace of my lonely hours, In craggy caves and silent bow'rs, When HAPPY Mortals seek repose, By Night's pale lamp we'll chaunt our woes, And, as her chilling tears diffuse O'er the white thorn their silv'ry dews, I'll with the lucid boughts entwine A weeping Wreath, which round my Head Shall by the waning Cresent shine, And light us to our leafy bed,­ But ah! nor leafy beds nor bow'rs Fring'd with soft MAY's enamell'd flow'rs, Nor pearly leaves, nor Cynthia's beams, Nor smiling Pleasure's shad'wy dreams, Sweet BIRD, not e'en THY melting Strains Can calm the Heart, where TYRANT SORROW REIGNS.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet XXX: Oer the Tall Cliff

 O'er the tall cliff that bounds the billowy main
Shad'wing the surge that sweeps the lonely strand,
While the thin vapours break along the sand,
Day's harbinger unfolds the liquid plain.
The rude Sea murmurs, mournful as the strain That love-lorn minstrels strike with trembling hand, While from their green beds rise the Syren band With tongues aerial to repeat my pain! The vessel rocks beside the pebbly shore, The foamy curls its gaudy trappings lave; Oh! Bark propitious! bear me gently o'er, Breathe soft, ye winds; rise slow, O! swelling wave! Lesbos; these eyes shall meet thy sands no more: I fly, to seek my Lover, or my Grave!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest

 "HERE POPE FIRST SUNG!" O, hallow'd Tree !
Such is the boast thy bark displays;
Thy branches, like thy Patron's lays,
Shall ever, ever, sacred be; 
Nor with'ring storm, nor woodman's stroke, 
Shall harm the POET'S favourite Oak.
'Twas HERE, he woo'd his MUSE of fire, While Inspiration's wond'rous art, Sublimely stealing thro' his heart Did Fancy's proudest themes inspire: 'Twas HERE he wisely learnt to smile At empty praise, and courtly guile.
Retir'd from flatt'ring, specious arts.
From fawning sycophants of state, From knaves, with ravag'd wealth elate, And little SLAVES with TYRANT Hearts; In conscious freedom nobly proud, He scorn'd the envious, grov'ling crowd.
Tho' splendid DOMES around them rise, And pompous TITLES lull to rest Each strugg'ling Virtue in the breast, 'Till POW'R the place of WORTH supplies; The wretched herd can never know The sober joys these haunts bestow.
Does the fond MUSE delight to dwell, Where freezing Penance spreads its shade ? When scarce the Sun's warm beams pervade The hoary HERMIT'S dreary cell? Ah! no­THERE, Superstition blind, With torpid languor chills the mind.
Or, does she seek Life's busy scene, Ah ! no, the sordid, mean, and proud, The little, trifling, flutt'ring crowd, Can never taste her bliss serene; She flies from Fashion's tinsel toys, Nor courts her smile, nor shares her joys.
Nor can the dull pedantic mind, E'er boast her bright creative fires; Above constraint her wing aspires, Nor rigid spells her flight can bind; The narrow track of musty schools, She leaves to plodding VAPID FOOLS.
To scenes like THESE she bends her way, HERE the best feelings of the soul Nor interest taints, nor threats controul, Nor vice allures, nor snares betray; HERE from each trivial hope remov'd, Our BARD first sought the MUSE he lov'd.
Still shall thy pensive gloom diffuse, The verse sublime, the dulcet song; While round the POET'S seat shall throng, Each rapture sacred to the MUSE; Still shall thy verdant branches be The bow'r of wond'rous minstrelsy.
When glow-worms light their little fires, The am'rous SWAIN and timid MAID Shall sit and talk beneath thy shade, AS EVE'S last rosy tint expires; While on thy boughs the plaintive DOVE, Shall learn from them the tale of LOVE.
When round the quiv'ring moon-beams play, And FAIRIES form the grassy ring, 'Till the shrill LARK unfurls his wing, And soars to greet the blushing day; The NIGHTINGALE shall pour to THEE, Her Song of Love-lorn Melody.
When, thro' the forest dark and drear, Full oft, as ancient stories say, Old HERNE THE HUNTER i loves to stray, While village damsels quake with fear; Nor sprite or spectre, shall invade The still repose that marks THY shade.
BLEST OAK! thy mossy trunk shall be As lasting as the LAUREL'S bloom That deck's immortal VIRGIL'S tomb, And fam'd as SHAKSPERE'S hallow'd Tree; For every grateful MUSE shall twine A votive Wreath to deck THY SHRINE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

The Reply to Time

 O TIME, forgive the mournful song 
That on thy pinions stole along, 
When the rude hand of pain severe 
Chas'd down my cheek the burning tear; 
When sorrow chill'd each warm desire 
That kindles FANCY'S lambent fire; 
When HOPE, by fost'ring FRIENDSHIP rear'd, 
A phantom of the brain appear'd; 
Forgive the song, devoid of art, 
That stole spontaneous from my heart; 
For when that heart shall throb no more, 
And all its keen regrets be o'er; 
Should kind remembrance shed one tear 
To sacred FRIENDSHIP o'er my bier; 
When the dark precincts of the tomb, 
Shall hide me in its deepest gloom; 
O! should'st thou on thy wafting wing 
The sigh of gentle sorrow bring; 
Or fondly deign to bear the name 
Of one, alas! unknown to fame; 
Then, shall my weak untutor'd rhyme, 
Exulting boast the gifts of TIME.
But while I feel youth's vivid fire Fann'd by the breath of care expire; While no blest ray of HOPE divine, O'er my chill'd bosom deigns to shine: While doom'd to mark the vapid day In tasteless languor waste away: Still, still, my sad and plaintive rhyme Must blame the ruthless pow'r of TIME.
Each infant flow'r of rainbow hue, That bathes its head in morning dew, At twilight droops; the mountain PINE, Whose high and waving brows incline O'er the white cataract's foamy way, Shall at THY withering touch decay! The craggy cliffs that proudly rise In awful splendour 'midst the skies, Shall to the vale in fragments roll, Obedient to thy fell controul! The loftiest fabric rear'd to fame; The sculptur'd BUST, the POET'S name; The softest tint of TITIAN die; The boast of magic MINSTRELSY; The vows to holy FRIENDSHIP dear; The sainted smile of LOVE sincere, The flame that warms th' empassion'd heart; All that fine feeling can impart; The wonders of exterior grace; The spells that bind the fairest face; Fade in oblivion's torpid hour The victims of thy TYRANT POW'R!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Elegy to the Memory of Werter

 "With female Fairies will thy tomb be haunted
"And worms will not come to thee.
WHEN from Day's closing eye the lucid tears Fall lightly on the bending lily's head; When o'er the blushing sky night's curtains spread, And the tall mountain's summit scarce appears; When languid Evening, sinking to repose, Her filmy mantle o'er the landscape throws; Of THEE I'll sing; and as the mournful song Glides in slow numbers the dark woods among; My wand'ring steps shall seek the lonely shade, Where all thy virtues, all thy griefs are laid! Yes, hopeless suff'rer, friendless and forlorn, Sweet victim of love's power; the silent tear Shall oft at twilight's close, and glimm'ring morn Gem the pale primrose that adorns thy bier, And as the balmy dew ascends to heaven, Thy crime shall steal away, thy frailty be forgiv'n.
Oft by the moon's wan beam the love-lorn maid, Led by soft SYMPATHY, shall stroll along; Oft shall she listen in the Lime-tree's * shade, Her cold blood freezing at the night-owl's song: Or, when she hears the death-bell's solemn sound, Her light steps echoing o'er the hollow ground; Oft shall the trickling tear adorn her cheek, Thy pow'r, O SENSIBILITY ! in magic charms to speak! For the poor PILGRIM, doom'd afar to roam From the dear comforts of his native home, A glitt'ring star puts forth a silv'ry ray, Soothes his sad heart, and marks his tedious way; The short-liv'd radiance cheers the gloom of night, And decks Heaven's murky dome with transitory light.
So from the mournful CHARLOTTE's dark-orb'd lids, The sainted tear of pitying VIRTUE flows; And the last boon, the "churlish priest" forbids, On thy lone grave the sacred drop bestows; There shall the sparkling dews of Evening shine, AND HEAVEN'S OWN INCENSE CONSECRATE THE SHRINE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

To Simplicity

 [Inscribed to Lady Duncannon.
] SWEET blushing Nymph, who loves to dwell In the dark forest's silent gloom; Who smiles within the Hermit's cell, And sighs upon the rustic's tomb; Who, pitying, sees the busy throng, The slaves of fashion's giddy sway; Who in a wild and artless song, Warbles the feath'ry hours away.
Oft have I flown thy steps to trace, In the low valley's still retreat, Oft have I view'd thy blooming face, In the small cottage, proudly neat! I've seen thee, veil'd in vestal lawn, In the cold cloyster's hallow'd shade; I've seen thee, at the peep of dawn, In simple, russet garb array'd.
I've seen thee, crowned with APRIL flow'rs, Light bounding o'er the rural mead; I've heard thee in sequester'd bow'rs Sing to the SHEPHERD'S past'ral reed; When pleasure led the nymphs along In moonlight gambols o'er the green, I've mark'd THEE, fairest of the throng, With modest eye and timid mien.
No more my eager gaze shall trace Thy varying footsteps, blithe and free; For what art thou, but native grace, Soft Beauty's child, SIMPLICITY? 'Tis thine in every path to dwell, Where TRUTH and INNOCENCE are seen, In cottage low, or Hermit's cell, Or splendid dome, or rural green.
The spotless MIND, the brow serene, 'Tis THINE, enchanting Maid, to boast! The sweet, benignant, humble mien, And all that VIRTUE values most! Thy blushes paint DUNCANNONS's cheek, Thy light hand weaves her golden hair, Around her form, THY charms I'll seek, FOR ALL THE GRACES REVEL THERE!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet XXXI: Far Oer the Waves

 Far o'er the waves my lofty Bark shall glide,
Love's frequent sighs the flutt'ring sails shall swell,
While to my native home I bid farewell,
Hope's snowy hand the burnis'd helm shall guide!
Triton's shall sport admidst the yielding tide,
Myriads of Cupids round the prow shall dwell,
And Venus, thron'd within her opal shell,
Shall proudly o'er the glitt'ring billows ride!
Young Dolphins, dashing in the golden spray,
Shall with their scaly forms illume the deep
Ting'd with the purple flush of sinking day,
Whose flaming wreath shall crown the distant steep;
While on the breezy deck soft minstrels play,
And songs of love, the lover soothe to sleep!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Lines on Hearing it Declared that No Women Were So Handsome as the English

 BEAUTY, the attribute of Heaven! 
In various forms to mortals given, 
With magic skill enslaves mankind, 
As sportive fancy sways the mind.
Search the wide world, go where you will, VARIETY pursues you still; Capricious Nature knows no bound, Her unexhausted gifts are found In ev'ry clime, in ev'ry face, Each has its own peculiar grace.
To GALLIA's frolic scenes repair, There reigns the tyny DEBONAIRE; The mincing step­the slender waist, The lip with bright vermilion grac'd: The short pert nose­the pearly teeth, With the small dimpled chin beneath,­ The social converse, gay and free, The smart BON-MOT and REPARTEE.
ITALIA boasts the melting fair, The pointed step, the haughty air, Th' empassion'd tone, the languid eye, The song of thrilling harmony; Insidious LOVE conceal'd in smiles That charms­and as it charms beguiles.
View GRECIAN MAIDS, whose finish'd forms The wond'ring sculptor's fancy warms! There let thy ravish'd eye behold The softest gems of Nature's mould; Each charm, that REYNOLDS learnt to trace, From SHERIDAN's bewitching face.
Imperious TURKEY's pride is seen In Beauty's rich luxuriant mien; The dark and sparkling orbs that glow Beneath a polish'd front of snow: The auburn curl that zephyr blows About the cheek of brightest rose: The shorten'd zone, the swelling breast, With costly gems profusely drest; Reclin'd in softly-waving bow'rs, On painted beds of fragrant flow'rs; Where od'rous canopies dispense ARABIA's spices to the sense; Where listless indolence and ease, Proclaim the sov'reign wish, to please.
'Tis thus, capricious FANCY shows How far her frolic empire goes ! On ASIA's sands, on ALPINE snow, We trace her steps where'er we go; The BRITISH Maid with timid grace; The tawny INDIAN 's varnish'd face; The jetty AFRICAN; the fair Nurs'd by EUROPA's softer air; With various charms delight the mind, For FANCY governs ALL MANKIND.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Elegy to the Memory of Richard Boyle Esq.

 NEAR yon bleak mountain's dizzy height, 
That hangs o'er AVON's silent wave; 
By the pale Crescent's glimm'ring light, 
I sought LORENZO's lonely grave.
O'er the long grass the silv'ry dew, Soft Twilight's tears spontaneous shone; And the dank bough of baneful yew Supply'd the place of sculptured stone.
Oft, as my trembling steps drew near, The aëry voice of FANCY gave The plaint of GENIUS to mine ear, That, lingering, murmur'd on his grave.
"Cold is that heart, where honour glow'd, And Friendship's flame sublimely shone, And clos'd that eye where Pity flow'd, For ev'ry suff'ring but HIS OWN.
"That form where youth and grace conspir'd, To captivate admiring eyes, No more belov'd, no more admir'd, A torpid mass neglected lies.
"Mute is the music of that tongue, Once tuneful as the voice of love, When ORPHEUS, by his magic song, Taught trees, and flinty rocks to move.
"Oft shall the pensive MUSE be found, Sprinkling with flow'rs his mould'ring clay; While soft-eyed SORROW wand'ring round, Shall pluck intruding weeds away.
" Sad victim of the sordid mind, That doom'd THEE to an early grave; Ne'er shall HER breast that pity find, Which thy forgiveness nobly gave! Thou, who, when SORROW'S icy hand Forbad the healthsome pulse to flow, Obedient to HER stern command, With meek submission bow'd thee low! And when thy faded cheek proclaim'd The thorn that rankled in thy breast, Thy steady soul that pride maintain'd, Which marks the godlike mind distress'd! Nor was thy mental strength subdu'd, When HOPE's last ling'ring shadows fled, Unchang'd, thy dauntless spirit view'd The dreary confines of the dead! And when thy penetrating mind, Life's thorny maze presum'd to scan, In ev'ry path condemn'd to find "The low ingratitude of man.
" Indignant would'st thou turn away, And smiling raise thy languid eye, And oft thy feeble voice would say, "TO ME 'TIS HAPPINESS TO DIE.
" And tho' thy FRIEND, I with skilful art, To heal thy woes, each balm apply'd; Tho' the fine feelings of his heart, Nor cost nor studious care deny'd! He saw the fatal hour draw near, He saw THEE fading to the grave; He gave his last kind gift, A TEAR, And mourn'd the worth he could not save.
Nor could the ruthless breath of FATE Snatch from thy grave the tender sigh; Nor a relentless monster's hate Impede thy passage to the sky.
And tho' no kindred tears were shed, No tribute to thy memory giv'n; Sublime in death, thy spirit fled, To seek its best reward IN HEAVEN!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet IV: Why When I Gaze

 Why, when I gaze on Phaon's beauteous eyes,
Why does each thought in wild disorder stray?
Why does each fainting faculty decay,
And my chill'd breast in throbbing tumults rise?
Mute, on the ground my Lyre neglected lies,
The Muse forgot, and lost the melting lay;
My down-cast looks, my faultering lips betray,
That stung by hopeless passion,--Sappho dies!
Now, on a bank of Cypress let me rest;
Come, tuneful maids, ye pupils of my care,
Come, with your dulcet numbers soothe my breast;
And, as the soft vibrations float on air,
Let pity waft my spirit to the blest,
To mock the barb'rous triumphs of despair!