[Page [111]]


1 In SENSIBILITY'S lov'd praise
2 I tune my trembling reed,
3 And seek to deck her shrine with bays,
4 On which my heart must bleed!
5 No cold exemption from her pain
6 I ever wish to know;
7 Cheer'd with her transport, I sustain
8 Without complaint her woe.
[Page 112]
9 Above whate'er content can give,
10 Above the charm of ease,
11 The restless hopes and fears, that live
12 With her, have power to please.
13 Where, but for her, were Friendship's power
14 To heal the wounded heart,
15 To shorten sorrow's ling'ring hour,
16 And bid its gloom depart?
17 'Tis she that lights the melting eye
18 With looks to anguish dear;
19 She knows the price of every sigh,
20 The value of a tear.
21 She prompts the tender marks of love
22 Which words can scarce express;
23 The heart alone their force can prove,
24 And feel how much they bless.
[Page 113]
25 Of every finer bliss the source!
26 'Tis she on love bestows
27 The softer grace, the boundless force,
28 Confiding passion knows;
29 When to another, the fond breast
30 Each thought for ever gives;
31 When on another leans for rest,
32 And in another lives!
33 Quick, as the trembling metal flies
34 When heat or cold impels,
35 Her anxious heart to joy can rise,
36 Or sink where anguish dwells!
37 Yet though her soul must griefs sustain
38 Which she alone can know,
39 And feel that keener sense of pain
40 Which sharpens every woe;
[Page 114]
41 Though she, the mourners' grief to calm,
42 Still shares each pang they feel,
43 And, like the tree distilling balm,
44 Bleeds others' wounds to heal;
45 Though she, whose bosom, fondly true,
46 Has never wish'd to range,
47 One alter'd look will trembling view,
48 And scarce can bear the change;
49 Though she, if death the bands should tear
50 She vainly thought secure,
51 Through life must languish in despair,
52 That never hopes a cure;
53 Though wounded by some vulgar mind,
54 Unconscious of the deed,
55 Who never seeks those wounds to bind,
56 But wonders why they bleed;
[Page 115]
57 She oft will heave a secret sigh,
58 Will shed a lonely tear,
59 O'er feelings nature wrought so high,
60 And gave on terms so dear.
61 Yet who would hard INDIFFERENCE choose,
62 Whose breast no tears can steep?
63 Who, for her apathy, would lose
64 The sacred power to weep?
65 Though in a thousand objects pain
66 And pleasure tremble nigh,
67 Those objects strive to reach in vain
68 The circle of her eye.
69 Cold as the fabled god appears
70 To the poor suppliant's grief,
71 Who bathes the marble form in tears,
72 And vainly hopes relief.
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73 Ah, GREVILLE! why the gifts refuse
74 To souls like thine allied?
75 No more thy nature seem to lose,
76 No more thy softness hide.
77 No more invoke the playful sprite
78 To chill, with magic spell,
79 The tender feelings of delight,
80 And anguish sung so well;
81 That envied case thy heart would prove
82 Were sure too dearly bought
83 With friendship, sympathy, and love,
84 And every finer thought.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): TO SENSIBILITY.
Themes: friendship; sensibility
Genres: address

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Source edition

Williams, Helen Maria, 1759-1827. Poems on various subjects: with introductory remarks on the present state of science and literature in France. London: G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1823, pp. [111]-116.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [8º W 229 BS].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Helen Maria Williams