[Page 211]


* This and the seven following Sonnets were inserted, several years ago, in a translation I made of Bernardin de Saint Pierre's novel of Paul and Virginia, while I was in prison during the reign of terror, and which served to cheat the days of captivity of their weary length. The translation was, I believe, never published in England, where the Sonnets are little known. They are adapted to the peculiar situations and scenery of the work.

1 AH, Love! ere yet I knew thy fatal power,
2 Bright glow'd the colour of my youthful days,
3 As on the sultry zone the torrid rays,
4 That paint the broad-leav'd plantain's glossy bower:
5 Calm was my bosom as this silent hour,
6 When o'er the deep, scarce heard, the zephyr strays,
7 'Midst the cool tamarinds indolently plays,
8 Nor from the orange shakes its od'rous flower:
9 But ah! since Love has all my heart possest,
10 That desolated heart what sorrows tear!
11 Disturb'd, and wild as ocean's troubled breast,
12 When the hoarse tempest of the night is there!
13 Yet my complaining spirit asks no rest,
14 This bleeding bosom cherishes despair.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): SONNET TO LOVE.
Genres: sonnet

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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, p. 211.  (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