Poems by Anna Seward

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What asks the POET, when he pours
BARINE, to thy always broken vows
Boy, not in these Autumnal bowers
LEUCONOE, cease presumptuous to inquire
Not always, dear Licinius, is it wise
O thou! exulting in the charms,
Now had you drank cold Tanais' wave,
O, Lydia! I conjure thee tell
Not he, O MUSE! whom thy auspicious eyes
Be far-fam'd [2]RHODES the theme of loftier strains,
Mæcenas, I conjure thee cease
'T was night - the moon, upon her sapphire throne,
My Phidyle, retir'd in shady wild,
Sweet Phyllis, leave thy quiet home,
Alas! my Posthumus, the Years
Where roses flaunt beneath some pleasant cave,
Dark in the Miser's chest, in hoarded heaps,
The number of the vanish'd years
In dazzling whiteness, lo! Soracte towers,
Nymph of the stream, whose source perpetual pours
Where do ye rush, ye impious Trains,
Not ceaseless falls the heavy shower
The snows dissolve, the rains no more pollute,
Lyre of the Sonnet, that full many a time
When Life's realities the Soul perceives
The Future, and its gifts, alone we prize,
From these wild heights, where oft the mists descend
And now the youthful, gay, capricious Spring,
Seek not, my Lesbia, the sequester'd dale,
In every breast Affection fires, there dwells
Hope comes to Youth, gliding thro' azure skies
Long has the pall of Midnight quench'd the scene,
The knell of WHITEHEAD tolls! - his cares are past,
To The Right Honourable Lady Marianne Carnegie, passing her winters at Ethic House on the Coast of Scotland, with her Father, Lord Northesk, who retired thither after the death of his excellent Countess.
Loud blew the North thro' April's pallid days,
What bashful wildness in those crystal eyes,
In the chill silence of the winter eve,
Not the slow Hearse, where nod the sable plumes,
Why view'st thou, Edwy, with disdainful mien
Disciple of the bright Aonian Maid
[1]Dim grows the vital flame in his dear breast
Thy GENIUS, Colebrooke, faithless to his charge,
Prais'd be the Poet, who the Sonnet's claim,
Time, and thy charms, thou fanciest will redeem
Marcellus, since the ardors of my strain
Nobly to scorn thy gilded veil to wear,
Cou'd aweful Johnson want poetic ear,
Well it becomes thee, Britain, to avow
Yes, thou shalt smile again! - Time always heals
While Summer Roses all their glory yield
Ah, hapless JUNE! circles yon lunar Sphere
He who a tender long-lov'd Wife survives,
[1]In sultry noon when youthful MILTON lay,
While unsuspecting trust in all that wears
He found her not; - yet much the POET found,
Lo! modern Critics emulously dare
O! hast thou seen a vernal Morning bright
Sophia tempts me to her social walls,
As lightens the brown Hill to vivid green
My Angel Sister, tho' thy lovely form
From a riv'd Tree, that stands beside the grave
While one sere leaf, that parting Autumn gilds,
Yon late but gleaming Moon, in hoary light
MARCH, tho' the Hours of promise with bright ray
Pride of Ierne's Sea-encircled bound,
Round Cleon's brow the Delphic laurels twine,
The three following Sonnets are written in the character of Werter; the sentiments and images chiefly, but not intirely taken from one of his letters.
Ah, thankless! canst thou envy him who gains
In this chill morning of a wintry Spring
By Derwent's rapid stream as oft I stray'd,
Short is the time the oldest Being lives,
HONORA, shou'd that cruel time arrive
My hour is not yet come! - these burning eyes
On the fleet streams, the Sun, that late arose,
Behold that Tree, in Autumn's dim decay,
Yon soft Star, peering o'er the sable cloud,
All is not right with him, who ill sustains
On the damp margin of the sea-beat shore
The breathing freshness of the shining Morn,
Thou silent Door of our eternal sleep,
Since my griev'd mind some energy regains,
How sweet to rove, from summer sun-beams veil'd,
Chill'd by unkind Honora's alter'd eye,
Thou child of NIGHT, and SILENCE, balmy SLEEP,
INGRATITUDE, how deadly is thy smart
Farewell, false Friend! - our scenes of kindness close!
I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,
Since dark December shrouds the transient day,
Lo! the YEAR's FINAL DAY! - Nature performs
My memory, long accustom'd to receive
Rapt CONTEMPLATION, bring thy waking dreams
While with false pride, and narrow jealousy,
[1]From Possibility's dim chaos sprung,
Dark as the silent stream beneath the night,
With lyre Orphean, see a Bard explore
Now young-ey'd Spring, on gentle breezes borne,
The evening shines in May's luxuriant pride,
Apollo, at his crowded altars, tir'd
Ah! why have I indulg'd my dazzled sight
Ceas'd is the rain; but heavy drops yet fall
Ah! might I range each hallow'd bower and glade
Proud of our lyric Galaxy, I hear
You, whose dull spirits feel not the fine glow
Do I not tell thee surly Winter's flown,
Behold the Day an image of the Year!
If GENIUS has its danger, grief and pain,
Fortunate Vale! exulting Hill! dear Plain!
O partial MEMORY! Years, that fled too fast,
See wither'd WINTER, bending low his head;
O, GENIUS! does thy Sun-resembling beam
That song again! - its sounds my bosom thrill,
O, EVER DEAR! thy precious, vital powers
Behold him now his genuine colours wear,
Last night her Form the hours of slumber bless'd
When Death, or adverse Fortune's ruthless gale,
When mourn the dark Winds o'er the lonely plain,
In April's gilded morn when south winds blow,
Now on hills, rocks, and streams, and vales, and plains,
Thro' changing Months a well-attemper'd Mind
If he whose bosom with no transport swells