A Celebration of Women Writers

"Sonnet Inscribed to Her Grace the Dutchess of Devonshire. " by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. p. 172.

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[Page 172]

SONNET

INSCRIBED

TO HER GRACE THE

DUTCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE.

'TIS NOT thy flowing hair of orient gold,
  Nor those bright eyes, like sapphire gems that glow;
  Nor cheek of blushing rose, nor breast of snow,
The varying passions of the heart could hold:

Those locks, too soon, shall own a silv'ry ray,
  Those radiant orbs their magic fires forego;
Insatiate TIME shall steal those tints away,
  Warp thy fine form, and bend thy beauties low:

But the rare wonders of thy polish'd MIND
  Shall mock the empty menace of decay;
The GEM, that in thy SPOTLESS BREAST enshrin'd,
  Glows with the light of intellectual ray;
Shall, like the Brilliant, scorn each borrow'd aid,
And deck'd with native lustre NEVER FADE!

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The Duchess of Devonshire
From the Engraving by Bartolozzi, after J. Nixon.

From The Memoirs of Mary Robinson

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[Note that the illustration is not included in the 1791 volume of Poems. It has been appended here for the interest of the reader. ]

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