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]





'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!


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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