A Celebration of Women Writers

"Sonnet to Ingratitude." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. p. 176.

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[Page 176]




He that's ungrateful, has no guilt but one;
All other crimes may pass for virtues in him.


  I COULD have borne affliction's sharpest thorn;
    The sting of malice–poverty's deep wound;
  The sneers of vulgar pride, the idiot's scorn;
    Neglected Love, false Friendship's treach'rous sound;

  I could, with patient smile, extract the dart
Base calumny had planted in my heart;
The fangs of envy; agonizing pain;
ALL, ALL, nor should my steady soul complain:

  E'en had relentless FATE, with cruel pow'r,
    Darken'd the sunshine of each youthful day;
  While from my path she snatch'd each transient flow'r.
    Not one soft sigh my sorrow should betray;
  But where INGRATITUDE'S fell poisons pour,
    HOPE shrinks subdued–and LIFE'S BEST JOYS DECAY.


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