A Celebration of Women Writers

"To Simplicity. " by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. pp. 84-85.

Editorial Credits

[Page 84]

TO

SIMPLICITY.

INSCRIBED TO

LADY DUNCANNON.

SWEET blushing Nymph, who loves to dwell
  In the dark forest's silent gloom;
Who smiles within the Hermit's cell,
  And sighs upon the rustic's tomb;
Who, pitying, sees the busy throng,
  The slaves of fashion's giddy sway;
Who in a wild and artless song,
  Warbles the feath'ry hours away.

Oft have I flown thy steps to trace,
  In the low valley's still retreat,
Oft have I view'd thy blooming face,
  In the small cottage, proudly neat !
I've seen thee, veil'd in vestal lawn,
  In the cold cloyster's hallow'd shade;
I've seen thee, at the peep of dawn,
  In simple, russet garb array'd.

I've seen thee, crowned with APRIL flow'rs,
  Light bounding o'er the rural mead;

[Page 85]

I've heard thee in sequester'd bow'rs
  Sing to the SHEPHERD'S past'ral reed;
When pleasure led the nymphs along
  In moonlight gambols o'er the green,
I've mark'd THEE, fairest of the throng,
  With modest eye and timid mien.

No more my eager gaze shall trace
  Thy varying footsteps, blithe and free;
For what art thou, but native grace,
  Soft Beauty's child, SIMPLICITY ?
'Tis thine in every path to dwell,
  Where TRUTH and INNOCENCE are seen,
In cottage low, or Hermit's cell,
  Or splendid dome, or rural green.

The spotless MIND, the brow serene,
  'Tis THINE, enchanting Maid, to boast !
The sweet, benignant, humble mien,
  And all that VIRTUE values most!
Thy blushes paint DUNCANNONS's cheek,
  Thy light hand weaves her golden hair,
Around her form, THY charms I'll seek,
  FOR ALL THE GRACES REVEL THERE !

[Next]

Editorial Credits