A Celebration of Women Writers

"Sonnet. The Tear." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. p. 184.

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[Page 184]

SONNET.

THE

TEAR.

AH ! LUST'ROUS GEM, bright emblem of the Heart,
  That nobly scorns a borrow'd ray to share,
  Whose gentle pow'r can break the spells of care,
And sooth, with lenient balm, the keenest smart.

Whether from holy FRIENDSHIP'S vow profan'd,
  Or the dire frenzy of unpitied LOVE;
Whether from cherish'd passion unrestrain'd,
  Or the worst pang the jealous mind can prove.

Yet, if sad mem'ry ling'ring o'er past woe,
  Calls THEE, soft trembler, from thy crystal throne,
And sternly bids thy pearly incence flow,
  E'en when the treach'rous phantom, HOPE, is flown;
How fickle are the gifts thy rays impart,
At once the BALM and POISON OF THE HEART.

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