A Celebration of Women Writers

"Stanzas." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. pp. 163-164.

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[Page 163]


WHY, if perchance thy gaze I meet,
  Glows my wan cheek with crimson die ?
Why do my languid pulses beat
  With quick'ning throbs when thou art nigh ?
Why does my fault'ring language fail;
  My trembling form its strength forego;
Why does my quiv'ring lip turn pale,
  Chill'd by the touch of secret woe ?

Say, when thy tuneful voice I hear,
  Why does my panting bosom swell ?
Why steals the fond, unbidden tear,
  The soul's dire agony to tell ?
Why, when my feeble hand you press,
  And whisper Passion's transports sweet
Why do I shun the dear caress,
  And dread thy ardent flame to meet?

Ah! 'tis because too well I know,
  LOVE is a tyrant, fickle boy;
His smiles conceal the pangs of woe,
  His dearest gift is short-liv'd joy.

[Page 164]

He soars aloft on LOVER'S sighs;
  In breaking HEARTS his temple rears;
With barb'rous pow'r he BLINDS our EYES,


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