Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
To Hope
By Helen Maria Williams (1761?–1827)
 
O EVER 1 skilled to wear the form we love!
  To bid the shapes of fear and grief depart;
Come, gentle Hope! with one gay smile remove
  The lasting sadness of an aching heart.
Thy voice, benign enchantress! let me hear;        5
  Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom,
That fancy’s radiance, friendship’s precious tear,
  Shall soften, or shall chase, misfortune’s gloom.
But come not glowing in the dazzling ray
  Which once with dear illusions charmed my eye;        10
O, strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way
  The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die:
Visions less fair will soothe my pensive breast,
That asks not happiness, but longs for rest.
 
Note 1. This sonnet stands at the head of fifteen others in the collected poems of the authoress, and she has appended to it the following note:—
  “I commence the sonnets with that ‘To Hope,’ from a predilection in its favor for which I have a proud reason: it is that of Mr. Wordsworth, who lately honored me with his visits while at Paris, having repeated it to me from memory, after a lapse of many years.” [back]
 
 
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