Mary Robinson ( )


Lines Written by the Side of a River


FLOW soft RIVER, gently stray, 
Still a silent waving tide 
Oer thy glittring carpet glide, 
While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY, 
As I gather from thy bank, 
Shelterd by the poplar dank, 
King-cups, deckd in golden pride, 
Harebells sweet, and daisies pied; 
While beneath the evening sky, 
Soft the western breezes fly. 
Gentle RIVER, shouldst thou be 
Touchd with mournful sympathy, 
When reflection tells my soul, 
Winters icy breath shall quell
Thy sweet bosoms graceful swell, 
And thy dimpling course controul; 
Should a crystal tear of mine, 
Fall upon thy lucid breast, 
Oh receive the trembling guest, 
For tis PITYS drop divine! 

GENTLE ZEPHYR, softly play,
Shake thy dewy wings around,
Sprinkle odours oer the ground,
While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY. 
While the woodbines mingling shade, 
Veils my pensive, drooping head;
Fan, oh fan, the busy gale,
That rudely wantons round my cheek,
Where the tear of suffrance meek,
Glitters on the LILY pale: 
Ah! no more the damask ROSE, 
There in crimson lustre glows; 
Thirsty fevers from my lip 
Dare the ruddy drops to sip; 
Deep within my burning heart, 
Sorrow plants an icy dart; 
From whose point the soft tears flow, 
Melting in the vivid glow; 
Gentle Zephyr, shouldst thou be 
Touchd with tender sympathy; 
When reflection calls to mind, 
The bleak and desolating wind, 
That soon thy silken wing shall tear, 
And waft it on the freezing air; 
Zephyr, should a tender sigh 
To thy balmy bosom fly, 
Oh! receive the fluttring thing, 
Place it on thy filmy wing, 
Bear it to its native sky, 
For tis PITYS softest sigh. 


Oer the golden lids of day 
Steals a veil of sober grey; 
Now the flowrets sink to rest, 
On the moist earths glittring breast; 
Homeward now Ill bend my way, 
AND CHAUNT MY PLAINTIVE ROUNDELAY.



Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 13. Bring, Brick to Deck My Brow
  2. Ode to Melancholy
  3. Ode to Valour
  4. Sonnet 9. Ye, Who in Alleys Green
  5. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb


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