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Poem by Mary Robinson

Pastoral Stanzas

WHEN AURORAS soft blushes oerspread the blue hill,
And the mist dies away at the glances of morn;
When the birds join the music that floats on the rill,
And the beauties of spring the young woodlands adorn. 

To breathe the pure air and enliven my soul,
I bound from my cottage exulting and gay;
No care to molest me, no powr to controul,
I sport with my lambkins, as thoughtless as they. 

Yet, the bright tear of pity bedews my fond eyes,
When I think that for MAN the dear victims must fall,
While nature such stores of provision supplies,
And the bounties of Heaven are common to all. 

Ah! tell me, Reflection, why custom decreed
That the sweet featherd songsters so slaughterd should be?
For the board of the rich the poor minstrels may bleed,
But the fruits of the field are sufficient for me. 

When I view the proud palace, so pompously gay,
Whose high gilded turrets peep over the trees;
I pity its greatness and mournfully say,
Can mortals delight in such trifles as these! 

Can a pillow of down sooth the woe-stricken mind,
Can the sweets of Arabia calm sickness and pain;
Can fetters of gold Loves true votaries bind,
Or the gems of Peru Times light pinions restrain? 

Can those limbs which bow down beneath sorrow and age,
From the floss of the silk-worm fresh vigour receive;
Can the pomp of the proud, deaths grim tyrant assuage,
Can it teach you to die, or instruct you to live? 

Ah, no! then sweet PEACE, lovely offspring of Heavn,
Come dwell in my cottage, thy handmaid Ill be;
Thus my youth shall pass on, unmolested and even,
And the winter of age be enlivend by thee!

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet to Evening
  2. Sonnet to My Beloved Daughter
  3. Sonnet 40. On the Low Margin
  4. Sonnet 42. Oh! Canst Thou Bear
  5. Sonnet 24. O Thou! Meek Orb

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