O ever skill'd 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;
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 charm'd my eye,
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!
Helen Maria Williams (1762-1827)
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