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Lines Addressed To A.C.

Helen Maria Williams 1761 (London) – 1827

DEAR Babe, soft object of my care,
Unseen, for whom I pour my pray'r;
Unknown, yet priz'd all else above,
The heir of my maternal love;
Ah, let me hail, in simplest lay,
Thy earliest New-Year's Day!


Nor past, nor future cloud thy brow,
Thy range of thought confin'd to now;
Calm on a mother's breast you lie,
And heed not if, with tearful eye,
For thee her wishes fondly stray
O'er many a New-Year's Day.


Yet soon the years in rapid flight
Shall wake thy heart to new delight;
Soon shall exulting youth draw near,
With charms so fresh, and hopes so dear;
And lovely as the bloom of May
Shall seem each New-Year's Day.


But ah, since Time at length will bring
No rapture on his weary wing,
Then, o'er thy path, no longer bright,
May Virtue shed a line of light,
That cheers the pilgrim, when his way
Leads to no New-Year's Day!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Helen Maria Williams

Helen Maria Williams was a British novelist poet and translator of French-language works A religious dissenter she was a supporter of abolitionism and of the ideals of the French Revolution she was imprisoned in Paris during the Reign of Terror but nonetheless spent much of the rest of her life in France A controversial figure in her own time the young Williams was favorably portrayed in a 1787 poem by William Wordsworth but she was portrayed by other writers as irresponsibly politically radical and even as sexually wanton more…

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