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Sonnet To The Calbassia-Tree

Helen Maria Williams 1761 (London) – 1827



SUBLIME Calbassia! luxuriant tree,
How soft the gloom thy bright-hued foliage throws!
While from thy pulp a healing balsam flows,
Whose power the suff'ring wretch from pain can free:
My pensive footsteps ever turn to thee!
Since oft, while musing on my lasting woes,
Beneath thy flowery white-bells I repose,
Symbol of Friendship dost thou seem to me;
For thus has Friendship cast her soothing shade
O'er my unshelter'd bosom's keen distress,
Thus sought to heal the wounds which Love has made,
And temper bleeding sorrow's sharp excess!
Ah! not in vain she lends her balmy aid--
The agonies she cannot cure are less!

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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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    "Sonnet To The Calbassia-Tree" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/17137/sonnet-to-the-calbassia-tree>.

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