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Written in the Blank Page of the Sorrows of Werther

Anna Seward 1742 (Eyam) – 1809



O thou, who turnest this impassioned leaf,
Where Anguish claims the sympathetic grief,
If no relentless prejudice can bind
In stagnant frost the mercy of thy mind;
If thou shalt guess how hard to inflict the smart
Of icy absence on the glowing heart,
When all that charm'd the sense, th' affection won,
Dwells in that form, which prudence bids us shun;
That present, soothes each rankling woe to rest,
Departed, desolates the languid breast,
Then thou'lt lament, amidst thy virtuous blame,
The wretched victim of a baneful flame,
Where ill-starr'd Love its deadliest lightning shed
On the pale Suicide's devoted head,
And woes, that would no holier thought allow,
Threw ghastly shadows on the bleeding brow.--
Still, as thou weep'st their unresisted powers,
The virtues of the lost-one's happier hours
Shall o'er his fatal errors gently rise,
Live in thy heart, and consecrate thy sighs!
And for the soft compassion thou hast shown
For woes and frailties, to thy soul unknown,
For generous sympathy, which shines confest,
Eternal inmate of the noble breast,
Ne'er may embosom'd grief thine eye-lids dim,--
O! live to love, but not to mourn, like him!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Anna Seward

Anna Seward was a long-eighteenth-century English Romantic poet, often called the Swan of Lichfield. more…

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