Helen Maria Williams

Sonnet To The Calbassia-Tree

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 …






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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