To Mary Wollstonecraft

Robert Southey was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843.






The lilly cheek, the "purple light of love,"
The liquid lustre of the melting eye,--
Mary! of these the Poet sung, for these
Did Woman triumph! with no angry frown
View this degrading conquest. At that age
No MAID OF ARC had snatch'd from coward man
The heaven-blest sword of Liberty; thy sex
Could boast no female ROLAND'S martyrdom;
No CORDE'S angel and avenging arm
Had sanctified again the Murderer's name
As erst when Caesar perish'd: yet some strains
May even adorn this theme, befitting me
To offer, nor unworthy thy regard.

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