A Song

By Helen Maria Williams 1761–1827
                         I

No riches from his scanty store
   My lover could impart;
He gave a boon I valued more —
   He gave me all his heart!

                         II

His soul sincere, his generous worth,
   Might well this bosom move;
And when I asked for bliss on earth,
   I only meant his love.

                         III

But now for me, in search of gain
   From shore to shore he flies;
Why wander riches to obtain,
   When love is all I prize?

                         IV

The frugal meal, the lowly cot
   If blest my love with thee!
That simple fare, that humble lot,
   Were more than wealth to me.

                         V

While he the dangerous ocean braves,
   My tears but vainly flow:
Is pity in the faithless waves
   To which I pour my woe?

                         VI

The night is dark, the waters deep,
   Yet soft the billows roll;
Alas! at every breeze I weep —
   The storm is in my soul.

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Poet Helen Maria Williams 1761–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Men & Women, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Series/Sequence

 Helen Maria Williams

Biography

Helen Maria Williams was a British poet, novelist, essayist, and translator known for her support of radical causes, such as abolitionism and the French Revolution. Born in London, Williams was educated by her mother and began publishing her poetry and essays with the help of her mentor, Dr. Andrew Kippis. Ardently political, one of Williams’s first works, An Ode on the Peace, celebrated the end of the American Revolution.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Men & Women, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Series/Sequence

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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