Sonnet, on seeing Miss Helen Maria Williams weep at a tale of distress
composed 1787 (17)
Helen Maria Williams
She wept - Life's purple stream began to
In languid streams through every thrilling vein;
Dim were my swimming eyes - my pulse beat slow,
And my full heart was swell'd to dear delicious pain.
Life left my loaded heart, and closing eye;
A sigh recall'd the wanderer to my breast;
Dear was the pause of life, and dear the sigh
That call'd the wanderer home, and home to rest.
That tear proclaims - in thee each virtue dwells,
And bright will shine in misery's midnight hour;
As the soft star of dewy evening tells
What radiant fires were drown'd by day's malignant pow'r,
That only wait the darkness of the night
To chear the wand'ring wretch with hospitable light.
1. Axiologus is a pun on Wordsworth's name axio = worthy logus = word
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