Charlotte Smith

4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London

Sonnet Xvii. From The Thirteenth Cantata Of Metastasio

ON thy grey bark, in witness of my flame,
I carve Miranda's cypher--Beauteous tree!
Graced with the lovely letters of her name,
Henceforth be sacred to my love and me!
Though the tall elm, the oak, and darker pine,
With broader arms, may noon's fierce ardours break,
To shelter me, and her I love, be thine;
And thine to see her smile and hear her speak.
No bird, ill-omen'd, round thy graceful head
Shall clamour harsh, or wave his heavy wing,
But fern and flowers arise beneath thy shade.
Where the wild bees their lullabies shall sing.
And in thy boughs the murmuring Ring-dove rest;
And there the Nightingale shall build her nest.
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