"Sonety, jaká slast..."
Ivan Blatný

Helen Maria Williamsová (1761 – 1827) - 16 sonetů anglické spisovatelky a překladatelky období romantismu

17. února 2009 v 8:00 | Helen Maria Williamsová |  Sonety
Sonnet To Hope

O, ever skilled to wear the form we love!
To bid the shapes of fear and grief depart;
Come, gentle Hope! with one gay smile remove
The lasting sadness of an aching heart.
Thy voice, benign Enchantress! let me hear;
Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom,--
That Fancy's radiance, Friendship's precious tear,
Shall soften, or shall chase, misfortune's gloom.
But come not glowing in the dazzling ray,
Which once with dear illusions charm'd my eye,--
O! strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way
The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die;
Visions less fair will soothe my pensive breast,
That asks not happiness, but longs for rest!

*I commence the Sonnets with that to HOPE, from a predilection in its favour, for which I have a proud reason: it is that of Mr. Wordsworth, who lately honoured me with his visits while at Paris, having repeated it to me from memory, after a lapse of many years.

Sonnet To Twilight

Meek Twilight! soften the declining day,
And bring the hour my pensive spirit loves;
When o'er the mountain slow descends the ray
That gives to silence and to night the groves.
Ah, let the happy court the morning still,
When, in her blooming loveliness arrayed,
She bids fresh beauty light the vale or hill,
And rapture warble in the vocal shade.
Sweet is the odour of the morning's flower,
And rich in melody her accents rise;
Yet dearer to my soul the shadowy hour
At which her blossoms close, her music dies:
For then, while languid Nature droops her head,
She wakes the tear 'tis luxury to shed.

Sonnet on reading Burn's "Mountain Daisy."

While soon the "garden's flaunting flowers" decay,
And, scatter'd on the earth, neglected lie,
The "Mountain Daisy," cherish'd by the ray
A poet drew from heav'n, shall never die.
Ah! like that lovely flower the poet rose!
'Mid penury's bare soil and bitter gale;
He felt each storm that on the mountain blows,
Nor ever knew the shelter of the vale.
By Genius in her native vigour nurst,
On Nature with impassion'd look he gazed,
Then through the cloud of adverse fortune burst
Indignant, and in light unborrow'd blaz'd.
Shield from rude sorrow, SCOTIA ! shield thy bard:--
His heav'n-taught numbers Fame herself will guard.

Sonnet to the Moon


The glitt'ring colours of the day are fled;
Come, melancholy orb! that dwell'st with night,
Come! and o'er earth thy wand'ring lustre shed,
Thy deepest shadow, and thy softest light;
To me congenial is the gloomy grove,
When with faint light the sloping uplands shine;
That gloom, those pensive rays alike I love,
Whose sadness seems in sympathy with mine!
But most for this, pale orb! thy beams are dear,
For this, benignant orb! I hail thee most:
That while I pour the unavailing tear,
And mourn that hope to me in youth is lost,
Thy light can visionary thoughts impart,
And lead the Muse to soothe a suff'ring heart.

Sonnet to Peace of Mind

Sweet Peace! ah, lead me from the thorny dale,
Where desolate my wand'ring steps have fled;
Far from the sunny paths which others tread,
While youth enlivens, and while joys prevail.
Then I no more shall vanished hopes bewail,
No more the fruitless tear shall love to shed,
When pensive eve her cherish'd gloom has spread,
And day's bright tints, like my short pleasures, fail!
Yet lead me not where blooms the glowing rose,
But lead me where the cypress branches wave;
Thou hast a shelt'ring cell for cureless woes,
A home of refuge, where no tempests rave;
There would my weary heart in youth repose,
Beneath the turf that shrouds an early grave.

Sonnet to Mrs. Siddons

Siddons! the Muse, for many a joy refin'd,
Feelings which ever seem too swiftly fled,
For those delicious tears she loves to shed,
Around thy brow the wreaths of praise would bind;
But can her feeble notes thy praise unfold?
Repeat the tones each changing passion gives?
Or mark where nature in thy action lives,--
Where, in thy pause, she speaks a pang untold?
When fierce ambition steels thy daring breast,
When from thy frantic look our glance recedes?
Or, oh, divine enthusiast! when, opprest
By mournful love, that eye of softness pleads?
The sunbeam all can feel, but who can trace
The instant light, and catch the radiant grace?

Sonnet to Mrs. Bates

O thou, whose melody the heart obeys,
Thou, who can'st all its subject passions move,
Whose notes to heav'n the list'ning soul can raise,
Can thrill with pity, or can melt with love!
Happy! whom nature lent this native charm,
Angelic tones, that shed, with magic power,
A sweeter pleasure o'er the social hour:
The breast to softness soothe, to virtue warm;
But yet more happy, that thy life as clear
From discord as thy perfect cadence flows;
That, tun'd to sympathy, thy faithful tear
In mild accordance falls for others' woes;
That all the tender, pure affections bind,
In chains of harmony, thy willing mind!

Sonnet to Expression

Expression, child of soul! I fondly trace
Thy strong enchantments, when the poet's lyre,
The painter's pencil, catch thy sacred fire,
And beauty wakes for thee her touching grace!
But from this frighted glance thy form avert,
When horror checks thy tear, thy struggling sigh,
When frenzy rolls in thy impassion'd eye,
Or guilt sits heavy on thy lab'ring heart;
Nor ever let my shudd'ring fancy hear
The wasting groan, or view the pallid look
Of him* the muses lov'd, when hope forsook
His spirit, vainly to the muses dear!
For, charm'd with heav'nly song, this mournful breast
Laments the power of verse could give despair no rest.

*Chatterton.

Sonnet to Love

Ah, Love! ere yet I knew thy fatal power,
Bright glow'd the colour of my youthful days,
As on the sultry zone the torrid rays,
That paint the broad-leav'd plantain's glossy bower:
Calm was my bosom as this silent hour,
When o'er the deep, scarce heard, the zephyr strays,
'Midst the cool tamarinds indolently plays,
Nor from the orange shakes its od'rous flower:--
But ah! since Love has all my heart possest,
That desolated heart what sorrows tear!
Disturb'd, and wild as ocean's troubled breast,
When the hoarse tempest of the night is there!
Yet my complaining spirit asks no rest,
This bleeding bosom cherishes despair.

* This and the seven following Sonnets were inserted, several years ago, in a translation I made of Bernardin de Saint Pierre's novel of Paul and Virginia , while I was in prison during the reign of terror, and which served to cheat the days of captivity of their weary length. The translation was, I believe, never published in England, where the Sonnets are little known. They are adapted to the peculiar situations and scenery of the work.

Sonnet to Disappointment

Pale disappointment! at thy freezing name
Chill fears in every shiv'ring vein I prove;
My sinking pulse almost forgets to move,
And life almost forsakes my languid frame.
Yet thee, relentless nymph! no more I blame:
Why do my thoughts 'midst vain illusions rove?
Why gild the charms of friendship and of love
With the warm glow of fancy's purple flame?
When ruffling winds have some bright fane o'erthrown,
Which shone on painted clouds, or seem'd to shine,
Shall the fond gazer dream for him alone
Those clouds were sable, and at fate repine?--
I feel, alas! the fault is all my own,
And ah, the cruel punishment is mine!

Sonnet to Simplicity

Nymph of the desert! on this lonely shore,
Simplicity, thy blessings still are mine,
And all thou canst not give I pleas'd resign,
For all beside can soothe my soul no more.
I ask no lavish heaps to swell my store,
And purchase pleasures far remote from thine:
Ye joys, for which the race of Europe pine,
Ah, not for me your studied grandeur pour;
Let me where yon tall cliffs are rudely pil'd,
Where towers the Palm amidst the mountain trees,
Where pendant from the steep, with graces wild,
The blue Liana floats upon the breeze,
Still haunt those bold recesses, Nature's child,
Where thy majestic charms my spirit seize!

Sonnet to the Strawberry

The Strawberry blooms upon its lowly bed,
Plant of my native soil!--the Lime may fling
More potent fragrance on the zephyr's wing,
The milky Cocoa richer juices shed,
The white Guava lovelier blossoms spread--
But not, like thee, to fond remembrance bring
The vanished hours of life's enchanting spring;
Short calendar of joys for ever fled!
Thou bid'st the scenes of childhood rise to view,
The wild wood-path which fancy loves to trace;
Where, veil'd in leaves, thy fruit of rosy hue
Lurk'd on its pliant stem with modest grace.
But ah! when thought would later years renew,
Alas, successive sorrows crowd the space!

Sonnet to the Curlew

Sooth'd by the murmurs on the sea-beat shore,
His dun-grey plumage floating to the gale,
The Curlew blends his melancholy wail
With those hoarse sounds the rushing waters pour.
Like thee, congenial bird! my steps explore
The bleak lone sea-beach, or the rocky dale,--
And shun the orange bower, the myrtle vale,
Whose gay luxuriance suits my soul no more.
I love the ocean's broad expanse, when drest
In limpid clearness, or when tempests blow:
When the smooth currents on its placid breast
Flow calm, as my past moments us'd to flow;
Or when its troubled waves refuse to rest,
And seem the symbol of my present woe.

Sonnet to the Torrid Zone

Pathway of light! o'er thy empurpled zone,
With lavish charms, perennial summer strays;
Soft 'midst thy spicy groves the zephyr plays,
While far around the rich perfumes are thrown;
The Amadavid-bird for thee alone
Spreads his gay plumes, that catch thy vivid rays;
For thee the gems with liquid lustre blaze,
And Nature's various wealth is all thy own.
But ah! not thine is Twilight's doubtful gloom,
Those mild gradations, mingling day with night;
Here instant darkness shrouds thy genial bloom,
Nor leaves my pensive soul that ling'ring light,
When musing Mem'ry would each trace resume
Of fading pleasures in successive flight.

Sonnet to the Calbassia Tree

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!

Sonnet to the White Bird of the Tropic

Bird of the Tropic! thou, who lov'st to stray
Where thy long pinions sweep the sultry Line,
Or mark'st the bounds which torrid beams confine
By thy averted course, that shuns the ray
Oblique, enamour'd of sublimer day:
Oft on yon cliff thy folded plumes recline,
And drop those snowy feathers Indians twine,
To crown the warrior's brow with honours gay.
O'er trackless oceans what impels thy wing?
Does no soft instinct in thy soul prevail?
No sweet affection to thy bosom cling,
And bid thee oft thy absent nest bewail?--
Yet thou again to that dear spot canst spring,
But I no more my long-lost home shall hail!

This edition may be copied freely by individuals for personal use, research, and teaching (including distribution to classes) as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. It may be linked to by internet editions of all kinds.

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