Hunt and Lee, comps. The Book of the Sonnet. 1867. The Temple of Chastity
By Mrs. Mary Darby Robinson (1757?1800)
H IGH 1 on a rock coeval with the skies,
A temple stands, reared by immortal powers
To Chastity divine! Ambrosial flowers,
Twining round icicles, in columns rise,
Mingling with pendent gems of orient dyes. 5
Piercing the air, a golden crescent towers,
Veiled by transparent clouds; while smiling hours
Shake from their varying wings celestial joys!
The steps of spotless marble, scattered oer
With deathless roses armed with many a thorn, 10
Lead to the altar. On the frozen floor,
Studded with tear-drops petrified by scorn,
Pale vestals kneel, the goddess to adore, While Love, his arrows broke, retires forlorn.
Earliest known mistress of George IV.; a circumstance from which the sonnet, which is not without merit in itself, derives a melancholy interest. It is extracted from the Rev. Mr. Dyces Specimens of British Poetesses. [ Note 1. back]