Helen Maria Williams

Here you will find the Poem Queen Mary's Complaint of poet Helen Maria Williams

Queen Mary's Complaint


Pale moon! thy mild benignant light
May glad some other captive's sight;
Bright'ning the gloomy objects nigh,
Thy beams a lenient thought supply:
But, O, pale moon! what ray of thine
Can soothe a misery like mine,
Chase the sad image of the past,
And woes for ever doom'd to last?


Where are the years with pleasure gay?
How bright their course! how short their stay!
Where are the crowns, that round my head
A double glory vainly spread?
Where are the beauties wont to move,
The grace, converting awe to love?
Alas! had fate design'd to bless,
Its equal hand had giv'n me less!


Why did the regal garb array
A breast that tender passions sway?
A soul of unsuspicious frame,
Which leans with faith on friendship's name?
Ye vanish'd hopes! ye broken ties!
By perfidy, in friendship's guise,
This breast was injur'd, lost, betray'd--
Where, where shall MARY look for aid?


How could I hope redress to find,
Stern rival! from thy envious mind?
How could I e'er thy words believe?
O ever practised to deceive!
Thy wiles abhorr'd shall please alone
Cold bosoms, selfish as thy own;
While ages hence indignant hear
The horrors of my fate severe.


Have not thy unrelenting hands
Torn nature's most endearing bands?
Whate'er I hop'd from woman's name,
The ties of blood, the stranger's claim!
A sister-queen's despairing breast
On thee securely lean'd for rest;
On thee! from whom that breast has bled
With sharper ills than those I fled.


O, skill'd in every baser art! 
Tyrant! to this unguarded heart
No guilt so black as thine belongs,
Which loads my length'ning years with wrongs.
Strike, then, at once, insatiate foe,
The long premeditated blow!
So shall thy jealous terrors cease,
And MARY'S harass'd soul have peace.