Sonnet: To the Right Honorable Lady Mary Coke

From The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The gentle Maid, whose hapless tale
These melancholy pages speak;
Say, gracious Lady, shall she fail
To draw the tear adown thy cheek?

No; never was thy pitying breast
Insensible to human woes;
Tender, tho’ firm, it melts distrest
For weaknesses it never knows.

Oh! guard the marvels I relate
Of fell ambition scourg’d by fate,
From reason’s peevish blame.

Blest with thy smile, my dauntless sail
I dare expand to Fancy’s gale,
For sure thy smiles are Fame.

H. W.