A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival 1750-1850

By Paula R. Feldman; Daniel Robinson | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Nor by a fond o'er-weening pride misled,
Hope fame by injuring the sacred dead:
Know, who would comment well his godlike page,
Critic, must have a heart as well as head.


Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray and Richard West became friends at Eton College in 1734 and
wrote to each other for eight years, until West's premature death in 1742.
Gray composed this tribute, “On the Death of Mr. Richard West, his only
sonnet, in 1742; it was published posthumously in 1775 with a group of
poems attached to a memoir of Gray by William Mason. William Words-
worth features Gray's sonnet in his critique of poetic diction in the 1800
preface to Lyrical Ballads. Gray worked in a variety of poetic forms, most no-
tably the ode, but is best remembered for his Elegy Written in a Country

3. On the Death of Mr. Richard West

In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And redd'ning Phoebus lifts his golden fire:
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire:
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require.

My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men:
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear:
To warm their little loves the birds complain:
I fruitless mourn to him, that cannot hear,
And weep the more, because I weep in vain.


Thomas Warton

Thomas Warton followed in the footsteps of his father, Thomas Warton the
elder (c. 1688–1745), not only as a poet but also as a professor of poetry at
Oxford University. Warton established a model for eighteenth-century
sonnet writing that would influence Charlotte Smith, William Lisle Bowles,
and William Wordsworth. He wrote the first substantial literary history, The
History of English Poetry
(1774–81), and became poet laureate in 1785, the
year in which he also produced an edition of Milton's poetry.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival 1750-1850
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 279

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?