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

By Paula R. Feldman; Daniel Robinson | Go to book overview
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The thoughts that would full fain the past recall,
Soon would he quell the risings of his heart,
And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide,
The world his country, and his God his guide.

(1789)


55. To the River Cherwell

Cherwell, how pleased along thy willowed edge
Erewhile I strayed, or when the morn began
To tinge the distant turret's gleamy fan,
Or evening glimmered o'er the sighing sedge!
And now reposed on thy lorn banks once more,
I bid the pipe farewell, and that sad lay
Whose music on my melancholy way
I wooed, amid thy waving willows hoar,
Seeking awhile to rest—till the bright sun
Of joy returns, as when Heaven's beauteous bow
Beams on the night-storm's passing wings below:—
Whate'er betide, yet something have I won
Of solace, that may bear me on serene,
'Till eve's last hush shall close the silent scene.

(1789)


Thomas Russell
(1762–88)

William Wordsworth admired Thomas Russell's sonnets and recommended
some of them to the anthologist Alexander Dyce. Russell, however, did
not live long enough to fulfill the promise of his brilliant success in Latin
and other language studies at Oxford. His posthumously published Sonnets
and Miscellaneous Poems
(1789) includes among the sonnets translations of
Petrarch and Camöens.


56. 'Oxford, since late I left thy peaceful shore'

Oxford, since late I left thy peaceful shore,
Much I regret thy domes with turrets crowned,
Thy crested walls with twining ivy bound,
Thy gothic fanes, dim isles, and cloisters hoar,
And treasured rolls of wisdom's ancient lore;
Nor less thy varying bells, which hourly sound
In pensive chime, or ring in lively round,
Or toll in the slow curfew's solemn roar;
Much too thy moonlight walks, and musings grave
Mid silent shades of high-embowering trees,
And much thy sister-streams, whose willows wave

-48-

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