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

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

286. 1802

Thy summer's day was long, but couldst thou think
Deluded fool, it would for ever last?
Thy sun indeed mid shrouding clouds, is fast
Declining, and must soon for ever sink.
But from the long foreboded gloom to shrink.
Thus in the hopeless depths of languor cast,
Declares thy brighter hours were idly past
In thoughtless folly. Didst thou never think
That all thy fond heart prized must pass away?
And all those sparkling joys, even when most bright
Were but as heavy drops which trembling play
On the breeze-shaken leaf? Couldst thou delight
With calm security through all the day?
Nor seek a shelt'ring bower for sure approaching night?

(1811)


Leigh Hunt
(1784–1859)

Leigh Hunt was a controversial journalist, political liberal, critic, and poet.
In 1808, he and his older brother, John, founded and edited the radical
weekly newspaper, the Examiner, which published literature and political
commentary, including early poems by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley,
whom Hunt introduced to one another and with whom he participated in
famous sonnet-writing competitions. Hunt's major works include the Story
of Rimini
(1816), Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries (1825), and his
Autobiography (1850). His poems “Abou Ben Adhem” and “Jenny Kissed Me”
appeared widely in anthologies. In 1822, he and Byron and Shelley started
a magazine entitled the Liberal. He also coedited an anthology of sonnets, the
Book of the Sonnet, published posthumously in 1867.


287. To Hampstead

Sweet upland, to whose walks with fond repair
Out of thy western slope I took my rise
Day after day, and on these feverish eyes
Met the moist fingers of the bathing air,
If health, unearned of thee, I may not share,
Keep it, I pray thee, where my memory lies,
In thy green lanes, brown dells, and breezy skies,
Till I return, and find thee doubly fair.

Wait then my coming, on that lightsome land,
Health, and the joy that out of nature springs,

-145-

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