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

By Paula R. Feldman; Daniel Robinson | Go to book overview
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To thy protecting hand their station owe;
In brighter tints may proud exotics shine,
But none with fresher native fragrance blow:
Even as thy violets in my garden grow,
So shall thy friendship in my bosom live,
Its rooting fibres round my heart-strings throw,
And sweetness to each pure sensation give,
Still flourish there unfading, and defy
The changing climate and the stormy sky.

(1825)


John F. M. Dovaston
(1782–1852)

After having worked briefly as a newspaper theatre critic, John F. M. Dov-
aston inherited his father's estate in 1808 and was then free to pursue a life as
a writer and naturalist. His Fitz-Gwarine (1812) and British Melodies (1817)
were popular.These two sonnets from Poems, Legendary, Incidental and Hum-
orous
(1825) reflect how enduring as subjects rivers and the sonnet form itself
were.


365. 'Streamlet! methinks thy lot resembles mine'

Streamlet! methinks thy lot resembles mine,
For thou art wayward, and delight'st to run
Through dingles wild, where writhen roots entwine;
The haunts that power and pride are like to shun;
Or if by chance they cross thy playful stream
They mark thee not, nor seek to know thy source,
For men have never mapped thy modest course,
Nor thought worth while to give thee even a name.
Yet art thou not unloved; for on thy brink
The primrose blossoms early, and the bird
Of orange bill down thy deep glen is heard
By some lone youth that pauses there to think
That he o'er life's sequestered vales, like thee,
Though not unmournful, runs right merrily.

(1825)


366. 'There are who say the sonnet's meted maze'

There are who say the sonnet's meted maze
Is all too fettered for the poet's powers,
Compelled to crowd his flush and airy flowers,
Like pots of tall imperials, ill at ease.
Or should some tiny thought his fancy seize,
A violet on a vase's top it towers,
And 'mid the mass of leaves he round it showers

-180-

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