A single charm, that's not from Nature won, — No more than rainbows, in their pride, can wear A single tint unborrowed from the sun; But 'tis the mental medium it shines through, That lends to beauty all its charm and hue; As the same light, that o'er the level lake One dull monotony of luster flings, Will, entering in the rounded rain-drop, make Colors as gay as those on angels' wings!
One of the great statesmen of the nineteenth century, William Ewart Gladstone was a distinguished orator, classical scholar, political writer, and leader of the Liberal Party. He served four terms as Prime Minister (1868–74, 1880–5, 1886, 1892–4), frequently clashing with his conservative rival Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81). As a student at Eton, he edited the Eton Miscellany, where this sonnet appeared.
Poor child of Sorrow! who did'st boldly spring, Like sapient Pallas, from thy parent's brain, All arm'd in mail of proof! and thou would'st fain Leap further yet and, on exulting wing, Rise to the summit of the printer's press! But cruel hand hath nipped thy buds amain, Hath fixed on thee the darkling inky stain, Hath soiled thy splendor, and defiled thy dress! Where are thy “full-orbed moon” and “sky serene?” And where thy “waving foam” and “foaming wave?” All, all are blotted by the murderous pen, And lie unhonored in their papery grave! Weep, gentle Sonnets! Sonneteers, deplore! And vow—and keep the vow—you'll write no more!
Mary Russell Mitford was a respected dramatist and poet. She published several accomplished volumes of poetry, including Poems (1810), Christina, or the Maid of the South Seas (1811), and Poems on the Female Character (1813); and her tragedy Julian was performed at Covent Garden to much acclaim in 1823. However, it was Our Village (1824), with its amusing, affectionate,
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: A Century of Sonnets: The Romantic-Era Revival 1750-1850. Contributors: Paula R. Feldman - Editor, Daniel Robinson - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 183.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.