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

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

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!

(c.1827)


William Ewart Gladstone
(1809–98)

One of the great statesmen of the nineteenth century, William Ewart Glad-
stone 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 Ben-
jamin Disraeli (1804–81). As a student at Eton, he edited the Eton Miscellany,
where this sonnet appeared.


371. To a Rejected Sonnet

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!

(1827)


Mary Russell Mitford
(1787–1855)

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,

-183-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 18
  • Suggested Further Reading 21
  • Editorial Principles 23
  • Thomas Edwards(1699–1757) 25
  • Thomas Warton(1728–90) 26
  • John Codrington Bampfylde (1754–96) 27
  • Charlotte Smith (1749–1806) 29
  • Samuel Egerton Brydges(1762–1837) 39
  • William Hayley (1745–1820) 40
  • Helen Maria Williams(1761–1827) 42
  • William Lisle Bowles(1762–1850) 44
  • Thomas Russell(1762–88) 48
  • Mary Locke(Fl. 1791–1816) 50
  • Ann Radcliffe(1764–1823) 51
  • Anna Maria Jones(1748–1829) 54
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge(1772–1834) 55
  • Amelia Opie(1769–1853) 65
  • John Thelwall(1764–1834) 66
  • Mary Julia Young(Fl. 1789–1808) 68
  • Charles Lamb(1775–1834) 70
  • Mary Robinson(1758–1800) 73
  • William Beckford(1760–1844) 91
  • Charles Lloyd(1775–1839) 91
  • Robert Southey(1774–1843) 94
  • Edward Gardner(Fl. 1770–98) 97
  • Joseph Hucks(D. 1800) 98
  • Anna Seward(1742–1809) 99
  • Ann Home Hunter(1742–821) 106
  • Eliza Kirkham Mathews(1772–1802) 106
  • William Cowper(1731–1800) 107
  • Henry Kirke White(1785–1806) 108
  • Mrs. B. Finch(Fl. 1805) 109
  • Anna Maria Smallpiece(Fl. 1805) 110
  • William Wordsworth(1770–1850) 111
  • Mathilda Betham(1776–1852) 133
  • Susan Evance(Fl. 1808–18) 134
  • Martha Hanson(Fl. 1809) 136
  • Mary F. Johnson(Fl. 1810; D. 1863) 138
  • Mary Tighe(1772–1810) 141
  • Leigh Hunt(1784–1859) 145
  • Mary Bryan(Fl. 1815) 148
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron(1788–1824) 150
  • John Keats(1795–1821) 151
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley(1792–1822) 163
  • Jane Alice Sargant(Fl. 1817–21) 167
  • Thomas Doubleday(1790–1870) 168
  • Horace Smith(1779–1849) 170
  • John Clare(1793–1864) 170
  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes(1803–49) 176
  • Charles Johnston(D. 1823) 177
  • Elizabeth Cobbold(1767–1824) 178
  • John F. M. Dovaston(1782–1852) 180
  • Sarah Hamilton(C. 1769–1843) 181
  • Thomas Moore(1779–1852) 182
  • Mary Russell Mitford(1787–1855) 183
  • Barry Cornwall (Bryan Waller Procter)(1787–1874) 184
  • Joseph Blanco White(1775–1841) 185
  • Thomas Hood(1799–1845) 186
  • Edward Moxon(1801–58) 187
  • William Roscoe(1753–1831) 188
  • Charles Tennyson Turner(1808–79) 189
  • Alfred Tennyson(1809–92) 192
  • Agnes Strickland(1796–1874) 193
  • Frederick Tennyson(1807–98) 195
  • Hartley Coleridge(1796–1849) 196
  • Letitia Elizabeth Landon(1802–38) 199
  • Jane Cross Simpson(1811–86) 200
  • Felicia Hemans(1793–1835) 201
  • Caroline Norton(1808–77) 204
  • Ebenezer Elliott(1781–1849) 206
  • Frederick William Faber(1814–63) 206
  • Frances Anne Kemble(1809–93) 208
  • Eliza Cook(1818–89) 209
  • Arthur Hugh Clough(1819–61) 210
  • William Bell Scott(1811–90) 211
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti(1828–82) 213
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning(1806–61) 215
  • Appendix - Mary Robinson's Preface to Sappho and Phaon 233
  • Notes 239
  • Notes to the Poems and Sources 241
  • Index of Titles, Authors and First Lines 265
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