While summer-suns o'er the gay prospect played,
Through Surrey's verdant scenes, where Epsom spreads
Mid intermingling elms her flowery meads,
And Hascombe's hill, in towering groves arrayed,
Reared its romantic steep, with mind serene,
I journeyed blithe. Full pensive I returned;
For now my breast with hopeless passion burned,
Wet with hoar mists appeared the gaudy scene,
Which late in careless indolence I passed;
And autumn all around those hues had cast
Where past delight my recent grief might trace.
Sad change, that Nature a congenial gloom
Should wear, when most, my cheerless mood to chase,
I wished her green attire, and wonted bloom!
Ah! what a weary race my feet have run,
Since first I trod thy banks with alders crowned,
And thought my way was all through fairy ground,
Beneath thy azure sky, and golden sun:
Where first my Muse to lisp her notes begun!
While pensive Memory traces back the round,
Which fills the varied interval between;
Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene.
Sweet native stream! those skies and suns so pure
No more return, to cheer my evening road!
Yet still one joy remains, that not obscure,
Nor useless, all my vacant days have flowed,
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature;
Nor with the Muse's laurel unbestowed.
John Codrington Bampfylde's Sixteen Sonnets (1778) were dedicated to the
niece of the prominent painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds's disapproba-
tion of the match prompted Bampfylde, in a rage, to break Reynolds's win-
dows, landing Bampfylde in Newgate Prison. Bampfylde spent most of the
rest of his life in a private lunatic asylum. Though Bampfylde wrote little
else during his life, Robert Southey considered his sonnets “some of the
most original in our language.”