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

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

297. To—

O thou unknown disturber of my rest,
Ceaseless intruder, life-consuming foe;
Proud o'er my fall, and in my sorrow, blest,
Destroyer of a love thou ne'er canst know—
And life with love—O leave me—spare me now—
On that blessed moment while I fondly dwell,
When kind some pitying Genii heard my vow
And as my trembling fingers touched the spell,
Propitious to my wish bestowed the skill
That gave, —O more than wealth, or fame could give;
My Henry gave, by Fate's resistless will,
And snatched from death and made it bliss to live,
To live for him, and at Love's sanctioned shrine
Pledge my devoted heart, and clasp that treasure mine.

(1815)


298. To—

O timeless guest!—so soon returned art thou,
Hope's sickly gleam with cruel haste to quench,
To mock the prayer, and scorn the trembling vow,
I feel thy fatal power and vainly bid thee hence.—
Still, still thou com'st in dreadful guise to me,
Howe'er to others fair thy form appear;
Not shapeless things with midnight witchery
Could so appall my soul—so chill my breast, with fear!
—Now fateful is thy look!—thou lead'st me, —where?
O well, thou lead'st me to my destined place,
And bid'st me close my eyes for ever there.
Nor view thee wrapped in Henry's dear embrace:
Yes—proud one, haste thee to the nuptial shrine,
I sleep in death's cold arms—ere Henry sleep in thine.

(1815)


George Gordon, Lord Byron
(1788–1824)

The publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812),
a reflective travelogue in Spenserian stanzas, made Lord Byron an overnight
sensation. His divorce and scandalous liaisons forced his exile from England
in 1816. On the continent, he wrote many of his most famous works, in-
cluding the verse drama Manfred (1817) and the mock epic Don Juan (1819-
24). Byron wrote few sonnets and despised Petrarch, of whom he writes in
Don Juan 3.8, “Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife, / He would have
written sonnets all his life?”

-150-

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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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