Dramatic Scenes, and Other Poems (1819) was well received by critics; English
Songs (1832) was his most popular work. In 1832, Procter became Metro-
politan Commissioner of Lunacy, a sinecure post he held until 1861.
Child of my heart! My sweet, beloved first-born!
Thou dove, who tidings bring'st of calmer hours!
Thou rainbow, who dost come when all the showers
Are past, —or passing! Rose which hath no thorn, —
No pain, no blemish, —pure and unforlorn,
Untouched—untainted—O, my flower of flowers!
More welcome than to bees are summer bowers, —
To seamen stranded life-assuring morn.
Welcome! a thousand welcomes! Care, who clings
Round all, seems loosening now her snake-like fold!
New hope springs upwards, and the bright world seems
Cast back into her youth of endless springs!—
—Sweet mother, is it so?—or grow I old,
Bewildered in divine Elysian dreams?
Joseph Blanco White came to England from Spain in 1810, after quitting the
Catholic priesthood. He studied at Oxford, became an Anglican clergyman,
and wrote religious and theological tracts. “Night and Death, ” later published
as “To Night, ” became one of the most enduring sonnets of the nineteenth
century. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it one of the best sonnets in Eng-
lish, and William Sharp praised it decades later in his anthology, Sonnets of
this Century (1886).
Dedicated to S. T. Coleridge, Esq. by his sincere friend,
Joseph Blanco White
Mysterious night, when the first man but knew
Thee by report, unseen, and heard thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet 'neath a curtain of translucent dew
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
Hesperus, with the host of heaven, came,
And lo! creation widened on his view.